Pandemic Risk: Couples Coping with Covid

Pandemic Risk: Couples Coping with Covid

Risk plays a huge role in our lives, especially as we try to get back to “normal” during this global pandemic. With COVID still a present concern, couples may find it challenging to maintain a certain level of safety every time they go out. Since every decision has its own level of risk involved, how can couples decide what is a reasonable level of pandemic risk when they have very different opinions?

Navigating Pandemic Risk as a Couple

We’re all social creatures that thrive when in community with one another. When it comes to socializing and staying healthy, it’s important for couples to understand their own levels of risk acceptance. Read on to learn how couples can handle this risky business.

Communicate Your Ideals for Safety

Getting back into the world is a goal many of us are excited to reach. However, it will be a long time before things get back to what we have been  used to as “normal”. As we try to safeguard against a second wave, it’s important to avoid crowds, wear masks, limit our time inside indoor establishments, and avoid other activities that are excessively risky. With this in mind, couples should identify what makes each of them feel safe.

For example, if it’s important for your partner to go to places where masks are always required, it’s best to avoid eating out. Likewise, if you feel as though you’re comfortable going outside to the park or beach without a mask, be sure to discuss this with your partner.

Respect Each Other’s Views

The ever-changing news surrounding the novel coronavirus makes it difficult to know what’s acceptable and what’s not. While we all want to avoid getting sick, there are many other factors to consider. In matters of life and death, it’s hard to remain calm when discussing our viewpoints. This is why it’s so important to be respectful and hear your partner out. 

Even if you don’t understand your partner’s point of view, listen to them. Truly listen when they share their concerns and be understanding of any fears they may have concerning questionable situations. By talking it over, you may be able to ease your partner’s fears and help them understand your point of view as well. 

Be Open to Compromise

Compromise is very important when considering the risks of COVID. This is especially true if one partner is more risk-averse than the other. If your partner is overly afraid of going to certain places in public, work together to find a compromise. Find ways to spend time together while taking each person’s level of comfort into consideration. 

Recognize Your Own Anxiety

In the midst of understanding your level of risk acceptance, don’t ignore your own anxiety. Even as we are several months into the pandemic, it’s natural to experience worry, fear, and stress. Part of understanding the level of pandemic risk you accept starts with acknowledging and recognizing this anxiety.

Couples can limit their levels of COVID-related anxiety by avoiding activities that add undue stress. For example, if your partner is open to eating outdoors at a restaurant but you’re too anxious to be around others, don’t ignore this anxiety. 

Getting through COVID as a couple requires an intentional willingness to avoid unnecessary risks, prioritize safety, discuss compromises, and to analyze one’s own anxieties. As you work with your partner to make it through these trying times, remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

3 Ways to Pandemic-Proof Your Love Relationship

3 Ways to Pandemic-Proof Your Love Relationship

As we continue to face the COVID crisis, self-isolation and sheltering-in-place can cause rifts in our relationships. These unprecedented times are leading to a surge in relationship issues, with many couples faced with pandemic-related stress and anxiety as they try to navigate staying sane, healthy, and keeping their relationship together. Keep the love alive by taking time to pandemic-proof your relationship. Read on for three ways to strengthen your love relationship through this crisis. 

1. Listen To Your Needs

The uncertainty of these times puts many of us on edge. This level of stress and anxiety affects our health as well as our relationships. If you’re living with your partner, these feelings can easily take hold and overwhelm both of you. When left unchecked, they may even cause you to lash out at your partner. Safeguard against this type of situation by making sure to listen to your own needs.

If you’re feeling especially stressed or anxious, take time to center yourself, stop what you’re doing, and meditate by paying attention to your breathing. Remember that caring for your needs will allow you to adopt a healthier state of mind, which will help you relate to your partner in a positive way. 

2. Carve Out Personal Boundaries

Whether you’re working from home or you’re trying to fill your newfound free time with hobbies, don’t forget how important it is to set boundaries. Couples that usually spend time apart during the day may be overwhelmed having to quarantine with their partner for months on end. With our daily routines awry, it’s essential to set boundaries to protect personal space, both physically and emotionally. 

While these boundaries may be difficult to define, this will help you both create a “new normal”. 

For example, if you and your partner are working from home, try to section off separate areas that give you both the room you need to work in a quiet space separately. In addition to spending time apart, making time to plan romantic dates together will give both of you something to look forward to as you take time to strengthen your relationship in these confusing times. 

3. Always Communicate

Though many couples get accustomed to each other’s behavior, there is no substitute for effective communication. Now more than ever, couples need to be able to share what they’re feeling. Make an effort to verbalize all of your thoughts and fears as we transition through this pandemic. While much is still uncertain about the future, being able to share your concerns and expectations with your partner will help to bring the two of you closer together. 

Similarly, if you find that you’re experiencing certain issues with your partner, find a way to communicate them. Letting anger or discomfort fester will only result in a blow-up later on. Finding ways to air your concerns with each other may be uncomfortable at the moment, but it’s a necessary step in navigating the COVID crisis together. 

Getting through these challenging times requires proactive thinking, intentional planning, and paying extra attention to your needs and those of your loved one. Pandemic-proof your love relationship with this guide. Take the necessary steps to keep love alive in the midst of this global pandemic.

Bad Romance? 5 Tips to Bring the Love Back!

Bad Romance? 5 Tips to Bring the Love Back!

Every romance movie ever made makes it seem as if true love is filled with endless romance, but the truth is quite different. Romance, like other important aspects of your relationship, requires work. If the romance is dead in your relationship, try the following five tips to bring it back to life:

1. Don’t Miss the Details

Over time, it’s easy to fall into patterns with relationships. The strongest romance can give way to the predictability of our everyday routines. Bring the romance back by tuning into the little things in your relationships. Don’t miss out on the details like when your partner says, “I love you” before heading to work or texts you throughout the day just to check up with you. Though these small moments aren’t great declarations of love, these details help to reignite the romance in your overall relationship. 

2. Always Prioritize Communication

Though it may seem like romance and communication don’t have much in common, that couldn’t be further from the truth. While we’re inclined to believe red roses, wine, and thoughtful presents equate to romance, the true power of these actions and gifts lie in what your partner is communicating through them.

Oftentimes, the most romantic gesture is understanding another person and being understood. Before piling on the presents, use your words to bring romance back to life. Speak to your partner about any underlying issues, feelings, and expectations. This way, both of you will be on the same page and will feel closer to one another.

3. Reconnect with Touch

Another way to get the romance started is to use touch. It’s no secret that in long-term relationships, diminishing physical intimacy can become a problem. Whether it’s due to work-related responsibilities or feeling disconnected from one another, a lack of touch can kill the romance. Though sex is a huge factor in relationships, touch isn’t all about sex. 

Consider massages, holding hands, or hugging to bring the intimacy back. Finding little moments here and there to focus on this aspect of physical intimacy will help bring the romance back. 

4. Make Time to Date

Though many couples understand the importance of continuing to “date” their partners, life can make this hard to put into practice. Keep the romance alive by planning regular date nights throughout the month. Whether you go out once a week or a few times a month, making it a point to do something out of the ordinary with your partner will help you both reconnect.

Dates are more than an opportunity to escape from the house. They give you both something to look forward to, an activity to bond over, and the time and space you need to enjoy each other’s company one-on-one. Dates give you a chance to put your regular routine on pause as you fall in love with each other all over again. 

5. Spend Some Quality Time Alone

When the romance fades from a relationship, it may seem as though the best way to fix this is to spend as much time together as possible. While quality time together is important, couples shouldn’t spend every waking moment together. Finding ways to spend time apart is equally as important as prioritizing spending time together. Taking some time for yourself will help you center yourself, focus on your needs, and recognize how important your relationship is to you.

Spending time alone will give you the chance to recharge. Relax, work on your personal goals, and get to know yourself again. After spending quality time by yourself, you’ll feel even more excited to spend time with your partner again. 

No relationship is an endless stream of sunshine and roses, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sprinkle more romance in here and there. Keep these suggestions in mind as you aim to make romance more habitual. Don’t forget to join the Your Love Relationship mailing list for great ideas to keep your love alive!

Are You Feeling Unappreciated by Your Partner?

Are You Feeling Unappreciated by Your Partner?

Whether you’re married or you’re in a long-term, committed relationship, feeling unappreciated in a relationship is common. While there are many factors that contribute to this feeling, no one wants to feel as though their partner doesn’t value them as much as they should.  

How to Feel More Appreciated in Your Relationship

Whether they aren’t giving you the same level of attention or they’re not communicating properly, a lack of appreciation can quickly cause any relationship to take a turn for the worse. Though feeling unappreciated can be particularly disheartening, in many cases, your partner may not even realize how they are treating you. 

To build a stronger relationship, these feelings must be addressed. If you are feeling unappreciated in your marriage or relationship, take the following suggestions into consideration:

Express Your Needs and Feelings

Though there are times when our loved ones fail to appreciate us, in many situations, they may have no idea how we’re feeling. In the event that you feel unappreciated, one of the most important steps to take is to reach out and talk to them about your feelings and needs.

It’s best to openly communicate your feelings conversationally. Discussing how you feel gives your partner the chance to truly hear how you feel without getting the impression that they are being attacked. As you discuss the lack of appreciation, avoid accusing them or placing blame. Instead, point out the situations or actions that led to you feeling overlooked and unappreciated. This will give your partner the chance to step back and understand their role in what you’re experiencing. 

Analyze the Situation

Just as many partners don’t realize that they’re causing their significant others to feel unappreciated, many of us don’t realize that we have control over how we respond to certain situations. In some instances, what may seem like a lack of appreciation may be poor communication. If you’re feeling unappreciated, take a second to determine whether or not these feelings are influenced by other factors. 

Understanding your emotions and your mindset at this time will help you separate your feelings from your partner’s intentions and actions. This will help you better understand the situation, which will allow you to adjust your mindset accordingly. 

Share What Makes You Feel Valued

We all have a preferred way in which we want to be shown love. You may think of this as a preferred love language. If your spouse or partner isn’t aware of what your preferred love language, they likely won’t understand the most effective way to make you feel appreciated. Determining which one of the five love languages you respond to will help you:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Acts of service
  • Receiving gifts
  • Quality time
  • Physical touch

Learning to speak each others’ preferred love language will help both of you to feel valued in your relationship. 

Know Your Worth

Appreciation must start with you. Understanding your own value will help you better address a lack of appreciation. Know your worth, what you deserve, and how valuable you are. You’re someone that deserves to be treasured, loved unconditionally, and treated with respect.

Actively loving yourself and understanding your worth will shift your perspective. Whether it changes your perception of your relationship or inspires a conversation about respect with your partner, the more you understand your value, the more your partner will as well. 

Appreciation is a significant part of any relationship. Keep these tips in mind as you actively work to strengthen your love relationship.

5 Fun & Simple Valentine Ideas to Celebrate Your Partner

5 Fun & Simple Valentine Ideas to Celebrate Your Partner

With February 14th just days away, couples are getting ready to celebrate the most romantic day of the year. Not sure of the best way to tell your significant other, “I love you?” Try these easy Valentine ideas to celebrate your partner.

1. Cook a Meal Together

If you haven’t made dinner plans for the 14th already, you’ll be hard pressed to get a dinner reservation at this point. Thankfully, cooking dinner with your partner is just as romantic as going out to eat. Whether you try a simple meal like pasta and wine or you both challenge yourselves to go all out with a five course meal, spending time together in the kitchen is a great way to reconnect as you celebrate your love.

2. Surprise Your Partner with Flowers 

Flowers may seem old-school, but they’re one tradition that will never go out of style. While you don’t have to wait until the 14th to surprise your partner with a bouquet of their favorite flowers, this surprise is an extra special way to share your love during the holiday. If you don’t have a chance to pick up flowers from your local florist or the grocery store, have them delivered. 

Amazon Prime gives couples the perfect way to send a bouquet of fresh flowers with guaranteed same-day delivery. Whether you want to surprise your partner at work or have flowers ready when they get home, using this 2-hour delivery service is an excellent way to get the job done. 

3. Watch a Romantic Movie 

Romantic movies are another option for couples searching for a way to celebrate this Valentine’s Day. Streaming service favorites like Netflix and Hulu have an incredible selection for couples planning to spend the 14th at home with dinner and a movie. Interested in hitting the town? Consider booking tickets with a movie theater that serves dinner and drinks during the film for a creative take on this time-honored date night. 

Need movie ideas for the big day? The Photograph is a compelling movie about love starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield. Don’t miss out on this cute date idea. 

4. Relax Together with Yoga

Don’t let the rush to wow your partner stress you out. This Valentine’s Day, try celebrating by doing yoga together. Whether you’re a committed yogi or you’ve never practiced yoga before, trying a yoga class with your loved one is a relaxing way to spend this romantic holiday together. Search for local yoga studios in your area to find a class that best suits your schedule. Though some studios do offer couples’ yoga, traditional classes are an equally enjoyable way to spend time with your partner as well. 

Take things to the next level on  your yoga date with hot yoga. A hot yoga session is just as relaxing as traditional yoga and an intense way to bond with your significant other.

5. Explore Outdoors  

Exploring the outdoors with your partner is another great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. If it’s warmer where you live and near to the ocean, lake or river, consider taking an evening walk along the beach, kayaking at sunset, or going for a drive to look at the stars. If you’re celebrating in a colder climate, try spending quality time around a bonfire, taking a walk through a snow-covered park, or getting up early to watch the sunrise. Spending time in nature is the perfect way to reconnect with each other this Valentine’s Day. 

Don’t feel pressured to go overboard this Valentine’s Day. Remember that spending quality time with your partner is more valuable than any physical gift. As you finalize your plans for February 14th, let this list of Valentine ideas inspire you to find new ways to show your partner you love them.

3 Steps for Managing Anger

3 Steps for Managing Anger

Have you ever reacted to something that your loved one, a colleague or friend said to you in such a sharp and angry tone that you even surprised yourself? When certain buttons are pushed it can create feelings of anger. In an instant you may find yourself unleashing your emotions as if you were an angry tiger suddenly jolted out of a deep slumber. Such is the difficulty of managing feelings when your instinct to react defensively is triggered.

For some people angry outbursts may be an infrequent occurrence. For others irritability and quick anger occur too often. While the emotion of anger is normal and appropriate in certain situations, when anger gets out of control it creates problems.

The key to managing your emotions including anger; is to be aware of your emotions while allowing wisdom and logic to guide your responses. If you are thinking, “That’s easily said, not easily done.” You are correct, it takes practice but it is indeed possible to gain control of your emotions. Here’s how:

Press The Pause Button

You may have heard the suggestion to count to 10 to help calm yourself. There is something useful about that approach. It allows you a window of time to apply the brakes so you can BREATHE. When you intentionally pause and breathe for a while, it gives your brain and your body a chance to calm down. It allows you to get back in the driver’s seat so that you can think through your next response.

Take A “Big Picture” Perspective

Consider the current situation, how does the reaction you are on the verge of unleashing fit into the bigger picture of your values and your goals? For example if your spouse has just said something irritating and you are now livid, if you explode, does that explosion help or hinder in reaching the goals you have for your relationship?

Use Logic To Guide Your Response

The best way to respond is to acknowledge your emotions while allowing wisdom and logic to guide you. By doing so you will be able to honestly share your feelings in an appropriate way. When you are calm, you are more in control of what you say and how you say it. You are also in a better position to hear the other person in a more objective and compassionate manner.

Sometimes it takes a little while to reach this place of calm. It’s beneficial to allow yourself a time-out. Doing so gives you space and time to get back in control of your feelings. It also allows you the time to refocus your perspective on what is most important in your relationship. It also helps you to avoid getting caught up in petty arguments that in the long run can damage your relationship.

Learning how to manage your reactions when you become upset is challenging, but it is a very important skill that you can master. Pressing pause, looking at the big picture and responding in a logical manner are the steps to achieving this. Undoubtedly it will take time to restrain the natural instinct to lash out defensively. More than likely there will be times when you will fall back into old habits of reacting harshly. This does not mean that you are a failure at this. Just keep working at it. Your relationship is worth it.