The COVID-19 pandemic has affected your day-to-day activities for almost a full year now. Sometimes it’s even hard to remember pre-COVID times when you made the last-minute decision to go to dinner or sit at a bar for happy hour, or even join in a communal table at a popular coffee shop. The pandemic has reduced the frequency of these popular social activities and because these experiences are highly scarce and limited now, they are valued more than ever before. You likely have a renewed appreciation for activities that you once took for granted, including date nights out of the house with your partner, get togethers with large groups of friends, and gatherings like concerts and theater productions.
In this post, we discuss the experiences of some of our clients at Center for Shared Insight in Denver, Colorado around how to make the most of dating your partner with the renewed perspective of the pandemic. We also discuss how to stay appreciative and why it’s important to value social experiences during this time, following such limited opportunities to connect in person with others.
Just like the first time
You may just be starting to feel that it is safe enough to go out to dinner with your partner. Thankfully, restaurants have creatively responded to this pandemic with solutions including personal outdoor and heated dining tents to tables placed far more than six feet apart. If you have started to talk about getting back to normal and going out on dates with your partner again, you likely feel excited and inspired to make the night out great -- just like you once did when you initially met. Therefore, you may be putting far more effort into thinking about how to make the date night special, including what to wear, how to style your hair, creative ways to do your makeup, small surprises for your partner, and all the other parts of the experience that were overlooked pre-pandemic when a night out was expected and routine.
Lean into these feelings of excitement, treat it like a brand new thing, and honor the experience like you did on your first date with your partner. Take time to carefully select the perfect restaurant by reading reviews and previewing menus. Put extra thought into what you’ll wear and even brainstorm some creative topics of conversation you might bring up while you are out. Think through whether you want to have a before-dinner happy hour drink or coffee somewhere and even stop somewhere special for dessert or star-gazing afterward. Think back to all the considerations you made on your first date, and recognize how much the experience of dating after COVID can renew the feelings you may have had initially in your relationship. Embrace the excitement and anticipation of a new experience as you date your partner again.
Respark your relationship
It’s no secret that the COVID pandemic has been hard on relationships, and even friendships. As you re-emerge into pre-COVID routines and social opportunities, note the feelings of excitement and appreciation that bubble up. Carry that excitement into resparking relationships and friendships. Make opportunities to connect with others special, meaningful, and creative as limited social gatherings are allowed alongside vaccine distribution and better treatments.
Likely, some relationships in your life were greatly impacted by the pandemic and the need to create social distance. Consider how you can use this excitement about safely socializing, even just with close friends or family, to show others how important they are to you and how much you value them, even if you didn’t do a good job expressing that throughout the last year.
At Center for Shared Insight in Denver, Colorado, we are starting to see clients excited by the opportunity to date their partner again with a safe dinner out or other social opportunities. We encourage you to savor and build anticipation around these nights out as a way to rekindle the romantic energy between you and your partner at a time when relationships have been tested more than ever by the need to stay home and isolated from people outside your family. If you are struggling with your relationships and reconnecting with your partner as life starts to move toward normal, contact our team of therapists to help you understand that journey.