Danielle Robin is a conscious relationship coach for the modern couple. In this mini series for Zola, she's breaking down exactly how couples can not only survive quarantine, but thrive together throughout it.
If you’re one of the 845,000 couples who postponed their spring wedding, or one of the many who are considering postponing your summer celebration, then you have likely experienced the impact of that decision on multiple levels.
On a financial level, you’ve spent hours on the phone with venues and vendors, trying to recoup costs. On an emotional level, postponing a wedding with this level of uncertainty in the world can feel devastating.
Fortunately, wedding planning is so much more than a bunch of financial transactions and scheduling challenges. It’s an incredible project that requires both partners to share in daily collaboration. In most cases, planning a wedding is a multi-month hobby and a rite of passage that marks the beginning of life as a married couple. It’s an activity that calls for creativity, communication, and consensus.
Now that’s on temporary hold and you may be wondering how to keep up that incredible partnership momentum. Here are some ways to take on mini projects and activities that will allow you to keep playing co-pilot until the wedding planning delays have been lifted.
Keep learning together.
If this past month has shown us anything, it’s that we really can learn anything we want on the Internet. Platforms like MasterClass and MindValley are offering courses ranging from interior design to knife skills to negotiation. There’s something for just about everything you always wanted to try, and everything you never even knew you wanted to try.
Why not pick a short online course to take together? Instead of spending evenings watching the next season of something, you could spend them learning mixology or basic magic tricks. You’ll gain a shared goal, a new skill, and probably some pretty great inside jokes as well. My partner and I took a class on how to improve our memory, and we’re still talking about it and using the skills a week later.
Get your hands dirty.
Before electronic devices held most of our attention, we tended to do more physical activities—and not just exercise. Basketball, playing with clay, planting things in your backyard; These are all things you’ve probably done or considered doing a few times in your life.
If you could bring arts and crafts back into your life, what would you do? If you could play more of something, what would you play? Your partner is your friend, lover, and ally in life… why not explore doing a new (or old) activity together?
Bringing some shared hands-on activities into your quarantine is a fantastic way to take a break from the screens and bring back an element of fun that many of us haven’t experienced in a long time. These can be short projects- I recommend setting aside a few hours every weekend and alternating suggesting activities.
In our house, we ordered a huge puzzle, started a tradition of Tuesday sunset hikes, and created a fictional artisanal food brand that we create new products for every week. So far we’ve perfected our granola, almond milk, bone broth, and a whole array of soups.
Create an experience for others.
One of my all-time favorite ways to experience partnership is through coming together and sharing your love with other people. That’s really what a wedding is all about, telling the story of who you are as a couple. Just because there is a pause on the wedding, there doesn’t need to be a pause on sharing your unique couple magic with the world.
Here are some ways to bring others into your world:
- Cook dinner together. Is there a meal you typically make for dinner parties? Set up a Facetime or Zoom and teach your friend show to make it, cooking class style. Then, you can all sit down as a group and virtually enjoy dinner together.
- Create a new dance challenge. If you found yourself in a TikTok hole and now know a bunch of new dances you didn’t before, challenge your partner and your friends to learn them, too.
- Form an exercise group. Remember some of your favorite moves from your workout classes? Or maybe you’re discovering new ones from your at-home workouts? Get together virtually with friends and take turns hosting couple workout “classes.”
It might feel silly to share the weird things you do behind closed doors, but the world is hungry for ideas and inspiration. And, even if you don’t end up hosting a class or creating a YouTube channel, simply taking the time to plan your class or record some videos is an incredible project to take on together.
There are many reasons to pursue extracurricular relationship interests that go one step beyond Netflix and chill (which is also important, by the way!). With the current world situation as challenging as it is, it’s increasingly important to find joy and stimulation within the confines of quarantine.
You’ll create new memories and opportunities for laughter and play. And, in discovering something new together, you’ll discover newness in each other.