There is not one person who isn’t impacted by coronavirus. Never before has most of the world been united in one battle. We are also facing an impact on our relationships and dating lives. I’m not going to use the words ‘unprecedented’ as the changes we have seen to our dating and sexual lives has been just that for many years. The pill changed how women could have sex and apps changed the way we can date. So, this is just that, another change and we need to learn how to adapt to it, as least for the while being.
In the next coming weeks, I will focus my hardest on producing content for you that is useful and informative and will try and bring as much ‘pleasure’ into your lives. I am also encouraging you to reach out to tell me your stories, submit your Ask Dr Nikki questions and suggest any topics you want to hear me speak on or write about. This is not only about me providing you with information and advice I feel you need, but also you letting me know what you need.
I am lucky and fortunate to have a great group of people who follow and subscribe to my content and at a time like this, it is you that I want to help the best I can. Being online means there is a medium where we can interact. If you want to get in contact, please either head to my Facebook page, Dr Nikki Goldstein and send me a message or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am also working hard to provide any pleasure products you might need ( because what else do you do when you are in isolation) Currently, I am offering free condoms with every purchase, advanced purchases on products not yet on the site and soon I will be diving into the world of teledildonics. So please keep your eyes out.
There are many issues that have arisen since this virus has set in. And before I get into some of these in more depth, I just wanted to outline now what we need to be aware of with relationships and dating.
I have been entertained by the numerous memes being sent around in regards to people not wanting to be stuck at home with their spouse. These are funny because a lot of the time they are true. It doesn’t mean it’s not true love or something is wrong with your relationship if you feel this way. It’s not natural to spend this much time with one person stuck inside, so it’s ok to be feeling a little frustration (or maybe a lot of frustration) with each other.
Stress and Anxiety
Most of us experience stress and anxiety on the best of days, so when there is a world-wide pandemic on our hands, to say that stress and anxiety might increase is fair to say. It might be due to uncertainty, health worries, worried about family members or financial stresses due to job losses, but there is no escaping the negative on flow from this virus. And with more and more restrictions being in place, I can’t suggest going to the gym, getting a beauty treatment, a yoga class or a catch up with friends.
The biggest thing with this stress and anxiety is to be aware that it’s there. You might need to be creative with how to reduce this and we can address that later, but first of all you need to be aware that those little arguments, those moments when you hit heads, might just be a result of your emotions, either present or deep down inside.
Give yourself and each other a break. Take a moment to step back, breathe and let yourself know you are human and so is your partner. Apologies might go a long way in this environment as if you are lashing out or hitting heads, it’s useful to acknowledge with your significant other when that just might be due to the stress we are all currently under.
Your Emotional Needs
One of the healthy bits of information I would normally be telling you under different circumstances is not to get all your emotional needs from one person. Let your lover be your lover, your friends be your friends. Sometimes we need different things from different people and expecting just one person to be responsible for all your emotional needs and happiness can be a dangerous line to walk. Mainly because it’s impossible for just one person to meet all of those needs and can be a lot of pressure on them to do so.
Right now, that is what you might be faced with. It’s important to continue to connect with people outside of your relationship. You might engage in wine time using Facetime or even ensuring you touch base with everyone in your support circle.
I’m personally finding an increase in the time I’m connecting with friends as no one is too busy to chat and everyone is concerned about each other. Ensure that you and your partner are the ones that decide on the major things in your lives and work out how to keep yourselves safe, but that you still reach out and connect with others so that you do not place all the burden on the person you are stuck in isolation with.
Be aware of how we all process emotions
Not only are we all going through this together, but one of the difficulties is we all will process this differently depending on our coping mechanisms, upbringing and how we generally deal under stress. Your partner might have just lost their job, you might have just lost your job, separated by loved ones or just facing a general sense of worry. You need to be mindful that everyone processes this differently.
If you are dating a heterosexual male, especially in Australia, we put a lot of pressure of these men to be tough, masculine and not emotional. But during a situation like this, they are impacted too, just maybe they don’t have the outlet to express that and deal with it as well as you do. If someone is expressing themselves in a way that is not ideal, just remember this, you might need to step back and let them vent, ask them if they are ok or talk about what you are dealing with another time.
Family time and household chores
Maybe you had help around the home or a relative to assist you with the kids. Chances are now it might just be you and your partner, even in laws are a risk these days. This can change the dynamics in the home and increase the stress of isolation. It’s good to sit down and look at some boundaries and structure. In a world full of uncertainty, structure can be a good thing to know what each day might bring. It’s good to divide up the chores earlier on so each person knows what there is to do. This includes who will be home schooling if you have children and who is going out to get food, clean the house etc.
We all like a bit of space. But what on earth do you do now? You might be lucky enough to live in a home with a lot of room or be stuck in a city where space is a luxury. Be creative with what space means. It might be one person escaping to the bathroom and has a long uninterrupted bath. Or that someone gets to hog the TV to themselves two nights a week. Space is healthy, but you might just have to use your imagination on how you find it during isolation at home with someone else.
This is not a negative but actually more of a positive. How many people out there felt too busy to have sex? Came home after a big day and hit the pillow knowing they had to be up at 5 a.m. to either get to work or get to the gym? There is more time to focus on the intimate side of your relationship and it’s also something that can really help you at a time like right now.
Dating And the Hook Up Culture
Single and looking to mingle? Just starting seeing someone? Enjoy a good casual date or hook up? Well, corona just screwed up your plans. There were many that complained the hook up and dating culture was so fast paced. But now things have forcefully slowed down.
Exploring a real connection
There is an upside to all of this for those that are dating. Connections in the past have had a huge focus on the physical. What someone looks like and how someone is in bed. You still will be able to see someone physically with on line platforms, but let’s face it, you need more than good looks to keep things interesting during a pandemic. You need great banter, things in common, stuff to talk about and a connection that stems beyond the physical. What a great way to explore that and see if it’s really there.
You might not be able to Netflix and chill or go out for dinner, but it doesn’t mean you can’t date. You just need to get more creative with that. It could be Facetime with a wine or beer, ordering the same Uber eats, watching the same movie on Netflix and discussing it over Facetime or even getting old school with writing to each other over email. This isn’t forever, but it is for now and we need to embrace that.
Can you be sexual at a distance?
You might not be able to physically touch but it doesn’t mean you can’t be sexual. Thank goodness we are a society that is good at sexting. But the same rules still apply. Do you trust that person that they won’t share it on? There is such a thing as mutual masturbation and even teledildonics. You might not be able to touch but you can still get your rocks off.
Real and False Love
The biggest warning with dating during a pandemic is being aware of false love. When there is distance and especially during these times where the idea of a perfect partner might be the saving grace, a desire for a companion might override the reality that is really there. Whilst courtship online might be exciting and feel real, you also need to keep in mind that things will be different in the flesh. And also in real life not isolation. Explore connections, continue to meet people online and date them using technology, but know that it doesn’t mean a serious relationships should start. Think of this as the foreplay to possibly something more when this is over and just enjoy the online companionship during this difficult time.
We are all in this together and I’m in this with you. My life and my relationship has been greatly impacted as with most around me. Like we are in this together, we will get through this together. Please stay in touch, send me your wants and ideas and I will continue to aim to create what I can to help you.