Social distancing and the mandatory closing of dine-in restaurants and coffee shops, bars, movie theaters and gyms have many people with a lot of time on their hands, and few social activities to occupy them.
“Couples that are very active and maybe extraverts, it’s going to put a strain on them because they are not going to be able to be as active as they have been in the past,” Licensed marriage and family therapist Donnie Van Curen said.
With social activities shut down, he said you may have to rethink date nights.
“A date is really spending time together,” Van Curen said. “It’s interacting.”
“Once the laundry is done, once the dishes are done, they are standing around saying, ‘what do we do?’” Crossings Community Church licensed professional counselor Shari Murphy said.
They suggest doing things like cooking dinner, watching a movie, playing games and reading together.
“If you think about like what couples did when they first began dating, they probably went to a lot of movies and went out to eat, but they also talked non-stop,” she said.
Both Van Curen and Murphy said as hectic lives slow down, time is well spent simply talking with one another.
“There’s a lot of couples out there that don’t talk, and to me this is a great opportunity,” Van Curen said.
“That’s one of the beauties of this time, we may have time to have some of those conversations we’ve been dreading, or maybe time to dream about the future of our marriage, our family and ourselves,” Murphy said.
With the potential for good, it’s also a stressful time for many Oklahomans. Some are unsure where the next paycheck is coming from, or how to entertain the kids and keep their family healthy.
“In this current world, there are so many things that you don’t have control of, and there are just a few things that we do,” Murphy said.
“We can dream together, we can reflect,” Van Curen said. “So, that’s the silver lining, our relationships whether they are romantic or with our family, are going to be able to go deeper and be more meaningful.”
They said the world has changed over the past two weeks, many of our perspectives have also changed, and schedules have opened up; It’s up to us to make the most of it.