During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been inundated with advisories and news warning us about the risks of getting too close to people. Depending on the latest social distancing guidelines, we need to adjust our approach to intimacy and physical relationships.
What hasn’t changed is our need for emotional connection. This almost always involves some form of physical contact—a hug, a kiss, holding hands or going all the way. While safety and maintaining physical distance is of utmost importance at this time, it’s essential to take other needs into consideration.
We need to figure out how to meet our need for connection, comfort and closeness during this challenging time of isolation. Master Relationship Coach, Amie Leadingham shares her advice on how we can manage our urge to be intimate with our potential love interests while staying vigilant about the health risks involved.
Seline: How has social distancing impacted the way we interact with our dates?
Amie: The old “hook up” culture has slowed down because of the social distancing restrictions. Singles are now taking their time with getting to know people they are interested in. They are vetting each match and asking more questions before meeting in-person. In this way, they’re making sure their date is even worth the health risks involved during this pandemic.
Seline: What are some ways that people can feel closer to their romantic interests without meeting them in person?
Amie: Video chat has seen a boost when it comes to singles connecting for dates. I’ve seen singles set up a cute first date with candlelight dinner or happy hour through Zoom and Facetime. If you have been talking for a little while, another creative idea is to send beautiful care packages to each other and open them up together. This can create a sense of romance and bond.
Seline: How do we meet our need for intimacy and connection during this time?
Amie: During this time, intimacy and connection while practicing safety is very important. Many singles I work with are focusing on more meaningful questions that build intimacy. For example, “When was the last time you cried and why?” These types of questions spark deeper connections that are more long-lasting than just physical lust. If singles are looking to find their forever match, time is only going to help them bond more deeply with their love interest.
Seline: What advice do you have for those who feel lonely during this period of isolation?
Amie: It is important to keep in touch with friends and family during this time. Setup a daily video chat to stay connected, have a game night or even get outside (only if it is safe to do so). Once you feel a love connection online, there is always the opportunity to meet at a public park, to walk or hike, and practice social distancing. It is still a great way to stay connected, without being physically connected, until you fully trust the person and feel safe.
Amie Leadingham’s tips on developing intimacy and connection during quarantine:
Develop deeper and more meaningful bonds and maintain social distancing by using Say Allo’s built-in video feature.