16 Indoor Date Ideas For Staying Romantic During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Couples everywhere are facing a common conundrum, thanks to coronavirus: When your favorite restaurant is only accepting takeout orders, your go-to bar is closed for business, and basically every event in your area is canceled, what does that mean for date night? If you’re isolating with your SO, fret not. Even the coronavirus outbreak can’t squash romance, thanks to the countless indoor date ideas you can try.

As an eternal optimist, here’s my take — circumstances like these force you and your boo to get creative. If you were stuck in a rut of eating at the same go-to gastropubs or grabbing drinks at the same speakeasies on a Saturday night, now is a great time to shake things up. Just because you’re hibernating doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun, and in fact, you may be surprised at how indoor dates can boost the intimacy in your relationship.

The best indoor dates are the ones that not only allow you to bond in meaningful ways but also potentially learn new things about each other. So, it’s time to think beyond Netflix and chill. Who says you can’t get out of your comfort zone right from the comfort of your own home? These indoor dates will get the sparks flying — and the best part is, you can stay safe because you won’t have to set foot outside.

One of the many indoor date ideas is to compete in your own two-person cookoff.
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1. Compete in a cookoff.

Find a recipe that you can both realistically tackle, set up two stations with the same ingredients, set the timer, and start whipping up your own versions of the same tasty dish. Then, sample each of your creations together and compare cooking tips.

2. Engage in a sweat sesh.

Who says you can’t squeeze a workout in just because your local gym is closed? Check out apps like Dailyburn and Fitness Blender, which offer a wide variety of workout videos, from challenging HIIT classes to strength training sessions. Or, you can scour YouTube for free classes.

3. Have a candy tasting.

Satisfying your sweet tooth is a foolproof way to survive isolation. Stock up on different colors of Starbursts, Gummi Bears or Worms, Sour Straws, Hi-Chews, and whatever else you and your SO are craving — and then eat your way through the rainbow together.

4. Take personality tests.

Do you and your partner know your love languagesMyers-Briggs types, and Enneagram types? If not, consider getting to know each other better by taking one of the many online tests that are available (some of which are totally free). After you take the tests and share your results, you can look into podcasts or online resources that will offer additional insight into both of your “types.”

5. Go camping.

Channel your inner kid and build a fort out of blankets, pillows, and furniture (or set up a tent if you have one). Once you’re inside your cozy hideaway (with a batch of s’mores, of course), grab some flashlights and exchange spooky stories.

6. Get handy.

Now’s a great time to dive into that home improvement project you’ve been putting off (provided you can order the necessary supplies) — besides, painting a wall, installing shelving, or upgrading your light fixture can serve as an incredible bonding opportunity. Once you’ve completed the project together, reward yourselves with dinner delivery from your favorite local joint.

One of the best indoor date ideas is delving into a home improvement project, like painting a wall.
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7. Make your own beer.

Rather than getting a six-pack of IPAs delivered, shop online for a beer-making kit. Make a day date out of concocting your own suds (which will taste so much better knowing you brewed them), and sip on the fruits of your labor while watching a flick or playing a board game.

8. Plan a future adventure.

Got a case of cabin fever? While taking a romantic getaway may not be realistic RN, you can totally start plotting your next trip so you have something to look forward to down the line. Create a Pinterest board with some inspiration for destinations and activities, and start researching hotels so that when jet-setting becomes feasible again, you can finally take the #baecation of your dreams.

9. Film your own baking show.

You and your SO could be one video away from becoming YouTube sensations. So, whip out your smartphone and film your experience trying out a brand new dessert recipe. At the very least, documenting this date will offer a nice dose of nostalgia down the line.

10. Watch a concert.

Even though live performances are currently canceled, you can still find a recording of your favorite band or solo act and recreate the experience (with the added bonus of no strangers spilling beer on you). Best of all, you can sing along as loud as you want to. Check out NPR’s Tiny Desk series, which features intimate video performances from such artists as Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, and the Jonas Brothers.

11. Have a couple’s casino night.

Bust out the cards and chips and make a few friendly wagers — and if you don’t want to place bets using real money, consider chores or fun personal favors to cash in on.

One of the indoor date ideas you might not think of is having your own casino night.
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12. Plan a DIY paint night.

YouTube is a goldmine of free step-by-step painting classes, and you and your boo will no doubt have a blast working on your individual interpretations of the artwork — even if they don’t come out looking like masterpieces. Order supplies on Amazon, or just use whatever tools you already have at home. You can even swap paintings at the end to hang in your respective abodes.

13. Have an indoor picnic.

No bug spray required for this romantic indoor date — all you need is a towel or blanket, a basket or bin with nosh and libations, and perhaps a game or two to keep you occupied.

14. Plot out a scavenger hunt for each other.

Using sticky notes, write out clever clues that lead your partner to different locations around your home until they hunt down their thoughtful prize.

15. Start a two-person book club.

Listening to the same book together can prompt all kinds of inspiring discussions about your relationship, your goals, and your own life experiences. If you have a library card, you can try connecting your account to Hoopla, a digital service that boasts a vast selection of audiobooks.

16. Create your own mindfulness retreat.

There’s hardly a better time than now to focus on being present and aware of your thoughts and feelings. Turn your home into a mini retreat for a day, complete with meditation and yoga sessions, mindfulness exercises, healthy eats, and a steady supply of hot tea.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. 

 

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Hidden Deal Breakers In Dating You Never Notice Right Away — But Should

While the first weeks (or months) of dating can and should be the fun, carefree stage in which you’re simply learning the dynamics of a potential relationship, they are also crucial in that they can determine overall compatibility. As intense as it sounds, these initial dates can be very telling — especially if you pay attention to hidden deal breakers. And although some signs of trouble can be more obvious — difference in life and relationship goals, negativity, aggression, etc. — some are carefully secreted under the surface, peeking out discreetly and sneakily here and there.

“Red flags are one of the most important things to look out for in dating because they tell you what kind of person you are dealing with,” says Melissa Hobley, the Global CMO at OkCupid. “Women in particular tend to make excuses for red flags — but take these seriously. As the saying goes, ‘When people show you who they are, believe them.'”

That said, the more under-the-radar the issue, the more cause for concern, as these little deal breakers can often manifest into something truly catastrophic if they go unchecked for too long. Hobley offers this example: “Excited about a new person you’re seeing, but he or she seems a bit too concerned about the fact that you have other guy or girl friends? You could be dealing with some serious jealousy issues, so don’t ignore these.”

An example like the one mentioned above can easily fall through the cracks, especially when you’re in the full infatuation phase. You could easily misidentify jealousy for devotion or avid interest. Sometimes this red flag radar doesn’t truly kick until you’ve had a couple bad experiences under your belt. “The more people date, the more they learn about themselves and what they are looking for,” says Hobley. “We know that 66 percent of OkCupid users say they become more specific over time in what they want in a potential partner, and I think it’s equally important to figure out what you don’t want as it is to know what you do.”

So what are some of the more under-the-radar deal breakers you should be wising up to, you ask? Ahead, six major ones that should be detected early on, even in their subtlest states, according to relationship experts.

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Too Eager To Impress

Although it’s natural to want to make the best impression possible on your date or potential partner, you don’t want someone who is inauthentic. “It may be tempting to put on the best face or to tell your dating partner information about you that you think he or she will find impressive,” says Rachel Astarte, psychotherapist, transformational life coach, author, and educator. “Certainly this is something that we don’t want to do, but it’s important to be aware when the person you’re on a date with is doing the same. Pay attention to how eager he or she is to impress you with stories about his or her life. It may be that they are not entirely factual, which you will find out down the line.”

Conversation Monopolizer

There’s nothing better than those long, open talks with the person you’re interested in. You know the ones — the dates that last for hours and you never want to end. However, be aware of the dynamics of your conversation and who is doing all the talking. “Beware of a dating partner who monopolizes the conversation,” says Astarte. “Not only could this be a sign of narcissistic tendencies, but it may indicate low self-esteem, hence the need to control the conversation. Again, we should not have to build ourselves up in order to be liked.”

Piggybacking off the above, lack of empathy can really shine through in these initial conversations. Again, in the haze of lust, you might not notice little flaws in your emotional connection with your date. Try to be aware of how they respond to deeper and more vulnerable discussions. “If you share your emotional distress and they respond in unkind ways then it’s a red flag,” says Dr. Wyatt Fisher, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Marriage Counselor.

How They Treat Others

Even the most brief interaction can clue you in on someone’s character. Simple manners and kindness can really shine through when you’re out and about … or not. “When you’re going out to eat with the person on a date, pay attention to how they treat your server, bartender, Uber driver, and other folks around you,” says Hobley. “People overlook red flags in these scenarios that become huge issues later on.”

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Flakiness

Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, it’s normal for plans to change, but keep an eye out for chronic inconsistency. If your date is constantly flaking or you’re going too long in-between dates, it could be a warning of things to come. “The proof is in the pursuit,” says Dee Strickland, Certified Dating & Relationship Coach/ Expert. “If your new beau goes missing for days at a time or makes plans with you and bails last minute, or you’re getting stood up with no notice; ditch him or her. This person has no respect for your time. You want a partner that values and appreciates the time you’ve set aside for them.”

Disparaging The Ex

Yes, breakups are difficult, hurtful, and can leave you with a multitude of scars and baggage. However, someone who badmouths their ex openly and extensively could have some character issues that are cause for concern. “Sure, at some point, there may be a safe space created within your relationship to be vulnerable and share past disappointments or hurts caused by an ex, but this is a red flag that should not be ignored early on,” says Strickland. “This type of person usually tends to be an expert at negging (an act of emotional manipulation whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment or other negative comment to another person to undermine their confidence and increase their need of the manipulator’s approval,) and you will only be signing up to be his next victim.”

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Too Much Too Soon

It’s flattering and typically an easy boost to one’s self-esteem when a person you’re interested in wants to spend as much time with you as possible. However, there is such a thing as jumping in too quickly. “People who commit to quickly — this is exciting at first, but can speak to underlying, problematic issues or even mental health concerns,” says Lauren O’Connell, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Private Practice in Santa Monica, California. Also, the relationship guru warns against people who get vulnerable too quickly, as it can also reinforce the above point. “Too much too soon — I would be cautious about people who pour out their life story to you on a first date,” she explains.

 

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Is It Safe To Get Pregnant During The Coronavirus Outbreak?

The coronavirus has changed almost everything about people’s daily routines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing guidelines recommend that people avoid public gatherings, stay indoors as much as possible, and limit their social interactions. If you’re quarantining with your significant other, you have a lot of time to watch movies together, eat frozen dinners, and hook up (not necessarily in that order). In fact, with all this time on your hands, you may be having more sex than usual. But as to whether it’s safe to get pregnant during the coronavirus outbreak, that information is still unclear.

COVID-19 (the disease caused by the novel coronavirus) is still new, so much is unknown about its effects on people. “All that we know right now is extremely limited data,” explains Dr. Lauren Streicher, MD, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University.

A March 16 study of four babies in China found that COVID-19 was not transmitted from mother to baby at the time of birth. The CDC says the virus has not been detected in samples of breast milk or amniotic fluid. The CDC also reports “a small number of reported problems with pregnancy or delivery in babies born to mothers who tested positive for COVID-19 during their pregnancy,” like pre-term birth. However, it is yet unknown whether the virus itself is to blame for this, or whether these issues might have been due to unrelated pregnancy complications.

However, as Streicher points out, “there’s a very big difference between a term baby versus a baby in development.” The CDC website states it currently does not know if a pregnant woman with COVID-19 can pass the coronavirus to her fetus or baby during pregnancy or delivery. “Certainly we know there are infectious issues that can cause problems with growth and development of the baby,” Streicher points out. Certain bacterial infections, viruses, and untreated STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea have been linked to birth defects and pregnancy loss.

Adene Sanchez/E+/Getty Images

Tristan Bickman, MD, OB/GYN and author of Whoa, Baby!, tells Elite Daily that “as far as we know, it is safe to get pregnant during the coronavirus outbreak.” However, Streicher urges caution if you’re planning to conceive. “I would put it off until we have a little bit more data,” she says. “But that’s not based on anything. We don’t know.”

It’s worth noting that pregnancy involves regular doctors appointments, which means you’ll have to take more trips outside and be surrounded by more people. If you are immunocompromised or quarantining with someone who is at high risk for severe illness from the coronavirus, this might not be something you want to do.

If you’re currently pregnant, the CDC recommends doing the same things as the general public to protect yourself: avoid people who are sick, wash your hands often with soap and water, and cover your cough with your elbow. “Isolate yourself and do everything you can to not be exposed,” Streicher says. You can always call your doctor if you’d like individual advice. An OB/GYN can answer questions about whether it will be safe to deliver the baby at a hospital, or whether home birth might be right for you.

If you are pregnant and want to get an abortion, you may have to do a bit of extra work to find care. According to Planned Parenthood’s website, the organization continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19, but it does not clearly specify whether all clinics will remain open throughout this crisis. The National Abortion Federation recommends calling the clinics in your area to confirm their operating hours when you make an appointment.

blackCAT/E+/Getty Images

As far as your sex life goes, you don’t have to put all physical contact on hold. If you’re self-isolating with a monogamous partner, you can be intimate as long as neither of you has been around any potentially contaminated situations in the last 14 days. “As best we know, the COVID virus does not seem to be transmitted in semen,” Streicher notes. But it can be transmitted through an infected person’s respiratory droplets and the mucous membranes in the face, so kissing someone who might have been exposed to the coronavirus might not be the best idea. “I’m not going to tell someone not to have sex if it’s someone they’re intimate with on a daily basis anyway,” Streicher says. “Is this the time to go out and have sex with strangers? Probably not.”

Bickman encourages her patients to exercise caution when having sex. “Make sure to remain as safe as possible and use protection,” she urges. Use your regular method of birth control, and don’t have any sexual contact with someone you aren’t already quarantining with. As the months progress, more data will likely emerge about the specific effects of COVID-19 on pregnancy. Until then, it’s up to your individual discretion as far as how to proceed. “For me, I would say, put [pregnancy] on hold for a month or two,” Streicher says. “If you’re already pregnant, you just have to wait for information to come in.” Do your best to stay safe, isolated, and healthy while scientists continue to learn more about the virus’ effects.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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This Is What It’s Like to be in a Relationship with Someone who has ADHD

It’s a condition that affects an estimated 3-4% of adults, but as many as 90% of people with ADHD go undiagnosed. That adds up to a lot of individuals – and couples – wondering… is this how it is for everyone else? As a woman with a ‘typical’ brain, 30-year-old Kari Biondi* reflects on the challenges she faced with her non-typical boyfriend.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it became clear that Tom’s brain was built differently to mine – like most other people’s.

We met we were in our early twenties and I was struck by how easily he wore his emotions. He was always super affectionate, would cry openly if he was moved and was able to empathize and strike up a rapport with anyone. He didn’t talk about his feelings or inner life as such, but I suppose I thought it wasn’t necessary given how open he seemed. Other people – men – found his comfort in expressing himself confusing, and when we started dating one friend of his told me that he was surprised: because Tom was so ‘in touch with his feminine side’, as the friend saw it, he’d always thought he was gay.

The flip side to this was what I came to term WTF moments – rare bursts of anxiety triggered by thinking someone was taking the piss. Often people were being lax or just had their own stuff going on – that’s life – but he’d take it personally, becoming hurt and defensive. This is where I got confused – how could someone be so empathetic in some situations but so damning in others? A lot of his friends have been dropped over the years simply for being crap at arranging to meet for drinks.

It was only after we moved in together that some aspects of his behavior began to grate. Overall we had a cozy routine, interesting plans and lots in common – we went to work, came home and chilled – but his reaction to snubs or unfairness could create tension. He would freak if I was late home without letting him know, despite it being something he was guilty of himself. Years passed like this until he admitted that he saw my tardiness as a sign that I’d stopped caring about him and it started to dawn that there was more going on under the surface than I’d thought. Other habits I just found annoying. Cooking together was a nightmare: I’m lazy about following recipes but when Tom cooks every single ingredient has to be weighed exactly. He takes ages, and gets frustrated by that and the inevitable mess from all the precise prep he does.

There are times when I lose him to his deep dives – what I’d later learn were actually just distractions that tap into his brain’s reward center rather than some noble effort to educate himself. As well as airplanes, over the years he’s had obsessions with drones, Japan’s role in WWII, Westerns and watches. I’d joke that he’d be a total boss in any pub-quiz team, but when he comes across a new topic he loves he can be impossible to reach, burying his head in his iPad, scrolling until his interest wanes. I’d call it ‘nerd mode’ to lighten the mood but when he was like that nothing got done and it was lonely. I would get frustrated seeing him ‘entertain’ himself while I’m picking up his shit. More frustrating was when his distractions were more fleeting and he’d be even more difficult to pin down. I’d ask him to help clean up and he’d pull out the hoover, but five minutes later I’d find him online shopping for random things – an oven thermometer and trick yo-yo are two recent purchases that still sit in their boxes. Jobs would frequently get started then dropped.

I coped with this by being pragmatic, accepting that that’s what life with Tom was like. But then, a close friend died and Tom became depressed. He dropped far, sometimes hidden, sometimes loud and dramatic but was even harder to reach. He needed professional help.

His first appointment was with a psychiatrist for a formal diagnosis before moving into therapy and the doctor confirmed the obvious depression but also ran some question-based tests which suggested another thing – that Tom had ADHD. When he came out of the appointment it was almost like he was looking at himself for the first time. He was relieved that support for his depression was coming, but had to feel his way around the ADHD and what it meant for his past and his future. A week later, after more tests, the diagnosis was confirmed.

We both researched the condition but this was where I went full nerd: ADHD didn’t capture Tom’s imagination the way planes had. The more I learned, the closer I felt to Tom and the more I understood his view of the world and found ways to work with him on it – and for him to work with me. Now, if I’m going out, I never give him a ‘home by’ time and check in regularly so I keep control of my space and he doesn’t get worked up. If he’s distracted, I offer up things we can focus on together like going out to eat or watching a film. It’s taken time, but he’s come to understand why he’d act one way when everyone else seemed to behave in another. It opened the door to his inner world, his confusion, his sense of fighting against the world. One thing we still have to overcome is his resistance to seeing some of his behaviors as ADHD and not just ‘Tom’ – that’s a thing for him, that being ADHD somehow depersonalizes his experiences and responsibilities. But the diagnosis has given us the right language to talk about feelings and behaviors and improve our relationship. It’s been a blessing.

What’s the deal with ADHD?

Melissa Orlov, author of The ADHD Effect on Marriage, explains the unique qualities – and trials – of being in love with someone with ADHD.

People who have ADHD have a different kind of neurochemistry and a different physical setup of the brain than people who don’t have it and it’s usually a hereditary condition. It results in very specific symptoms that can include hyperactivity, difficulty initiating and following through on tasks and emotionality, which means that you respond more easily and quickly emotionally than other people do. ADHD also goes hand in hand with anxiety, depression and substance abuse issues.

Chronic distractibility is the number one symptom of adult ADHD, and when you’re a neurotypical – ie, non-ADHD – partner it can leave you feeling unloved or ignored. It’s not that the person doesn’t love you, it’s that the person is distracted. The other big issue has to do with difficulty following through on tasks. Over time, because so many promises are made and broken, the trust in the relationship will erode. Again, it’s not because the person doesn’t love you or is untrustworthy, it’s because they have these unmanaged symptoms.

Between 80% and 90% of adults with ADHD are undiagnosed, and a diagnosis helps the ADHD partner understand the strategies they can use to improve their reliability and performance in the relationship, and for both people in the relationship to understand and interpret the behaviors. If you don’t know that you have ADHD in the relationship, you don’t understand why things are happening or why they’re so pervasive, which is frustrating for both partners.

Almost all of the people that I have worked with who have ADHD are quite emotionally sensitive. It’s a lot to do with shame: ADHD partners have been told their whole lives that they’d be happier and more successful if they work harder and pay attention and so by adulthood they can be sensitive about that and taking blame for things that are beyond their control. Both partners have to understand that they make a contribution to the issues between them.

 

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7 Communication Tips For Couples Working From Home, To Keep The Peace

It’s easy to feel like you can never get enough one-on-one time with your partner. Enter the coronavirus pandemic, and suddenly, you have too much time. Couples across the country are facing a different dynamic as they’re living and working from home together morning, noon, and night. All that togetherness can result in some friction if you’re not used to being around each other all the time, which is why effective communication with your partner when you’re working from home is especially valuable now.

“In this era of social distancing, working from home with your partner can cause tension and friction that may otherwise have been previously avoided,” says Christie Tcharkhoutian, licensed marriage and family therapist and professional matchmaker at Three Day Rule. “Every relationship needs a balance of autonomy and intimacy. As the saying goes, ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder,’ and it rings true, because the time a couple spends apart during the work day can enhance the quality of time they enjoy when they are together. By working in the same space, they may feel easily annoyed or irritable because of their lack of autonomy and space. Having a conversation to set appropriate boundaries will be important for couples to get through this time.”

Here are some helpful ways the experts say you can step up your communication game, so that you can keep the peace while you social distance and work from home.

1. Talk About Your Needs For Space Up Front.

Kanawa_Studio/E+/Getty Images

If lack of personal space has become an issue in your new work-from-home situation, Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples’ therapist in Los Angeles, suggests taking a proactive approach by initiating a conversation around one another’s needs right from the start. He recommends asking questions like: “Is one of you more private than the other and needs more emotional space? What do you need to work in a confined space? How much do [we] want WFH to impact our lives as a couple and as individuals?”

Then, make sure to follow through by giving each other the space you agreed upon, Anita Chlipala, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of First Comes Us: The Busy Couple’s Guide to Lasting Lovetells Elite Daily. “Sometimes, friction arises because one person is in a bad mood and the other wants to fix it. Feelings don’t need to be fixed. Space can help a partner work through their mood or even just sleeping on it can help them feel better the next day.”

2. Regularly Check In About Ways You Can Help Each Other.

Your needs in your relationship should be an ongoing conversation, says Dr. Brown. “Spend time at the beginning of each work day and ask your partner this question: ‘What can I do to make your day easier today?’ Simply asking that question will likely be very helpful because it sends the message that you are aware that they may have some needs that you would like to fulfill for them, if at all possible.”

3. Limit Negative Talk To A Specific Window Of Time.

Even though it feels like there’s plenty to stress over, Chlipala says it’s important to not let negativity take over your whole day. Instead, limit negative talk to a specific time when you can both vent together. “Relationships can buckle under the pressure of stress and negativity,” she says. “Try to contain negativity in daily gripe-fests. Keep them to 15-20 minutes each where you share your concerns about everything except your relationship. On particularly stressful days, or if you feel a spike in your anxiety or depression, have an additional gripe-fest.”

4. Get On The Same Page.

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One easy communication shortcut you can apply to help you stay on the same page is to share your work calendars, Brenda Della Casa, a relationship coach and author of Cinderella Was A Liar, tells Elite Daily. “A shared calendar is a great way to give your partner insight into what your week looks like. If you have an important client call, for example, they can plan around that.” It also helps you get a clearer picture of what the other dealing with work-wise, which can assist with the next tip.

5. Empathy Is Everything.

If you want to keep your lines of communication healthy, even in tight quarters, Chlipala says the key is to “empathize, empathize, empathize.” That means making sure that your approach to any dealings with your SO begins with putting yourself in their shoes, especially when they’re struggling or feeling frustrated. “This is not the time to try to fix your partner’s feelings or have them look on the bright side. Your partner may feel invalidated or like you don’t care about what they’re going through. Empathize first with their feelings, and you can ask if they’d like you to help with problem-solving.”

6. Pick Your Battles.

If you want to keep things as peaceful and calm as possible through these tricky and emotionally challenging times, Chlipala says it’s essential to choose which discussions are really worth your energy. “You’re going to have let some things slide. Your partner may be doing their best or may not be equipped to handle stress the way you are. Focus on the important things to you and bring up your concerns gently.”

7. Give Each Other The Benefit Of The Doubt.

Amax Photo/E+/Getty Images

Finally, even when picking your battles sparingly, there’ll likely be moments when you or your partner decidethere’s something worth discussing. In those cases, Chlipala recommends entering the conversation with the intention of giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. “Working from home increases the number of interactions you have and also increases the opportunities for misinterpretation. Start with giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. Assume positive or neutral intention. And when necessary, check things out with each other.”

Making the transition to working from home with your partner may be challenging for some couples, and that’s OK. The key is to remember that you’re in this together, and by improving your communication skills, you’re strengthening yourselves as a team. This time won’t last forever. “Acknowledge your fears but try not to be a prisoner to them. At some point, all of this is going to end. That is the historical nature of pandemics. They have a beginning, a middle, and an end,” says Dr. Brown. “This will be over at some point and life will go on.”

 

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What Men Want: 7 Traits Men Look For In The Lady Of Their Dreams

For years, we’ve talked about finding the right woman — someone we can ride the waves of life with, who will stand by our side for better or for worse.

As a man, committing to The One is among the most important decisions we make in life; some may even argue it is the most important.

The person you decide to share your world with may help you plan out your life, pick you up when you’re down, and make you a better person just by virtue of being around you. But when you’re in the midst of that process, it’s difficult to know what traits men want when they’re looking for the lady of their dreams. Moreover, do soulmates really exist? Or is the concept of “the one” just an everlasting myth? Shula Melamed, a relationship and well-being coach, previously told Elite Daily that actively looking for your life partner may actually be counterproductive.

“A healthier and more balanced approach might be to understand that there are many people you can connect with, but that they might not all be relationship material because of one reason or another,” Melamed said. “We have many chances in life to meet and connect, it’s just whether or not we allow ourselves the opportunity to do so.”

There’s so much that can go into deciding who to share your life with, so I compiled a list of the qualities to look for whenever you feel a spark with someone new.

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1. They’re Reliable.

When you’re building a life with someone, one of the key tenants of your relationship is trust. The ability to trust someone, to rely on the fact that you’ll be there for each other through the ups and downs, can be crucial in any relationship.

“Reliability is a key factor to look for in a future spouse,” licensed clinical psychotherapist and Love Victory founder Dr. LeslieBeth Wish previously told elite Daily. “If a partner is responsible in regards to work and their finances, and you can depend on them overall, that’s a good indicator they’ll be a quality life partner.”

2. They’re Respectful.

Another foundation aspect of any healthy relationship is mutual respect. If you and your partner struggle to respect each other’s boundaries and bodies, you might not be dating your life partner.

“To find that your partner respects you would be basically them listening and responding when you basically identify them,” Benjamin Ritter, MBA, MPH, EdD, founder of the Breakup Supplement and consultant for Live for Yourself Consulting, previously told Elite Daily. “You go to your partner and you tell them that you need something from them,” and they respond well to it.

3. They’re Supportive.

A relationship is made up of two (or more) individuals with their own dreams, goals, and desires. It’s vital that all members of a partnership are supportive of each other’s intentions in order for everyone to thrive.

“Having an SO that encourages, supports, and helps you to believe in yourself can actually enable you to push through the insecurities or self-doubt, overcome the necessary obstacles, and ultimately, achieve your dreams,” Dr. Wish told elite Daily.

4. They’re your best friend.

If you’re building a life with someone, your relationship will encompass not just the serious stuff, but the silly, trivial, more intimate moments, as well. Dating someone who is not just your partner, but your partner-in-crime can make even the smallest of moments into an adventure.

“True lovers always want to be friends at the base,” Dr. Sherrie Campbell, licensed counselor, psychologist, and marriage and family therapist, previously explained to Elite Daily. “It’s not all about sex. Friendship and playing together help couples stay together.”

Those dating a water sign should know they're hopeless romantics

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5. They listen.

Active listening — not just hearing, but taking in everything your partner is saying and engaging with it — can be a fundamental part of any working relationship, romantic or otherwise.

“An ideal life partner is one who can listen to your concerns without reacting too quickly or strongly as well as tackle any issues without getting defensive,” Dr. Campbell said. “When you have a partner who can hear you out when you’re feeling vulnerable or they have done something you don’t like and they can remain open — that is priceless.”

6. They’re self-aware.

Self-awareness in no way means perfection, but it does imply that both partners are working on themselves individually. Self-awareness can create security, which makes room for vulnerability, communication, and trust.

“For some, it can mean that you are comfortable being your true authentic self,” says Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent relationship therapist in Los Angeles, previously told Elite Daily.

7. They communicate.

Say it with me for the people in the back: Open and honest communication is the foundation of any happy and healthy relationship. If you and your partner are building a life together, it’s crucial that you feel comfortable communicating with each other.

“Hopefully, there is enough trust that you can at least feel secure enough to talk about why you may be feeling insecure in your relationship,” Dr. Gary Brown said. “Sometimes just opening the door can help alleviate some of the anxiety. Other times, you may get confirmation that there are good reasons that one or both of you are feeling insecure. Having these conversations requires a certain degree of trust, vulnerability, openness, and self-awareness.”

Remember: You don’t need a “life partner,” “soulmate,” or “the one” to make you a complete, happy, healthy person. You are enough, all on your own. But if you’re dating someone you love, and you’re wondering if they’re your ever after, look out for these seven traits.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Is Dating Safe During The Coronavirus Outbreak? Here’s How To Do It

In an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are encouraging people to practice “social distancing,” a term that refers to making a conscious effort to reduce close contact with others. If that phrase makes you feel 10 times lonelier, you aren’t the only one. But for the sake of keeping yourself and those in your community healthy, it’s best to avoid non-essential hangouts and hookups. It’s possible to date safely during the coronavirus outbreak, but it requires a little creativity and flexibility… not to mention WiFi.

The CDC’s most recent guidelines at the time of publication note that the virus spreads primarily through contact between people who are within six feet of each other and is carried via respiratory droplets (from coughing and sneezing, for example). The CDC recommends canceling or postponing gatherings of 50 or more people, and several city and state governments have mandated the cease of large-scale events, as well as the temporary closure of restaurants and bars. Additionally, Belgian economist Andreas Backhaus analyzed data comparing COVID-19 cases in Italy and South Korea and found that young people (ages 20 – 29) are often asymptomatic carriers — meaning they feel healthy, but can still pass the virus to other people.

That’s why many immunologists and officials recommend avoiding non-essential contact with others. “The need to practice social distancing is something we all should do to reduce the spread,” Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D, a Columbia professor of microbiology and immunology, tells Elite Daily. “Most people will only have mild disease, but the concern is that older people, or those with health problems, will have serious disease requir[ing] hospitalization. We do not want to overburden hospitals, because if they are, they won’t be able to provide proper care.”

It may not be worth putting yourself and others at risk in order to meet new people right now, but if you’re DTF (and here, that means down to flirt), you have options.

“Humans are social creatures and during this period of physical isolation, people are looking for alternative ways to socialize,” says Lyndsey Wheeler, co-founder of Here/Now, a dating company that organizes singles’ mixers. “Dating shouldn’t have to stop just because we can’t go out to bars or restaurants.”

Here’s how to keep your love life fun while practicing social distancing.

Make The Most Of Dating Apps

Kaitlyn McQuin@kaitlynmcquin

You know who’s really gonna suffer during this social distancing?

Dudes on dating apps

Welcome back to courtship, Brad. Welcome back to talking to a gal for WEEKS prior to meeting.

We’re pen pals now, my dude.

We bout to get Jane Austen up in here.

Now, write me a poem.

77.5K people are talking about this

Let’s be real, a good chunk of your love life has probably always revolved around the internet. So this should come as second nature to you: It’s 100% safe to swipe for hours and flirt endlessly with cute strangers from the safety and comfort of your own couch. In these strange times, nothing is hotter than a person who can woo you with words. Don’t be afraid to make the first move and send over a swoon-worthy compliment. Get creative and fire off cheeky banter. Ask thought-provoking questions to keep the conversation flowing.

Flirt Over Video Chat

Sweet quotes for V-day Instagram captions.
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Rather than meeting up for a date, consider a FaceTime date instead. “It’s one way to stay connected to real people without having to meet in the physical world,” a rep for Bumble previously told Elite Daily. Rather than struggling to hear your date over a crowded bar and doing the awkward wallet dance at the end of the night, you each bring your own beverages or snacks to your computer or phone and get to know each other online.

If you’re a college student, you can sign up for Love Over Zoom, the brainchild of two Yale computer science majors that uses an algorithm to match up students around the country for Zoom dates. Ileana Valdez, one of the co-founders, previously told Elite Daily, “Because we were going to be isolated, it was OK to ‘shoot your shot’ and be brave about dating.”

If you’re in New York or Los Angeles, Here/Now is offering virtual mixers of 10 people at a time on the evenings of March 17, 18, and 19. “We’ll curate the group, invite everyone to set the vibe in their own living rooms (for example, light a candle and pour themselves a drink), have a host present to guide the experience, and put people into a series of short one-on-one conversations to get to know each other better,” Wheeler explains. “Afterwards, we’ll help connect anyone who felt a mutual spark so they can keep up the virtual hangs until we’re able to meet IRL once again.”

While it might feel weird at first to conduct your entire dating life from the safety of your own home, the very first eHarmony and Tinder users probably felt the same way back in the day — and now, dating sites and apps have transformed dating for good. Love Is Blind recently demonstrated just how powerful conversation can be. By the time the threat of this outbreak passes, you might have already met the Cameron to your Lauren. Stay safe, friends.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly