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Damona Hoffman

Source: Quincy Gow / Damona Hoffman

Quarantine, isolation, social distancing—the coronavirus crisis continues to spike in U.S. and has most of the country stuck inside the house for the foreseeable future. If you’re lucky, your significant other is keeping you company while you both take the necessary precautionary measures to protect public health.

So, what do you do when you’re trapped in the house with just you and bae? No brainer—have sex! Even Dr. Oz prescribes sex for couples quarantining together, and dating expert Damona Hoffman agrees with everyone’s favorite daytime television doctor. “Sex with your partner is an excellent way to build trust and intimacy, particularly during a time when we are isolated from others. You might find that you and your partner are craving it more because we are being deprived of closeness in other areas of our lives right now,” said the host of the Dates & Mates podcast.

But what do you do when you’re all sexed out? Here Damona shares intimate date ideas for when you’re done “doing it” and need something else to keep the spark in your relationship going while waiting out the pandemic. Plus, she gives her expert opinion on how to manage your relationship when things aren’t a match-made-in-quarantine-paradise.

A Quarantine Twist On A Date Night Classic. “I was never a big fan of dinner and a movie as it can be a very passive and uninspiring date. Now we have the opportunity to innovate and find new ways to connect. Yet you can make dinner and a movie feel special by ordering in from a nice restaurant. That place that was an impossible reservation to get a month ago is now happy to offer take out or delivery. Light some candles transfer from takeout boxes to your fine China and watch the sparks fly.”

The Key To A Quarantine-Friendly Date Experience. “Whether it’s playing 20 questions, trying an at home sip and paint night or going for a romantic walk after dinner, the dates you have now that require creativity can bring you closer together.”

Don’t Make Quarantine Feel Like A Never-Ending Date. “Make sure you’re scheduling your time at home so that each of you have independent activities throughout a chunk of the day. Unless you work together, you likely would have at least eight hours apart a day. Try to have your own independent projects and plan a time when you’re coming back together as you would if you were still going out to work.”

Crush Disagreements In Close Quarters Before They Escalate. “I’ve been coaching my clients to focus on listening. When we fight, we are often trying to be heard more than we’re trying to hear and understand the other person. And some of the disagreements you have right now may not be solved in the short term. Remember to use ‘I statements’ about what you’re feeling without making an assumption about your partner’s intent. Then, going for a walk is always a great way to get your head clear and bring a new energy back into the house.”

Keep The Romance Alive If You’re Self-Isolating And Separated From Your S.O.“This is the number one [concern] from my Dates & Mates podcast listeners. You can still do virtual dates using some of the tips I gave above. If you’re going to have dinner and a movie, plan to order in from the same restaurant and watch the same movie together. Then you have a shared experience that you can discuss and connect about. Make sure you’re checking in with your partner throughout the day. A little text or GIF that speaks to their sense of humor could do wonders for their morale and your bond together.”

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