“We sometimes underestimate the influence of little things”
– Charles W. Chestnut
What a crazy time to be alive. Never in my entire life did I imagine that we would face the situations that we do currently. I would never have thought that there is a possibility to be in complete lockdown for 35 days. This has brought its share of frustrations, uncertainty, and anxiety about an unknown future, to our hearts and into our homes.
We are confronted with being together 24/7 but still, at times, we live past one another and we then feel disconnected. Isn’t it strange how easily that can happen? We are all wired for connection and when we don’t experience it, we feel like something is wrong, like something inside of us is dying. This is when we cannot experience aliveness.
I realize it is also very easy, during this time, to focus on the uncertainty, the anxiety, the frustrations, and irritations that arise. I am so used to dealing with the things that cause pain in our relationship, and I easily forget about the things that create pleasure.
I believe this is a crucial part of relationships, especially now when our lives can feel monotonous, boring, and dull. There is no external stimuli or experiences that we can draw from.
During the first few weeks of the lockdown, I had this massive frustration and dissatisfaction within me. It felt like every day was the same and I struggled to adapt to this new way of living. I had this unspoken expectation of what our life and relationship should be like during lockdown (I think all those Instagram couples might have influenced me! ;)). My husband and I both felt this longing to experience closeness, joy, and excitement in our relationship.
I then realized that it was time to re-romanticize! We needed to intentionally increase our joyful experiences and the moment I shifted my attention to focus on pleasure instead of pain, I immediately began to identify the small joyful moments we were already sharing!
Johan and I have this little habit that formed during the lockdown. We enjoy a homemade cappuccino every morning before we start our workday… I look forward to this special time with a lot of excitement. It’s something we do together, it gives us time to connect and we enjoy each other’s company while doing it.
Another exciting thing we intentionally implemented is… SURPRISES! As you know, we are only allowed to go shopping when necessary and only one person per household. Every time Johan or I go shopping we bring home something special for each other. For example, I love Krispy Kreme, and the other day Johan came home with a box of doughnuts! I was so excited as I haven’t had a doughnut for quite a while and just had to satisfy my cravings (I’m pregnant see!).
This made me feel special, adored, valued, and important.
I thought, “He is thinking about me and he knows me!”.
I felt loved and in love!
I felt alive and I felt connected!
These small intentional acts have drawn us closer to each other and created small moments to get excited about, look forward to and enjoy while we navigate our way through this very uncertain time. It allows us to connect on a new level and also enables our creative juices to flow and discover, once again, how to make each other feel special, loved, and valued.
I am reminded of the anonymous quote: “Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to accomplish something big, that we fail to notice the little things that give life its magic.” We feel invited to further this intentionality once the lockdown is lifted, to keep on re-romanticizing, and to create moments of surprise, fun, and appreciation. We are reminded that it is in these moments where the magic of connection makes us feel alive, and that is enough…
I also want to encourage you to implement intentional processes of re-romanticizing to keep love alive during these mundane times.
I am a relationship therapist and pastoral counselor in private practice situated in Kempton Park. It is my absolute passion for working with people. I specialize in working with couples as well as individuals. I have been married for almost 5 years to a wonderful husband. We have 2 furry babies and expecting our first child in July 2020.
My motto for the work I do is based on this:
Let’s love each other back to life.
91 Monument Road, Nimrod Park, Kempton Park, 1619