The key to intimacy during COVID-19

Key points

  • New intervention techniques can increase the intimacy and intimacy of a partner, not just what can be gained by watching a movie together.
  • In addition to strengthening your relationship, maintaining close relationships can also improve stress during COVID-19.

Stressful periods, especially prolonged periods of stress, can affect our ability to take care of ourselves and others. COVID-19 has proven that this is true for many people. Unfortunately, our partners are often directly affected by these struggles.

Given the uncertainty of the duration of the pandemic and other stressors, relationship health is a continuing and growing concern for mental health professionals. Researchers are always looking for ways to combat and prevent the effects that long-term stress may have on our personal lives, especially our interpersonal relationships. A recent study may have found part of the answer in interventions designed to promote intimacy.

Mollie Eliasof, LCSW couples therapist and head of treatment for Mollie Eliasof, said: “Everyone is in triage mode, just trying to maintain the status quo and get through the difficulties. Intimacy requires adventure. When we are so primitive, still open and vulnerable may be petrified. Keep it The safer answer to function and existence is to simply coexist and set aside the depth of connection so that any apparently normal phenomena can occur.”

What does the research show?

The most recent research is published in Applied Psychology: Health and happiness, Researched the potential ways for couples to recover and maintain close relationships during COVID-19, which may help relieve stress during this time.

Researchers convened 31 couples for online group meetings to test their theories. The study showed that participants who participated in an intimate intervention called the Awareness, Courage, and Love (ACL) intervention maintained a higher rate of intimacy after the intervention. End of the meeting.

Life and love during COVID-19

During this time, misunderstandings about intimacy and intimacy are common because many couples are at home and they seem to spend too much time together.

However, in addition to the ongoing pressure of pandemic uncertainty, this time is usually consumed by new and increased responsibilities, such as Zoom meetings, caring for sick relatives, and virtual schools.

Eliasof said: “The quality of time is very different from the amount of time. Couples who want to build deeper and richer connections need to invest in their curiosity about each other. It’s not just how their partner spends their day, but really Look for things that make them smile, bloom, touch, or long for life.

“We have lost our way in life. In turn, our relationship has no ability to slow down, and has a deep intention of how we are connected, and lost our way in the shuffle.”

The participants in the study were mainly heterosexual whites from the western United States. These participants were recruited through social media, and they were divided into equal control and experimental groups. The experimental group participated in ACL intervention, and the control group watched movies and answered follow-up questions.

The researchers used two methods to test the intimacy of the couple during the follow-up process during the pre-meeting, post-meeting and one week after the online session. One is to integrate others into oneself (IOS), It is based on a 7-point scale that assesses the degree of connection a person has with their partner in the relationship. The second method is the Couple Assessment of Relationship Elements (CARE), It measures the quality of the relationship between husband and wife and is also based on a 7-point scale.

Molly Eliasov, LCSW

Couples who want to build deeper and richer connections need to invest in curiosity about each other. Not only how their partner spends their day, but also really looking for things that make them smile, bloom, move, or long for life.

—Mollie Eliasof, LCSW

The goal of the study is to test that the ACL model is actually a useful intervention to help couples get in close contact while coping with the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

What is ACL?

The researchers stated, “…thousands of ACL participants provided a lot of qualitative feedback on the effectiveness of their interventions, which focused on open-hearted self-disclosure, listening in a validated manner, acceptance of themselves and others, and Sympathy, and thank you.”

The idea is to evaluate whether this can be successfully done online, providing quick and positive results for couples seeking intimacy. The steps of a virtual ACL include:

  • A video about the power of eye contact, followed by a 4-minute exercise, asking partners to look at each other’s eyes
  • Promote open guided meditation
  • Write, and then share brooding questions for their partner, such as: “What is your biggest struggle right now? Do you need gentleness to express and persevere? Do you need your partner to sympathize with your feelings?”
  • A 1-minute “Speak from the Heart” exercise where participants are asked to express their deepest feelings for their partners
  • Ask the participants to take a photo every week after the course and ask their partner questions, such as: “What is the difficulty for you this week and you want me to understand? How can I better take care of myself?”

What this means to you

This research shows that maintaining an intimate relationship with your partner during this period can bring positive results for everyone involved. Uncertain times are difficult, but working together to stay connected and intimacy may benefit your relationship and your own personal stress level.

Eliasof recommends that couples control potential stress situations and develop a collective response toolkit. “They can create a list of things or practices that will help them regulate and take root. Couples can easily use these coping tools at home, agree to encourage each other to use them when needed, and even take time to integrate soothing tools into dating. night!”

The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means that you may receive updated information while reading this article. For the latest updates on COVID-19, please visit our Coronavirus News page.