Love in the Time of…Coronavirus

An invitation to stay home from the Italian government that very few drivers dare to ignore

I have heard about a book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez entitled “Love in the Time of Cholera”.

I haven’t read it yet but it seems like it would be a good idea to do so given the particular time we are living in.

When I complete reading “The 5 a.m. Club” by Robin Sharma I might check out Marquez’s book but for now I have to figure out how to remain in a state of love during the quarantine because, like all couples in the various countries that are under lockdown, my wife and I will be spending a lot of time together without any possibilities to go on a solo retreat when the atmosphere gets intense.

The increased anxiety, and the irritability that goes with it, that characterize this unusual time make it difficult to practice some of the keys to a happy marriage that experts talk about.

  • One of the key ideas that I have abundantly read about in various relationship books and that I have (more or less) diligently tried to practice is the idea of showing ‌appreciation.

Now, because during the lockdown we will be spending a heck of more time together, chances are that I will see more clearly the ugly things than the amazing things in my wife (and she will see my ugly side of course).

Because it is going to get increasingly difficult to see the things we appreciate in each other it’s time to practice this appreciation thing even more consistently. So my battle plan is to make it a daily practice to look at as many pictures as possible of the best moments my wife and I spent together throughout all these years.

Also, because I regularly put down in writing the things I love about my wife (as experts suggest) and the reasons why I fell in love with her in the first place, I am thinking about spending more time doing this and doing it even more than once a day.

I am also working out a strategy to be able to (somehow) do other things that are important in a relationship, namely:

  • Going on a date:

We won’t be able to eat out for weeks to come (or even longer…maybe) so my idea is that we could go on an imaginary date by turning our house into a restaurant (provided that grocery stores will stay open).

We could perhaps prepare a special Filipino meal together and she could teach me (for the 20th time because I keep forgetting) how to make lumpya or Filipino spring rolls (she once taught me how to make pandesal and I did a great job but, as usual, I forgot how to do it).
Yes, cool idea: we could create a home restaurant…

  • We could go to the movie by watching a movie together…on YouTube (as if we were going to a literal movie theater…which we actually never do but we could start doing it now).
  • We could spend an evening with some close friends through Zoom or Skype.
  • We could replace going on a romantic getaway with planning our next trip by means of Google Maps or looking at some pictures of the best trips we made together in the past.
  • Another crucial thing in an intimate relationship is giving space: not easy when you share the same room 24/7 but I could allow her to watch her own things on YouTube while I do my Kindle reading, so we could give each other space this way without leaving the room.

There are different ways to go about working out a viable strategy to prevent the inevitable tension that characterizes a lockdown from eating away at love and intimacy.

At least I have started thinking about it and putting down in writing some ideas. I’ll try to come up with more ideas and insights in the days to come…as a matter of urgency!