Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have spent more time on Zoom than ever before. This is true at work and in our personal lives. Even as life slowly begins to return to “normal”, it seems clear that much of our intimate connections will continue to occur in this manner. The deep impact of this “virtual reality” has been on our intimate connections.
You may have become used to having coffee or even lunch with others electronically. There are upsides for sure. It may seem that in the context of the workplace, much can be accomplished virtually, maybe even in a positive way eliminating commute times or extra costs.
But what about your personal connections, social time, or dates? The hard reality is that it’s difficult to foster deeply intimate connections with someone merely on a screen. Eventually, face-to-face contact will return, but what do you do in the meantime? This is especially true if any “unknowns” appear that push our pending “return-to-normal” back. If your goal for the future is to feel less isolated and alone, having a plan to enhance your intimate connections is important.
First, let’s address the challenge of virtual interactions so the real issues are clear.
Obstacles: What Is Missing In Your Virtual Interactions?
It seems obvious at times that computer interactions with others lack certain qualities and emotions that naturally occur when you’re face-to-face with another person. But what’s really missing?
When you think of how people get to know each other when they are in the same room, it’s easy to see that all of your senses get involved. You look, hear, touch, taste, and even smell. Of those 5 senses, in the virtual world most often only two are activated: sight and hearing.
You can’t touch the other person. You can’t smell the other person. And you can’t share taste with the other person. This means that you are at a 60% reduction of your bodily senses when you interact online. If you’re someone who truly relies on your senses to feel connected intimately to another person, this is a major loss to you.
And the big reality check is how can you recover these experiences in some other way?
Many authors write about how sensory stimulation enhances our feelings of attraction and love. Lana Holstein and David Taylor include this in their book on sexual enhancement called “Your Long Erotic Weekend.” So if you know that something is missing in your interactions, how might you make up for that in some way?
Possibilities: Tips For Adding To Your On-line Intimate Experience
When you are communicating virtually, obviously, you cannot touch or smell each other through the screen. Still, there are some things you can do to engage more of your senses with each other.
Here are some things you might try to enliven your experience together even though you are physically separated.
- Do something together at the same time and talk about it. Eat the same food, smell the same thing, or read a poem or story together alternating lines or paragraphs.
- Go for a walk in the woods separately while talking to each other and using your video, show each other what you see along the way.
- Describe the room you’re in to help stimulate your own senses. Light a candle so you experience pleasant or enjoyable smells. Then, share your experience of it with your partner.
- You can achieve the same results by turning on music or adjust the lighting to create a mood you want to experience.
- Eat a meal or drink a favorite drink together.
- Use an app to watch a movie or show together.
- Play a game together virtually.
- Listen to some music you both like together.
- Draw or paint something together and show what you have created.
- Consider exchanging videos of yourselves with caution or in a safe format.
- Talk about your feelings, how you miss each other and what you miss the most.
- Make a plan for something you will do together when you are physically together next.
- Tell each other a joke or try to make the other person laugh.
- Share something about yourself the other person doesn’t know.
- Brainstorm together other things you can do on these calls or Zooms that will allow you to feel closer.
These are all activities that cause people to feel bonded and close to one another. They work very well when couples are apart for long periods of time, but can also help support couples who are apart for work travel or quarantine time before reconnecting. They are particularly applicable now during the pandemic, but they can apply to any time you are separated geographically.
While there is no real substitute for being together, there are many ways you can expand your sensory intimate connections. Try some of these regularly. It can be fun and help you while you’re apart.
Want More Ideas?
We have many years of experience communicating virtually with each other and our clients. We are happy to help you brainstorm and experiment. Contact us through this website or give us a call at 434-971-4701.