photo of a couple embracing at the beach. They attend an online couples retreat in California with a Gottman Couples therapist from the relationship therapy center

The age of coronavirus has led to the cancellation or postponement of many social events – everything from graduations and weddings to weekend getaways and couples retreats. No matter your circumstances or plans, there is no escaping the effects of this pandemic. If you are someone who had a couples retreat planned for this year and are now wondering what your options are, look no further, we’ve got you covered.

couple sits on lawn chairs and smiles at each other. They go to a couples retreat in California with a couples therapist at the relationship therapy center to improve their relationship

Believe it or not, you can still have a couples retreat during this pandemic, it’s just going to look different than you thought it would. With that, one small piece of advice before we continue: now is a great time to modify your expectations… of yourself, your partner, and your relationship. This is an extremely challenging time on planet earth so go easy on yourself and your partner. After all, when you agreed to marriage (or commitment), you believed it would be under “normal” circumstances; never did you imagine that you would be spending all of your time with your partner every. single. day. But if you are thinking that this is more than you signed up for, don’t worry: here are eight different ways to use this pandemic as a time to strengthen your relationship. 

8 Ways to Turn the Pandemic Into a Couples Retreat

  1. Change your mindset. Whether you like it or not, this epidemic is the perfect opportunity to resolve any lingering issues that exist in your relationship. When you are spending the majority of your time at home with your partner, there’s no more hiding or pretending. You might as well get on board and use this time to work out the kinks.

  2. Embrace the challenge. When you made vows to love one another “for better or for worse”, this could very well be the “worse”. From children being at home but still expected to complete schoolwork, to job loss and financial uncertainty, to fear for the health and safety of loved ones, every day presents new challenges. But, it’s the couples that embrace an “it’s us against the world” mentality and lean into one another during the difficult times who come out stronger on the other side.

  3. Focus on communication. Coronavirus is its own kind of couples retreat boot camp and there’s never been a better time to implement good communication skills. So skip the criticism, focus on appreciation, and take the time to truly listen when your partner is talking. It’s not every day that you get to be home with your partner… every day, so take advantage of this time to really connect and communicate. 

  4. Stick to a schedule. At an “official” couples retreat, you wake up early, get dressed, head down to breakfast. Throughout the day, you attend workshops and discussions and participate in activities. The point is, you make good use of your time and stick to a schedule. Doing the same thing during this pandemic will increase your chances of relationship success because it will help you to feel better, which in turn, will help you show up better in your relationship.

  5. Emphasize intimacy. It’s easy to skip the sex and romance when you’re together all of the time, but physical intimacy is an important part of a romantic relationship. Physical intimacy leads to emotional intimacy, connection, and satisfaction in a partnership. Schedule it in, play games, turn the focus on one partner one day then the other the next, do whatever you need to do in order to keep the spark alive.

  6. Plan date nights and activities. From walking in nature to working out, movie nights, and board games, there are many fun things you can do together at home. Enjoying one another’s company will strengthen your relationship, so get creative. Maybe you take turns cooking for one another or plan a spa night where you trade massages, do face masks, and take a long bath. Remember the true focus isn’t on what you’re doing but rather who you’re doing it with.

  7. Fight fair. When you fight (and you will), be on your best behavior. This means taking a break when emotions are high and coming back to the conversation after a thirty-minute break. It also means listening to one another and reflecting back to your partner what he or she is saying. Use this pandemic as an opportunity to practice greater patience and consideration than you normally would and you might be surprised at how quickly you and your partner are able to resolve conflict.

  8. Attend couples counseling. Although in-person couples retreats may be on the back burner for now, there are still many resources available to you. Many therapists are offering online couples therapy as well as in-person counseling with safety precautions in place. Has there ever been a better time to gain the tools and insights to make your relationship stronger?

couple has a picnic outdoors during an online couples retreat or marriage intensive in California with an online therapist at the relationship therapy center

Join Us for an Online Couples Retreat Today!

If you’re interested in participating in a couples retreat in California, then don’t let the pandemic hold you back. You can attend a marriage intensive from the comfort of your home with a skilled couples therapist. To begin, follow these steps:

  1. Contact our counseling staff to schedule a free consultation.

  2. Make an appointment with one of our Gottman trained therapists.

  3. Find support and healing in your relationship, at your convenience and comfort!

Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:

In addition to couples counseling, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include anxiety treatment, therapy for children, teen therapy, depression treatment, codependency counseling and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.