Quarantining during the coronavirus pandemic has meant giving up many of the events and activities we enjoy and look forward to. Music festivals, sporting events, Saturday at the club, and Sunday brunch are all on indefinite pause. But what about celebrating your anniversary in quarantine, does that also have to be put on hold, too while we social distance and flatten the curve (as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). The answer to that, according to Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women, is absolutely not. “Special occasions should not be overlooked, dialed down, or forgotten just because it’s during a difficult time,” she tells Elite Daily. “It’s always more about the emotional connection and expression of devotion that counts. It can be even more special because the quarantine requires you to put in even more effort.”
If you think an anniversary during quarantine can’t be romantic, Julie Spira, an online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships, tells Elite Daily to think again. “Having a romantic date night at home during quarantine is special. You don’t need to dine at a fancy restaurant or celebrate on a tropical island to honor and cherish another year around the sun together. It might be one of the most memorable anniversaries in your lifetime,” she says. Plus, it might be just what you need to get out of any social distancing ruts you find yourself falling into. “When you’re stuck at home on your anniversary, it’s a great excuse to get out of the day-to-day routine of wearing sweats and no makeup, to switch it up and wear one of your sexiest outfits.”
Here’s how the experts say you can ring in this year’s anniversary and make it special even during the quarantine.
If You’re Quarantining Together.
Celebrating your anniversary while sheltering in place together doesn’t mean you can’t have a really special date night, says Spira. In fact, you can make a whole day of it. “You can schedule a few fun date ideas throughout the day by visiting that art gallery you always wanted to with an online tour, or listening to a living room concert from one of your favorite musical artists,” she suggests.
Her advice is to keep things light and choose activities that are fun and playful. “Make your anniversary a date night. Gaming is on the rise during quarantine, and everyone could use a laugh or two to lighten up the mood,” she says. And of course, intimacy is also a great way to ring in another year together. “Plan on having sex. The need for touch and sexy time is essential for your relationship, so try something new in the bedroom, and make sure you fall asleep in each other’s arms,” she advises.
If You’re Quarantining Apart.
If you and your partner are spending this time apart, that doesn’t mean a romantic anniversary isn’t still totally possible, says Chong. There are ways to still feel connected, even from afar. One anniversary tradition that doesn’t require you to be together in person is exchanging gifts.“The isolation might be keeping you apart, but the mail won’t. Send something fun that you can open together on video,” she says. Not sure what to send? Spira suggests leaning into the classics like flowers or even chocolate-covered strawberries.”
If you typically go out for dinner on your anniversary, Spira says to bring the restaurant to you instead. “Try sending each other a surprise meal delivery for dinner and hop on a video date where you can talk about anything and everything,” she advises.
But perhaps the most romantic way to celebrate your big day together is simply to speak from the heart, says Spira. “Putting down into words and heartfelt messages how you feel about them is one of the best gifts you can give. It will become a cherished keepsake, and in this uncertain time, it will reinforce the reasons you fell in love in the first place,” she explains. After all, now is a time to focus on the people who mean most to us, and your anniversary is the perfect opportunity to express that gratitude and love. “We’re going back to basics while quarantined, and it’s a time for relationships to deepen for couples to open their hearts a bit more,” Spira says.
The good news is, ultimately, that even in these turbulent and stressful times there are some opportunities for normalcy, and even some romance. When it comes to your anniversary, Spria does offer one last bit of advice, and that’s to not put too much pressure on the day — definitely don’t ignore it, but don’t worry if it’s not perfect, either. “As long as you’re together, whether virtually or IRL, you’ll know you’re in it together for the long haul,” she concludes.
Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women
Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships