As we look ahead to a summer that isn’t locked down when we can actually see our friends and loved ones again, it’s important to remember that “going back to normal” brings its own set of stresses with it. Because as much as we’d all love to throw a switch and be as chilled and carefree as we were back in February 2020, the fact is that we’re all carrying more than a year’s worth of stress and worry, and that’s not even factoring in that there are still going to be government guidelines and rules to remember even when we can go back to the pub with our partners and significant others.

Anyone who has maintained, or indeed made, a relationship over the course of the last year will know that there have been a number of hurdles to overcome, a lot of tough emotions and frustrations to navigate. Things that seemed normal before lockdown suddenly took on incredibly high stakes, decisions about who was living where became potentially relationship-ending, and the weirdness of trying to keep a spark alive over video chat left a lot of promising starts sputtering out. As we look ahead to whatever the summer holds, we’re all going to need to put a bit of work in to keep things open, calm and relaxed.

Don’t Make Anything A Bigger Deal Than It Needs To Be

All of us are prone to making a big deal out of things every now and again, and for those of us who are getting ready to spend time with partners after a long stretch apart, there is naturally going to be a huge burden of expectation hovering over the reunion. The same goes for anyone who’s getting ready to meet someone IRL after a period of time getting to know each other virtually. Unless you’re blessed with a supreme level of confidence and calm, your brain may be trying to overthink everything from whether the first greeting is a hug or a kiss to whether or not sex is on the cards on the first encounter, and if so, what kind?

If you find yourself getting all wound up about what that first night is going to be like and what’s expected of you, then just remember to try and relax. Don’t put more pressure on it than there needs to be and remember that they’re going to be just as wound up as you.

Look For Ways You Can Stay Open About Sex Without Making It A Big Deal

If you’ve still got some time to wait before you can be with your partner again, or indeed for the very first time, then you might find that the question of sex starts to take on more weight than it really should. If you’re finding it a little awkward to try and keep the spark going and that discussing it starts to feel forced and unnatural, then take a step back and think about how you can make it less of a big deal. One of the ways that you can continue to keep discussing the physical element of your relationship and keep it fun is by incorporating it into what you’re watching and listening to as a couple.

If you and your significant other are both into podcasts, there are a host of frank, funny and sexy podcasts about sex that range from erotic fiction to candid looks at what life as a sex worker is actually like. A great example is Brown Girls Do It Too, which recently featured Babestation cam girl Alicia Sweets talking about what it’s like to be a cam babe, the tips she’s learned along the way, and to talk about sex in a way that is open, funny and joyful. You can learn more on Babestation about Alicia and why she was so excited about opening up on the podcast, and if you’re looking for a way to keep long distance relationships light and sexy, this is a perfect choice.

Be Patient And Honest

OK, so this one is a good tip no matter what stage of the relationship you’re in and whether you’re living together or not, but it is important to remember that the person on the other end of those messages and videos who’s waiting to see you when it’s safe to do so is almost definitely having all the same concerns and worries that you are.

So, you’re going to need to be as patient with them as you’d like them to be with you if you want to make sure that first meeting or reunion goes smoothly. It’s also so important to be honest about how you’re feeling about it. If you’re nervous or worried about how it’s going to go, or if you’re raring to go, just tell them. You’ll probably find out that they’re feeling the same way. Being honest is always a good idea, from worries and stresses to mental health. It’s an old cliché but a problem solved is a problem halved.

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