Love in the time of Covid.


So, how did you mark Valentine’s Day this year? Maybe you had a rapid test together? No wonder it’s hard to keep romance alive when the most intimate thing you’ve done in the last few months is to take a nasal swab for each other.

How on earth do you keep erotica alive when the bedroom is the home office? An ‘office romance’ sure loses its allure when you’re both tapping away on laptops on opposite sides of the duvet, in food-stained tracky daks.

Nor are we looking at our most attractive. Not only are we exercising less, but also carrying excess covid kilos from all that anxiety-quashing wine quaffing. I don’t know about you, but my liver is running up a white flag of surrender. But how can we not be driven to drink when we’re driven up the wall on a daily basis by the sight of each other working from home?

Obviously, years of sporadic lockdowns means it’s make or break time for couples. You start to wonder if perhaps you didn’t fall in love, but stepped in – and now it’s time to wipe him off your shoes. Who would have thought the light of your life would turn out to be such a bad match? But before chucking your partner out with the recycling, it helps to remember that one woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. Consider Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Once known as Bennifer, the couple split on the eve of their wedding. 17 yrs later, they’re now back together and so far above Cloud 9 they have to look down to see it. If only they’d patched up their differences at the time and avoided all that angst.

So, perhaps this Valentine’s Day we should reflect on ways to achieve matrimonial harmony. For hubbies, the best way to achieve a good marriage is to talk through any problems with sufficient honesty and mutual respect to be able to agree that you are always wrong… and your wife is always right.

I would also recommend nasal strips. Of all the matrimonial woes, the number one annoyance for females is snoring. It’s a design fault, I know, but most men spend half the night sounding like the grinding gears of a combine harvester. A disgruntled bloke might finally agree to sleep in another room but this will only work if the room is in, say, the Outer Mongolia. It would be so much simpler to just whack on some nightly nasal strips. Oh and boys, just for the record, women don’t snore. We just, occasionally, sleep out loud.

It’s also one of life’s mysteries why some people like camping and some people don’t and why they invariably end up married to each other. While I like a five star hotel, every man I’ve ever dated likes a no-star tent. If a relationship hits the doldrums, the male of the species often suggests spending a restorative weekend immersing yourselves in the Great Outdoors. What a woman thinks is – you mean the Great Outdoors immersing itself in me – under my nails, in my hair, on my clothes. The worst aspect of camping is that it’s not even fun having a fight about how much you loathe sleeping under canvas as there’s no satisfaction storming out and slamming a flap. Separate holidays is the only sane solution.

Another main area of incompatibility is communication. Most females feel our small intestines communicate with us more often than our fellas. A boyfriend once asserted that the reason he didn’t talk to me is because he didn’t like to interrupt. This led to a long argument about how the only thing we talked about was how little we had to talk about … Which is why the next time he grumped “What’s up?” I replied -“The warranty on our relationship.”

Experience has since taught me that this is the point where a couple needs to become fluent in body language. Sex releases endorphins, relieves stress and does away with the need for all vocal communication, except “yes”, “more”, and “oh yes, there.” So shut your laptop, slip into some lingerie and lock the door. The euphoric afterglow will make you instantly forget all the little things that were annoying you in the first place. You’ll curl up in each other’s arms, reunited, happy and suffused with love – until he starts snoring again, that is!

It sure is a shame that the secret to a happy marriage is such a well kept secret – but it sure can be fun trying to figure it out.

For fun reads about the sex war – and how to call an occasional truce – perhaps slip between my covers, my book covers that is. A perfect Valentines day gift, perhaps?

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