"How To Enjoy Each Other's Company Without Talking" by Oregon Wedding Photographer Black Salt Photography
Being in quarantine is a new experience for all of us. It can be a bit scary not knowing what's happening in the world around you. Not being able to talk to the people you usually see every day, not being able to freely go out or make the decisions you used to - it can feel cramped. The last thing you want is to feel trapped in your own home, especially when we don't know when this will end. That's why it's important to still feel connected to yourself, to your partner, and to your home. Your house, apartment, or RV is an important "vehicle" in your life and we, too often gloss over how much we are able to do because we have this home.
So, before we dive into how to enjoy your partner's company without talking, take a few moments to look around you. Look at the trinkets you've been keeping.
The food that fills your belly.
The walls that keep you protected (not locked in).
Appreciate these items. Feel thankful for what you have and excited for what you will bring to this space in the future.
Here are a few good tips you can utilize on a daily basis to help you enjoy each other's company & your living space even more without a lot of extra time or money.
*When researching for this article, I came across this song which I have to share with you because it is such a MOOD. Listen here.
1. Make your bed every morning:
This tip appears in every self-help article out there about how to enjoy your home. Maybe you're still holding a small grudge about being forced to do this as a kid, BUT it really does help. You'll feel like a queen/king every night when you crawl into bed having fooled yourself into thinking you were super productive today and actually washed the sheets. It will help give you a bookmark each morning. Let your mind think, "Okay, I've made the bed, so now my day begins." When you walk into your bedroom at night, the bed will seem serene rather than a jumbled mess.
2. Put away your "things" on the bathroom counter:
Putting your toothpaste, hairbrush, creams, etc. back in their places leaves a clean countertop for you to wake up to each day. Simple spaces allow your mind to keep stretching instead of getting hung up on the crinkled toothpaste tube and water puddle from brushing your teeth. It can seem pointless to put these items away, but just trust me and give it a try for a week. You might be surprised.
3. Have a clean kitchen:
This tip is probably the hardest for my husband and I to keep up with, but only because we're lazy. We often use SO MANY dishes and utensils to cook dinner, and after we eat we definitely don't feel like cleaning all of that up. BUT when we do and we wake up and go downstairs to no mess, no overflowing sink, we feel happy. I've found that if I use the time that the food is simmering to clean up and put them in the dishwasher, then I'm much more likely to rinse my plate after I've finished eating. Doing it one step (dish) at a time is much easier to grapple with than having to clean an entire kitchen.
Now that you've fallen in love with your home again, take some time to learn how to enjoy the silence. Enjoy each other's company...
Sitting in silence can be really hard because we always feel the need to fill it. When you come downstairs after you wake up you say, "Good morning". In the car you play music and when you have dinner you're probably filling the spaces in between eating with chit chat. Have you ever had sex in silence? Try it and let me know how that goes.
We don't realize how much we try to fill this space and for what? Because the quiet is too loud? Now that we're all home all the time with few new things to chat about, no experiences to come home with and tell your partner, and it's only bleak news on social media, our chit chat is quickly getting old.
I want to challenge you take 10-20 minutes each day without talking but just being together. Do it a few times a day, if you're feeling feisty. Sit outside in the morning with your coffee or orange juice and enjoy the sounds of the neighborhood. The birds chirping, the breeze, the dogs kicking grass and rocks after they poo. Take it all in together, but don't try to fill the silence. It's starting to get hot here in Las Vegas, so the only time my husband and I can enjoy the outside is in the early morning. We've enjoyed noticing how much noisier our neighborhood has become during quarantine. Human life is exploding from the homes and it's a unique experience to share.
Try your best to enjoy these silent moments without being on your phone.
I guarantee you're spending even more time on your phone now than you did a few weeks ago, and it can't be good for our mental health. I noticed yesterday my phone was on 40% by 3 pm! Usually, I can make it to the end of the day without even getting below 60%. Yikes. Now, you don't have to just stare into space in silence to get the benefits. You could both read (something on paper preferably). You could try coloring or building something together. Last night, my husband and I colored on our bed. He only lasted about 30 minutes. He knows I enjoy doing these things with him, so he tried his best and I can appreciate the thought. About 15 minutes in he blurted out, "What are you thinking about?" I hadn't really noticed the silence, clearly enamored with the flower I was meticulously coloring purple. But it got to him. You and your partner may not feel equally comfortable in each silent situation you try, but we've all got nothing but time now. Try several and see what sticks.
When you feel the need to fill the silence, ask yourself why first.
Take a few deep breaths and try to resist. In moments of quiet our brain gets to heal. The monks don't meditate to noise - they use silence and breathing techniques to take control of their bodies and their environment. Feeling in control of our environment is something we could all use a little bit more of right now. Allow your mind to explore wild thought trains and ideas that usually get cut off. Just see where it takes you. If you can accept yourself in silence, you'll be able to have a stronger connection with your partner as well.
After you've done your time without talking, communicate with your partner on how it went.
Ask them how they felt, what they thought about, etc., and discuss your feelings, too. Bond over the similarities you were sharing without even knowing.
When we were coloring last night, I told my husband I was thinking about my photography business. The business seems to be the only thing on my mind lately. So much so that when my husband tries to tell me a story, I can only last about 10 seconds before my brain flits to something photo-related. This has been making me feel like a crap wife lately, but once I told him how I was feeling, he revealed that he went through the same thing a few months ago when he was obsessing over his tutoring business. We high-fived over being shit spouses together. I don't know about him, but I felt even closer because I knew he wasn't judging me for being passionate about my craft.
Just like you never know what will happen when you talk about your feelings, you never know what will happen when you grow together in silence. Try it out, take a bubble bath together, and soak up the warm water and candlelight without ruining it with mindless chit chat. Give yourself a break from filling the void. I promise you will feel more whole.
Enjoy each other's company.
See my favorite at-home date ideas here to keep the romance alive during quarantine. Staying at home doesn't have to be boring 😉
Black Salt Photography is an elopement photographer and intimate wedding photographer based in Portland, Oregon. Photographing in the surrounding PNW areas and traveling often for destination love stories. Specializing in intimate candids and editorial portraits to craft a one-of-a-kind wedding day for every couple. Her moody photography style plays with natural light and shadow, laced with raw emotional moments, to create an authentic narrative experience. She photographs you as you so you'll love your photos authentically.
"Destiny definitely stood out amongst other photographers because we absolutely loved how involved she was from the very beginning. She really wants to get to know you- which makes for really intimate photos! She asks tons of questions, which is awesome because you feel like you know her before even meeting her! And once you finally do, she is so so sweet!!! Destiny is so great at communicating and being really involved in every detail! She captured every emotion and detail perfectly, whenever I look at our wedding pictures, it brings back every feeling on our special day. TEARS!"
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