Intimacy issues during COVID-19 are on the rise. During a time where social distancing and self-isolation are now the normal way of doing things, many have found themselves struggling to stay connected.
Subgroups of social interaction like dating and hookup culture have been largely impacted due to the necessary limitations on in-person interactions.
The unintended consequence of these changes has led many to experience intimacy issues during COVID-19 both physically and emotionally.
Types of Intimacy Issues During COVID-19:
Physical touch is often the first thing people think of when they hear the word intimacy. Physical intimacy encompasses a wide variety of activities as simple as holding hands and as involved sexual intercourse. More than just being in bed with someone, physical intimacy is the exchange of touch that, for many, carries a strong emotional weight and can exist in all types of relationships.
Most examples of physical intimacy issues during COVID-19 involve limitations on physical touch and interaction due to social distancing and quarantine guidelines. Actions like hugging your friends and family or hooking up with someone have been largely impacted by safety restrictions.
Emotional Intimacy is much more complex and harder to identify than its physical counterpart. Involving intricate feelings, sentiments, and behaviors, emotional intimacy can often be described as how close you feel to someone in your life. Just like physical intimacy, it is not limited to one type of relationship. Friends, family members, and romantic partners can all share strong emotional intimacy to varying degrees.
Due to limited social interaction as well as physical interaction, many are experiencing emotional intimacy issues during COVID-19. Examples might include feelings of isolation or feeling like you cannot be close to those you love as a result of social restrictions.
Intimacy Issues During COVID-19:
Intimacy issues during COVID-19 have presented themselves across all relationship types ranging from friendships to romantic relationships. Due to the nature of the coronavirus and how it spreads, person-to-person interaction should be avoided to limit its transmission. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released guidelines at the start of the pandemic which advises everyone to keep a distance of 6 feet between yourself and anyone who is not from your household. This has created a thriving environment for intimacy issues during COVID-19. While those living in the same household can continue interacting as normal, those who live alone or depend on outside interaction might be struggling during this time. While having an obvious impact on physical interactions, these individuals could feel as though their emotional needs are also not being met.
The Benefits of Intimacy and Sex Counseling During COVID-19:
For anyone struggling with physically connecting with loved ones during COVID-19, intimacy and sex counseling might be a healthy route to find relief. The benefits of intimacy and sex counseling include:
Emotional intimacy issues during COVID-19 can easily express themselves as feelings of loneliness or isolation. Feeling disconnected or separated from those whom you find emotional and physical intimacy can be taxing on mental health and wellbeing. Working with an intimacy and sex therapist can offer you much needed support as you figure out how to find balance with these issues through the remainder of the pandemic and after.
Your counselor can also offer you much-needed education and tools that can teach you how to work through the various intimacy concerns during COVID-19. With the right tools, you can learn how to address certain concerns and find accessible and pandemic-safe solutions. Getting perspective and guidance from someone outside of your own situation can help you see dilemmas in a different light and approach them in a way you might not have, before.
The important thing to remember as you battle intimacy issues during COVID-19 is that you do not have to figure it out all on your own.
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