Chances are your anniversary is going to look a little different this year, given that we're in the middle of a pandemic and you've spent the last few weeks adjusting to staying at home with your partner 24/7. But just because you can't go out to your favorite restaurant or have that romantic weekend away you were hoping for, social distancing restrictions don't have to ruin your special day. There are ways to make your anniversary special at home.
"Not being able to go out and celebrate an anniversary or a special occasion because of the coronavirus might feel frustrating, but there's no need to postpone your celebration," Jaime Bronstein, therapist and relationship expert, tells Bustle. "Celebrating no matter what the circumstances are is the best way to go."
Even if you're stuck celebrating at home, it's still something you'll get to do together. "Every anniversary will mean something different to you because it's based on where you are in your life at that moment," Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer, wedding planner and founder of Pure Luxe Bride, tells Bustle. "This is just one more to add."
Below, relationship experts weigh in on how to make your anniversary at home one to remember.
Change Your Routine
One thing you can do to make your anniversary special is to find a simple way to change up your routine for that day. "If you and your partner work from home in the same room all day, try working in separate rooms leading up to the dinner celebration," Danielle Hughes, LCMHC, therapist who specializes in relationships, tells Bustle. Not only does this change up your routine, it also gives you a chance to put together a surprise for your partner if you haven't had any time to do so already.
Get Dressed Up And Put Together A Nice Dinner
If you've been eating dinner in your PJs on the couch each night, do something different on your anniversary by getting dressed up and setting up a nice dinner. "Put yourself together as if you were going out," Bronstein says. "Cook a delicious dinner and light some candles. You can even have fun and pretend that you're at a restaurant by making menus." If possible, you can even order food from your favorite restaurant and put it in a a fancy dish.
Transform Your Space
A change of scenery can put you in a more celebratory mood, especially when you've been staying at home for the past few weeks. As Julieanne O'Connor, relationship coach and author, tells Bustle, "Bonding happens during extreme bouts of creativity and laughter, and transforming your space is just one of several ways you can make your home feel like someplace else." For example, O'Connor suggests hanging sheets from your ceiling and creating a big cozy fort in the middle of your living room. You can bring in a bunch of pillows and hang up string lights to set the mood. It's a fun way to go camping in the safety of your own home.
Play A Game That Allows You To Reflect On Your Relationship
Anniversaries are way to celebrate how far you and your partner have come — and make a game out of it. Bronstein suggests creating a treasure hunt for your partner and putting clues all over your home. You can ask silly questions like, "What was the name of our favorite taxi driver during our trip to the Bahamas?" or "What was the name of my imaginary pet unicorn as a kid?"
Set The Intention To Meaningfully Connect With Your Partner
Whether you get dressed up for dinner or spend the night cuddling and watching your favorite movie, it's important to be intentionally present. "Make it your mission to learn something new about your partner, and set an intention to connect meaningfully," Hughes says. "You'll be more likely to engage deeply and have an experience that feels fresh and meaningful."
Jaime Bronstein, therapist and relationship expert
Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer, wedding planner and founder of Pure Luxe Bride
Danielle Hughes, LCMHC, therapist who specializes in relationships
Julieanne O'Connor, relationship coach and author