Article by Abbie Stutzer

Dating and maintaining a healthy relationship is no easy task on a normal, “I’m in a decent mood” sunny day. But add the stress of the current political climate, which is, excuse us, absolute crap, and how can any love—or even lust—survive?

With some quiet TLC, and sexual awareness.

The following bits of relationship advice could help you and your partner maintain and remain in the mood even though the world is going to hell.

1. Turn off the news, shut off your phone

Have you ever been stuck in a bad news binge, social media refresh loop?

Most any human who has anxiety as a result of what’s been happening politically and socially in the United States so blatantly over the past few years most likely has fallen into this destructive cycle at least once.

This is why we’re asking you to turn off the news, and not check your social media accounts on days you plan to go out with your partner.

Yes, it may be frustrating to “not know” what’s going on; and we understand—you want to remain a well-informed citizen... But sometimes it’s essential to you and your lover’s well-being to take a break.

Unfortunately, a lot of this year’s news cycle is filled with utterly terrifying news (hello, recent climate change report) and stories concerning how marginalized groups of people don’t seem to matter to world leaders. And although you most definitely should keep watching, listening to, and reading the news, it’s sometimes wise to take a break from it when your head is filled with “what the…” thoughts. Because when those thoughts start, it’s hard to shut them off once you’re on a date, trying to have fun.

So, we’re asking you—for the sake of your honey and your libido—to please unplug. We promise that all the terrible news that happened while you were on a date will be there tomorrow.

2. Turn self-care into a time for two

Self-care is a crucial component of a healthy, well-balanced life. It’s just one of those things that a person *has* to schedule in order to not get caught up in life, work, and current events.

If you and your partner are finding it increasingly difficult to schedule self-care time for yourselves, why not make caring for each other a sexy priority?

This could be as simple as asking your partner to go to the gym or yoga class with you, or as elaborate as planning a weekend away for a stay at a bed and breakfast where brunch and a couples massage is mandatory.

3. Get kinky, unless you don’t want to

When the news is full of death, bigotry, sexism, homophobia, and racism, it can be hard to get and stay turned on.

Some couples can get through the many depressive news slumps by upping the kink factor in their sexual relationship. This could include role-playing, watching porn together, or trying new sex acts or types of sex (consensual BDSM, etc.)

If those sexy tricks don’t work for you, that’s OK, too.

News cycles like the one we are in can be incredibly difficult for any person who has experienced sexual violence or general bullying.

So, if you or your partner find that it’s difficult to get sexual, try just being honest about what you’re feeling and taking a night off. There’s no shame in honoring those feelings and seeking simple support—and a cuddle session—from your partner.