How to improve your intimate relationship without being physically intimate.
So many clients come to me who love each other completely but the vavavoom has died down, the (sexual) spark no longer there. In the first few years of any relationship, sparks flow freely and sex and intimacy is incredible. Yet then life happens, children, the pressure of providing, careers and all the worries that come with this. Before you know it life has passed and you have become polite to each other but true intimacy is missing.
Both of you feel something is missing and yet are oftentimes afraid to try in fear of being rebuffed.
The first step is to take sex off the table completely. Refrain from any judgment or comparison and see your sex lives for what it is.
Get intimate again without the goal of being intimate sexually. We all want to be seen, heard, loved and understood and once that is rekindled, the physical side becomes so much easier!
Instead my homework for them is to schedule in a date morning, afternoon or night, weekly. No excuses, no skipping it, this takes precedence over everything else!
Without quality time together, your relationship will not survive.
There are a few rules to the date: Put the phones on airplane mode, or away. Refrain from talking about the children, work or whatever chores need to be done and focus exclusively on your relationship. Couples tend to have fun on dates, then get married and be too serious. Lighten up and go do something fun!
Remember: Look back and remember what brought you together, the qualities you love about each other. The way he held the small of your back when you walked into a room, how it had you feel cherished and safe. That first kiss, the first dates and how you reacted to hearing your partner’s voice. Notice how you cannot stay in a state of happiness and crossness at the same time! Share these memories with your partner and notice how they respond as they hear this. Recount all your gorgeous memories of when you fell in love.
Allow yourself to be vulnerable and really get to the core of it.
Memories: Make new ones together. When couples spend more time together, they lovingly rekindle sparks! Enjoy special moments together.. For example, take a hot air balloon ride one summer morning. Go wild water rafting or clay pigeon shooting in the autumn. Pack a picnick and have dinner in the meadow instead of our favourite restaurant- or perhaps get them to pack your favourite dishes!
Try out activities that the two of you have never done before. This will create a pattern interrupt in the brain, and endorphins are released which invoke joy and happiness.
Try mini golf, paintball, snorkel, bowling, cards, dancing.
Collect postcards from visits in different places and create a memory book that you make a point of looking at during the year.
Another exercise I give them is to make a list of things they loved to do as a child, teenager, young adult. On the next date, exchange these and circle the ones you both want to try again. There will be things you never knew about your partner!
Take 100% Responsibility of your relationship- This means each of you is 100 % responsible for the relationship, it is not a 50/50 thing!
This is imperative to improve your relationship. This means that you take responsibility for your own feelings and needs. This means that instead of trying to get your partner to have you feel happy and secure, you find out what brings you joy and pleasure. Treat yourself with love, compassion and kindness and this will filter through in the relationship.
Communication is so important to create intimacy. We often do not listen to understand, but listen to respond and get our point across as soon as we can.
A way to remedy this is by having a conscious communication time each week. Put away all distractions and set a timer for 40 minutes.
The aim of this exercise is to build intimacy and to understand your partner.
You will take turns in giving each 3 prompts:
Tell me what you love about me.
Tell me what your fear is.
Tell me what you desire for our relationship.
After each answer, only respond thank you, you are receiving what your partner wants you to know, you may not agree with it or even like it. This is not the time for conversation!
Then switch sides and alternate until the 40 minutes are up. As time passes, you go deeper and deeper and can not help but feel a deep connection.
Some more prompts to use are:
Tell me what you think we agree upon.
Tell me something that you you want me to understand.
Tell me something you have withheld from me.
Tell me how you want to be loved.
Tell me what I should know about sex.
Once you have dealt with emotional intimacy, it’s easier to engage in physical intimacy.
Physical touch is important and for some, the best ways to rekindle this form of intimacy are through physical touches such as hugs, holding hands, or a soft and tender touch.
Others may love the closeness of a bedtime story, or a slow dance.
One prompt to use is:
“Tell me how you want to be touched” and then when that touch has been given, asking for feedback. “Is this the correct pressure, would you like a lighter/heaving/ stronger touch?”
Try and use questions where they can answer yes or no to. “Do you prefer me to stroke you down your arm or in an upwards motion?”
Remember to stay curious and really get to know your partner!
I hope these have given you some inspiration to rekindle your emotional intimacy! From there physical intimacy becomes so much easier!