When couples come to my office, it’s usually for a variety of reasons, but one common theme stands out: they don’t feel connected to one another. This can be for a variety of reasons – from years of resentment as a result of old wounds, to accommodating a new baby into the family, to the general downhill trajectory of a relationship if you don’t take care of it. Whatever the reason, the shift to getting things back to the way you want them can be done quicker than you think. Here are a few suggestions to create more intimacy into your relationship:
- Make time. Ask your partner to go for coffee or just sit with one another for an uninterrupted “catch-up.” Kind of like you would do with your best girl friend or guy buddy. Inquire about what’s been going on in their “world” and LISTEN. Put away your phone and take turns sharing.
- Give compliments. Remember the days of when your relationship was new and you couldn’t get enough of each other? Well, part of that was a result of those amazing lustful hormones that get generated by the body when we are in a new relationship, but the other part of that is that the ego is stroked with admirations from our partner. Think about something you like or admire about your partner and tell them. Do this everyday.
- Go to bed at the same time. I know…you are thinking…”but I like some down time to myself after the kids go to sleep”. Or, it’s your time to post on Facebook. Whatever the excuse, it’s contributing to the lack of closeness in your relationship. Cuddling releases oxytocin which is the same hormone that is release during orgasm and breast-feeding. Go get your spoon on!
- Think about sex. This one is for the ladies: great sex begins in the mind and women have to be reminded to make time and attention for this part of their lives. A woman’s desire isn’t spontaneous, so don’t get down on yourself when you don’t understand his seemingly effortless ability to “be ready.” Fantasize about what makes you feel good. When you get this figured out, go and tell him. He will LOVE to hear it.
- Attune to her. This one is for the men: great sex for a woman usually begins way before physical intimacy. Make her feel special with being attuned to what her needs are outside of the bedroom. This will vary depending on your partner, but if you are attuned (meaning, aware AND responsive to it), it will pay off!
- Be a team-mate. Let your partner know that you are on their side. This needs to be the case with regards to the boss, the kids, and especially the in-laws! What do you do if you don’t agree with their philosophy or the way they are handling things? Save that for another time and discuss it later. Being a united front in the moment solidifies your bond.