One of the recurrent issues couples complain about is diminishing intimacy. And by that, they usually mean less time, frequency, and satisfaction with their sexual life. Today I want to give you a few ideas for rekindling your intimacy.
1. Understand what intimacy is.
Is intimacy love? Is it great sex? Is it simply feeling comfortable with someone else? Some say it’s about physicality; some say it’s about emotions; some say it’s about "clicking" intellectually. The great developmental psychologist Erik Erikson, defined intimacy as the successful developmental task of adulthood. According to him, intimacy is found in happy relationships and is a sense of commitment, safety, and care within a relationship. It includes openness, sharing, mutual trust, self-abandon, and commitment with a sense of shared identities. Intimacy, more than anything else, requires a willingness to be vulnerable.
Therefore, in talking about intimacy today, I will be referring to the sexual side of intimacy, but have to include what makes it possible to enjoy satisfactory sexual intimacy in your relationship.
2. Open space in your schedule.
Intimacy is not likely to happen if you don’t arrange to spend more time together. Discuss how both of you can purge your schedules of nonessential commitments. If you are not willing to make a time investment, you are sending the message that intimacy is not as important to you. You have to make a serious commitment to enhancing your relationship.
You can't expect to hardly spend time together for anything, and then magically feel like having sex when you fall exhausted in bed after a hectic day. Intimacy requires communication, romance, having fun together. And all that requires time!
3. Be positive instead of critical
Criticism and negativism are the two certain killers of intimacy. Who feels like making love to someone that spent the last few hours (or days!) criticising everything and complaining about every little mistake? Give more compliments and notice any positive advances, especially in the ways that the other expresses the kind of affection and intimacy that you desire. Acknowledge even small steps in the right direction. Behavior you reward is behavior the other will be inclined to repeat.
4. Change your focus
Harping on what’s not happening in your relationship only results in the kind of anger and frustration that’s self-destructive. Instead, consider the specific expressions of love and affection that are important to you and your mate. Be first in taking initiative. When you give the kind of love that’s most important to the other, you’re much more likely to get the kind that’s important to you.
Also, instead of focusing only on the sexual side of the relationship, find ways to get closer emotionally and intellectually. Connection is the best aphrodisiac! Look into each other's eyes, exchange affection throughout the day, hug tightly, help with children and tasks. Everything that says "I care" influences sexual desire.
5. Get real
Changing circumstances, have to be taken into consideration. An unusually heavy workload, parent-related demands, temporarily mismatched schedules or personal crises, may mean that, for a time, you can’t expect the same level of involvement from your partner that you once could. Don't discount getting help around demands to open some time for interaction. Talk candidly about what is—and is not—realistic for this period in your lives. By doing so you’ll unburden yourselves of unnecessary guilt and continue to forge a supportive partnership.
I have just created a great FREE Webinar that explains these points in more detail. You can register for it here: