Intimacy is much more than physical intimacy. It also includes emotional closeness, sharing feelings and being validated.
Intimacy in relationships will ebb and flow. Kids, work stress and those cosy grey trackies you can’t help but feel drawn to in winter can dampen the flames a little. But if desire is gone completely, it’s time to take action.
1. Spend more time together.
Intimacy is a critical component of a marriage. While some couples thrive without physical intimacy, most require it for a healthy and happy relationship. Intimacy often requires both partners to be open and honest with each other and can take many different forms. While some couples may feel uncomfortable discussing intimacy issues, a marriage counsellor can help.
When emotional intimacy fades, it can lead to doubts about the long-term health of a marriage. These doubts can become more serious and eventually result in cheating. To prevent these feelings, it is important for couples to spend more time together, including activities that aren’t just sex-related.
Intimacy can also be a valuable tool in re-establishing communication in a troubled marriage. To get started, try asking each other to share their thoughts and feelings about their marital relationship. This will allow you to get to know your partner better and help you discover what’s missing in your relationship. If you’re struggling to communicate effectively, a marriage counsellor can help you learn new tools for communicating.
2. Talk about it.
Oftentimes, people forget that intimacy is so much more than sex. Intimacy is about communication, touch, closeness and more. When a couple starts to feel distant from each other, it can be helpful to talk about what intimacy means to them.
It can be hard to have that conversation but it is important. Having an open, honest and respectful conversation can be the first step to reconnecting. However, it is also important to not use the conversation as a way to manipulate or pressure your partner into having sex. It can be helpful to have a list of questions that you can ask your partner about their definition of intimacy and what it is they miss or want more of in their relationship.
Gigi Engle, a certified sex coach and sexologist with SKYN Sex & Intimacy Expert, says that couples should try to identify the root cause of their feelings of disconnection. This can help them figure out a plan to address it. It may be that they are not spending enough time together, or it could be a deeper issue such as lingering resentments.
3. Ask for their opinion.
Intimacy is usually referred to as a sex life within a romantic relationship and, it’s a key component to healthy relationships. That said, not all couples need to have sex in order to be intimate. It’s important to ask your partner what their thoughts are and how they feel about intimacy in the relationship. But, remember to ask with the intent of understanding and not to convince them they need more sex. Use our advanced search to find qualified, experienced relationship and intimacy counsellors near you.
4. Make time for yourself.
Intimacy is a huge component of any relationship. It is often defined as closeness, which can be many things, but in most romantic relationships it refers to a couple’s sex life. However, it is not the only way to create intimacy. Emotional intimacy is also important and if it fades, it can lead to disconnection, self-doubt, or even thoughts about leaving the relationship altogether.
When your partner doesn’t want to be intimate, the first thing to do is make time for yourself. This means creating boundaries and saying ‘no’ to activities that drain your energy, or to postponing events that you can’t attend. It also means creating new forms of intimacy, like non-sexual touch, to build trust and connection. And it means remembering that intimacy is a process, and that not everyone is ready for it right away. This is why it’s so important to respect their choice and be patient.
5. Make time for each other.
As humans, we need physical intimacy (such as hand-holding, cuddling and kissing) alongside emotional intimacy. It’s common for couples to feel that one form of intimacy is more important than the other and this can cause issues in marriages. When a lack of intimacy leads to a disconnect between spouses, it can result in the development of a range of serious marital problems.
If you and your partner are struggling to re-establish the connection that once existed in your relationship, it may be beneficial to seek a couples therapist’s help. They can assist you in understanding why your intimacy has gone and provide you with the tools to rebuild it.
While it’s perfectly normal to have separate interests and commitments, making time for each other on a regular basis is essential to keeping your marriage strong and healthy. It could be as simple as scheduling a date night once a week or going on a couple’s retreat together, but it is vital that you make time to connect with your spouse. This will not only increase your intimacy, but it will also allow you to strengthen your relationship.