As life gets busier and we acquire more and more responsibilities, some of the behaviors that led to a healthy relationship can occasionally be put on the back burner. There are often so many things that demand our time and attention that it can be hard to also dedicate time to getting closer to your partner.
This is often especially true about intimacy in long term relationships, as the demands of our day to day life can leave us feeling tired, depleted, or unable to give of ourselves as much as our partner wants and needs. Challenges can become even worse if there are life events – like having a baby – that throw a wrench in the patterns of intimacy that we are used to.
Learning to Integrate Intimacy Again
As much as there are good, valid reasons to feel like you don’t have the time or energy for intimacy, that intimacy is still important. It’s a level of closeness and vulnerability that helps couples feel like they’re genuinely together, and creates happiness that other people cannot provide.
So what can you do if you don’t seem to as intimate as you want to be or should be?
- Communicate – Above all else, this shouldn’t be a secret between you. It’s important to be vulnerable and honest about your desire to spend time together. The last thing you want to do is have you or your partner question why you’re not intimate together or feel resentful about it, so communicating about it can make sure that there is no confusion, and both of your intentions and needs are known.
- Plan – You can then talk about how you’ll fit intimacy time in and when. Sometimes, you may need to schedule it, like “Wednesday at 10pm.” Yes, it may make things feel less spontaneous, but it can provide something to look forward to and give you a chance to connect which may not happen without that planning.
- Redefine “Intimacy” – Intimacy doesn’t have to mean sex. If you’re not in the mood, sex may not be an enjoyable or intimate experience. That’s why it’s important to also prioritize other types of intimacy. Deep conversations where you give each other undivided attention, other forms of touch, exchange of compliments – all of these can be very intimate.
These are some strategies that can help you still bring intimacy into your life and stay happy and satisfied in your relationships, no matter how busy you may be.
If you would like additional support, our Long Island couples counselors are here to work with you and your relationship to better communicate and maintain intimacy. Contact us today to get started.