I grew up in a traditionally religious household where intimacy was not discussed. It has taken many years for me to develop my own understanding of intimacy and to integrate it in a healthy way into my life. I hope the below points help you and your loved one become closer and much more… intimate.
Often couples become disparaged or discontent with the quantity and quality of intimacy with their partner. Couples often start to feel a lack of spiritual, emotional, and physical connection with a loved one. As the months and years go by, we can often feel taken advantage or taken for granted. What is there to do? Is all hope lost? The fact that you are reading this blog post means that there is hope. Keep in mind that it takes only one person to change the dynamic of a relationship. Here are a few intimacy initiators:
- Communicate feelings and needs: Although it can be difficult or awkward to talk to your partner, it is important to let them know what you are thinking and feeling. If you are feeling a general lack of intimacy, as mentioned in the previous post, use the “I feel” statements to let your partner know how you are feeling. Use this as a method of reflecting how YOU feel not how the other person is messing things up (I feel confused and less connected to you” rather than “I feel like you never look at me anymore.” Accusations are rarely helpful.
- Be specific and clear about what you would like: Sexual intimacy can be very difficult for even the most veteran couples to discuss. It is often thought of as “taboo”; however, after years seeing couples in therapy, it is more taboo to not feel satisfied sexually. We often think that our partner should know intuitively what we want sexually, but this is rarely the case. Most couples are relieved when their partner takes time to discuss their sexual preferences and it can ignite much passion and pleasure.
- Be the agent of change: Take time to be present to your partner in the way they like to express and receive intimacy. Be willing to understand and enact your partner’s intimacy preference to express that you care and you want to become closer to them (e.g. back rub, long strolls in the park).
- Intimacy is not just about sex: I know that this goes without saying, but I think it needs to be said anyway. Intimacy is about getting closer to your partner through communication and time together. We value what we spend time doing. The greatest act of intimacy is showing that you care for your partner and not attempting to just “get” something from your partner. Your partner is not a means to an end, but rather a person who has the autonomy to refuse or consent to any expression of intimacy.
We are all a work in progress (something that my wife can attest about me). Although intimacy can be challenging, it can lead to great pleasure, and more importantly, greater love and compassion for one another.
Marriage & Couples Counseling in Cincinnati, OH
Do you and your partner need profession guidance discussing these sensitive issues? At my Cincinnati, OH based counseling office, I specialize in working with couples. As an experienced couples & marriage therapist, I have experience helping couples reconnect and improve their sex lives. I help couples at all stages in their relationship from premarital counseling to marriage therapy for couples who have been together for many years. If you are ready to feel connected and bring passion back to your relationship, I want to help. Contact me today to set up a free consultation or intake appointment for you and your partner.
Individual Counseling Services
If you and/or your partner want to attend individual counseling first, I can help with that as well. I offer anxiety treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy for depression, counseling for college students and career counseling. I look forward to exploring how counseling can help you live your best life.
Still Unsure if Couples Counseling is for You?
Still have questions? It’s normal for one partner or the other to have a lot of questions. You can read my answers to common questions about couples counseling here or simply schedule a counseling intake today to get started!