As a counselor, I see many clients who are concerned about intimacy and sex. Romance books are a beautiful escape from reality and can help reduce the stress of daily frustrations. And you can even learn a few tricks to improve your relationship. The danger arises if you start to believe in fantasy, compare your real life partner to a fictional character, and feel dissatisfied and dissatisfied. One of the attractive things about romantic heroes is that they do all the work, but in a real life relationship with a real man, you probably have to get the ball rolling and let him know what you want.
Our culture is saturated with unrealistic representations of love, relationships, and family. From celebrity debacles to over-the-top movie romances, as well as highly exaggerated depictions and expectations of beauty, romance, and sex, the media bombard us with images and ideas that are the exact opposite of what works in marriage. Look around at the “beautiful people” – how long do their marriages last and how happy do they really seem?
When people’s expectations of what marriage entails are exaggerated, they become disillusioned and discouraged. Successful married couples have a more realistic idea that the marriage will not be ideal, and partnership and mutual love are things that you have to work on, build on for several years. If you love and care for each other, you have a better chance of success in your relationship.
Most couples who come to my office for relationship problems report that their marriage lost its romance a long time ago. It’s easy to feel romantic when you’re living apart and hanging out together, because every moment we spend together is special. From the moment you start living together, those romantic moments are no longer automatic. Instead, they spend a lot of their time together on more mundane things: doing the laundry, doing the dishes, paying the bills, or going to work. Although this may be new, exciting, and fun at first, as soon as the initial novelty of living together wears off, those everyday things are no longer exciting and romantic, and you may feel worried that your partner may no longer worry as much or he is so excited to be with you.
Pleasant sex is an important part of married life, helping to create a strong bond that is the most reliable way to safeguard your connection. Fighting occurs more often in marriages where intimacy and bonding don’t work. Intimacy is the art of making your partner feel understood and accepted. When this feeling is created, the barriers drop. The gentle touch, eye contact, a gentle sense of humor, and the right words create the atmosphere. Commenting positively on your partner’s appearance or the day’s activities will also help. To reconnect, make sure you listen to yourself and understand your partner’s needs and wants. The most powerful thing you can do to maintain a strong marriage is to form a partnership, a team, where both parties feel respected, cared for, and needed. If you really want to restore the marriage, start not by complaining about your needs that are not being met, but by focusing on the needs of your spouse. Once your good connection is restored, you can begin to troubleshoot.
Here are some ways to regain privacy:
Guidelines for increasing intimacy
• Make recreation, play, and fun a priority. Put more energy into making your partner laugh and you will find that a playful approach will motivate both you and your spouse to want to be around. Pleasure, humor, leisure activities, and goofiness are ways we recharge, renew our energy, restore our hope and positive attitude, and connect with each other. Don’t allow much of your time to be absorbed by television, email, computer games, or other unimportant people.
• Don’t let your expectations get out of line. Fun and intimacy don’t depend on spending money or going to extremes; they do not depend on a particular environment or activity, and they do not take much time. Enjoying is an internal process. They can be sitting and talking about interesting or pleasant things, working together in their garden, playing with the children or the dog, or doing a puzzle. Singing, dancing, playing a sport or a board game may be what you need to feel close. Through play, we reconnect with our hearts, our child selves, and the intuitive and spontaneous responses that lead to sexual connections.
Yes, you can create intimacy with special occasions, something that requires a bit of advance planning; But when you look back at your most intimate experiences, they are more likely to have been spontaneous and simple rather than elaborate and expensive.
• Don’t focus unrealistically on appearances. Aging together means that we will eventually show our age. Focus on how you feel about your partner, not baldness, weight problems, or lack of performance ability. They will be able to have happy sex with each other at their age, if they learn to accept the changes that come with age. You may no longer be beautiful people, but you can have a lot more love, sex, and fun than they are if you feel comfortable with the inevitable changes. Don’t let our youth-obsessed culture rob you of the pleasures you can still have.
• Develop “cues” that work. A special light in the bedroom (when it’s on, at least one of you is interested) that brings home flowers, costumes, a certain touch or phrase.
• Be careful that your desire for privacy is always a request and not a request; the difference is that a request can have “no” for an answer. A demand is oppressive; an application is complementary. Demands push you away; requests invite the other person to come closer.
• Once you’ve established a few transitions that work, try a few surprises. A surprise means they haven’t been consulted, so with all surprises, give your partner time to respond and be prepared to change the details if necessary. You could shower, perfume, and dress in something that you know your partner will like when you get home from work and make your move. Watch your partner’s response and be prepared to back off if you’ve picked a bad time. Your sense of humor works well here. When they work well, surprises can add some excitement and energy to your sexual relationship; but only if it is done infrequently.
• Make reservations in a romantic place and present them to your lover in a romantic or sexy card during a quiet dinner. Because it’s a surprise, build some flexibility into the plan and make sure the plans feel good for your partner, not just you. That is, if you like to play golf and want romance, choose a romantic location with a nearby golf course. If you like the sea and you like to watch sports on television, choose a seaside hotel with a sports bar. During the getaway, share activities as much as possible.
• Sex is a physical form of communication and, like any other communication, it takes some time. Give yourself some time to transition before having sex. Don’t expect to be able to jump into bed and “lay down.” Allow time for a quiet conversation, a sensual touch, etc. A “quickie” can be a lot of fun, but the fun disappears if it becomes your only option.
• For most of us (especially most women), “romance” is important to some degree in fostering a sexual mood. The relaxed anticipation produced by appropriate music, soft lights, and sweet words creates an ideal environment for intimacy, leading to verbal and physical affection. Keep in mind that what feels romantic or sexy is different for men and women, so include cues that work for both of you. Many couples find that watching erotic or romantic movies helps set the mood.
• Privacy is only possible when there is also enough personal space. Leave a little distance, regularly. “How can I miss you if you don’t go?” is a fun way to put it. You need some separate activities, friends, and interests to keep your desire for each other fresh. It’s great for your relationship when you have something interesting to tell your spouse when you get home.
• When you are married and living together, it is very easy to miss the romance. Don’t forget to bring home flowers, send cards, create or buy silly little gifts for each other. Write poetry, silly notes or songs, cut out a cartoon from a magazine, or just say the positive things you feel. Take a few more minutes to prepare a scene when you have a quiet time together, set the table a little nicer when you’re home alone for dinner. If you know that your spouse finds some aspect of a movie sexy or romantic, imitate it: bring your wife the same kind of flowers or show up in the bedroom in a dress similar to the one your husband admired on the lead actress. If the romantic couple in the movie takes a long, romantic walk in the woods, try walking together in a local park.
• Review the memories of your first days together. Visit places that have meaning for you: the restaurant where you had your first date, the park where you met, the romantic corner where you camped. Play your favorite love songs; rent a romantic old movie and eat some popcorn; do a crossword; go play golf; cook your favorite foods together. Reliving your first dates can rekindle your first feelings.
Mutual trust creates romance
Culturally, women have more permission for romance than men, but it has been said many times that men are the true romantics. Many romantic poems, song lyrics, movies, and plays are written by men. Don’t worry about your “image”; Be willing to risk feeling a bit silly from time to time. It is a great tonic for your relationship. Men, the biggest reward for you is more and better sex. Women, your reward is feeling loved and desired. Both of you will have a great time and enjoy it.