How to rebuild a relationship lacking intimacy
Life happens. We get comfortable, get caught up in the day to day hustle and bustle of existence, and intimacy can be one of the first things to get lost as a result.
But lost things always have the potential to be found.
Being intimate with someone comes in many forms, not just the physical. Emotional and mental intimacy is just as important – the emotional and the physical cannot truly be in harmony without the other. Carving our time with your significant other(s) to connect and check in with one another on whatever level is paramount to maintaining a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Whether this involves sex, touch (sensual or otherwise), deep emotional, mental or spiritual connection, having the time to just ‘be’ with one another and find out how that other person(s) is doing and feeling is the only way to keep a relationship going strong.
If you are perhaps feeling a little (or a lot) lost in the ways of intimacy and aren’t sure where to start, here are just a few of the things you could to introduce a greater level of intimacy back into your relationship:
Communication – the top dog when it comes to health relationship maintenance – you gotta talk to one another. Unfortunately, humans cannot read minds, and so a lack of communicating with your partner(s) can lead to misunderstandings, tension and frustration. When we open up and feel comfortable to share our thoughts and feelings with our significant other(s), we suddenly find we have someone on our side to help us overcome any fears or worries we may be having, as well as a partner to support us in achieving our deepest needs and desires. Communication is the vital first step to regaining any levels of intimacy in a relationship.
The small things – it is not all about the big gestures, painting their name in skywriting or holding a boom box outside their window, it is the small things that make the real difference. The way you tuck their hair behind their ear, lend them a jumper when they’re cold, bring them snacks when they are working too hard to remember to eat – these small acts of affection and care are often one of the most profound and affecting ways we can be intimate with someone. These little day-to-day things are what add up and make us memorable, make us someone that people want to keep around. These small acts of service and affection let our partner(s) know that we pay attention, that we notice them, that we take the time to make them feel good.
Romance and levels of intimacy – starting slow and building up is the way to go. Taking your time to romance your partner(s) and working your way towards a great level of intimacy will ensure that all parties are in the moment and fully listening to one another, fully engaged in the energy of the other person(s). When it comes to physical intimacy in particular, starting slow and gentle is a great way of gauging how the other person(s) is responding to touch or stimulus that day, what they are needing from you and where you both want to end up by the end.
Don’t rush or force things – the force and pressure of taking things too fast or trying to make things happen when perhaps that day the vibe is just not there is a one-way ticket to frustration and feelings of lacking or failure. We cannot make ourselves feel things that are not there or that we don’t want to feel in that moment, and this must be recognised and respected by all parties of the relationship. Forcing a square peg into a round hole will do nothing but irritate and upset the situation, and lead to a disconnection between those involved. Instead, try asking one another what the blocks might be to achieving certain levels of intimacy and how you can support one another in ensuring a positive, pleasurable experience for all.
Explore and experiment – don’t be afraid to try different things! There is a whole world of intimate activities and elements to introduce into a relationship – you never know what you might discover. You could discuss your fantasies or deep desires with one another, introduce sex toys or aids during times of sensual intimacy, experiment with intimacy exercises such as setting a timer and looking into one another’s eyes for three minutes. Whatever you want to explore with your partner(s), as long as all parties are consenting, it could be beneficial to open yourselves up to a world of intimacy outside what you have known.
Do stuff together – sharing experiences together is an excellent way to reignite intimacy when things feel a bit disconnected. Exciting or adventurous activities that require you to work together with your partner(s) – such as climbing, skating, water sports – are often particularly effective in strengthening a bond, as they can put you in a unique situation which you must navigate as one. Other effective forms of experiential intimacy could be bathing or showering together, meditating or exercising, giving and receiving massage, cooking together, and so much more.
Be present – there are few intimacy-killers more potent that a lack of presence in the moment. By definition, intimacy means closeness, and to not be fully resent and engaged with the person(s) right in front of you will naturally lead to disconnect. Try keeping tech out of the equation, turning off your phones and electronics and being fully emerged in the moment and whoever you are sharing it with. Physical contact and touch is an excellent way to ground ourselves in the present moment – you could try holding hands with one another, gently stroking or caressing their face, playing with their hair or maybe cuddling and holding one another close enough to feel one another’s heartbeats. All of these things can remind you that you are here and existing in this moment only, and that it is important to take it in and cherish it.
Still struggling? Never fear, the Therapy Room is here.
A healthy, loving relationship takes time, attention and effort. By helping couples realise what’s unspoken in the relationship, couple counselling can re-establish an open and honest, calm and loving connection.
Whether your relationship is simply not what it used to be, or you are close to parting, a breakdown does not have to mean a break up. Finding love again in your existing relationship is possible.
It may be small, niggly things impacting your relationship or it may be that your relationship is close to ending and you want to try one last time to stay together. You may have had a relationship end badly and want to get help for future relationships.
Often the stresses of life together – be it money, family, children, loss or trauma – put huge strain on relationships. Sometimes issues from childhood are carried through to adulthood. Communicating together can mean it’s possible to feel happy and fulfilled together again. Your therapist can help you resolve anger and hurt, conflict and frustration, showing you how to talk and listen to each other.
Couples counselling is held at The Therapy Room in Northampton. A safe, calm and balanced environment where couples can take time together, couples therapy can restore a healthy loving relationship. For a session of 50-60 minutes per couple, £90.00 is payable at the end of the session. 80-90 minute sessions are also available at £120.00 per couple.
To organise a booking or arrange payment, please visit our bookings and payment page.
Here at the Therapy Room, our aim is to get you and your relationship back to good, strengthening your connection and confidence with both yourself and your relationship.