Question and Answer: How can we improve the sexual intimacy that we experience with our partner? Can we develop a stronger emotional and physical connection?
by Layne Sampson MS LPC NCC
Intimacy is a necessity in any relationship, and can be both rewarding and difficult at times. The definition of intimacy may differ from person to person, woman to man. Does intimacy mean emotions and feelings? Or physical closeness? Or both?
Some individuals may question whether or not their partner is satisfied sexually, or if they themselves are enjoying being intimate with their partner. Some may want increased emotional rather than physical intimacy, or vice versa. Some couples may have ongoing concerns about their sex lives, experience jealousy, low self-esteem, fertility concerns, have experienced an event such as an affair, or may have different interests in the bedroom than their partner has. All of these concerns are important, and could lead to increased distress and relationship difficulties. Sometimes these difficulties may manifest themselves outside of the bedroom, and affect the partnership in a more intense way.
A few simple tips for improved sexual and emotional intimacy:
- Communicate with your partner 2-3 things that you enjoy about being intimate with them, and 1 thing you would like them to do more of.
- Spice up your surroundings (think room setting, music, temperature, aromas).
- Look into each other’s eyes for at least 2 minutes—no laughing or looking away!
- Tell your partner something that you would enjoy in the bedroom if your sexual desires were to be catered to.
- Remove one of your senses (think sight, sound, touch).
- Reminisce about your first date, your first sexual experience together, or your favorite experience together.
- Each partner plan a date night—their choice! (then switch!)
The hope is that there are more rewarding and positive intimate experiences (physical and emotional), gained through increased communication, bonding experiences, and true intimacy and connection on various levels.
“True intimacy is a human constant. People of all types find it equally hard to achieve, equally precious to hold…” ~Robert Grudin
Blog Excerpt: Mindful Living: Being a Team
If you are in a relationship (and you are stubborn) it’s best to try and and see the other’s point of view, and not be overly committed to how you see things. If you are willing to see that you are TEAM and you want a win win situation, the relationship becomes much easier and you become closer! firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommended Reading for couples:
- Anything by John Gottman
- The Five Languages of Love
- Getting the Love you Want
- Take the Myers-Briggs Personality Profile
- Please Understand Me II
From the Director:
We are busy at the clinic expanding again- we got the suite next door and we will more than double the size of the waiting room, and there will be a place are in the waiting room with toys for kids to play. Also we are adding two more therapy offices- we have been busy- thank you for all who are clients or who refer to us!
This newsletter is about couples issues. Intimacy can be hard to achieve- we need to allow ourselves to be vulnerable with another and to not let our wounds interfere too much. It is worth it to take risks to be close to another. I will be married for 19 years this month, and I encourage all couples to have a “state of the union” talk about the relationship at least every anniversary. Ask each other: What is working? Where are we at emotionally, physically? How much do we trust each other? What things would you like to improve? Checking in with each other often (at the minimum on your anniversary) will help you to fix things before they get too large, and allows you to celebrate the good things!
At my home our new puppy is finally calming down a bit and is almost housetrained- it’s been quite a few years since I had a puppy to train, and it’s pretty exhausting. Fun, but tiring. She loves to sit on our laps, but I don’t know what will happen when she gets full sized!
Enjoy your holidays! Devona Marshall- Clinic Director/Psychotherapist