Ways to Build Intimacy in Relationships.

Ways to Build Intimacy in Relationships

Couple Holding Hands

Intimacy.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Discover the many meanings of intimacy

What do you associate the term, “intimacy” with? Do you picture a candlelit dinner, an impassioned embrace, or a long walk on the beach? Intimacy is so much more than a purely physical or romantic moment. It’s a hard-earned mental, emotional, and physical connection with a partner.

You can be intimate over an ordered-in pizza and movie, a quick kiss goodbye, or silent car rides. It’s most often found in the little moments of comfort and closeness, so it’s important that you don’t put too much pressure on finding intimacy in grand gestures. Instead, look for it in small activities and find ways to work it into your day-to-day in order to enjoy a stronger relationship.

Talk about your physical connection

However, a big aspect of intimacy is, in fact, physical connection: hugging, holding hands, kissing, sex, and simple spatial closeness. It’s crucial that you both feel comfortable and fulfilled in this aspect of your intimate partnership in order to build your sense of intimacy in the relationship.

Be honest and open with your partner: the more you talk about desires or issues you’re having in the bedroom, the easier it will be to address them and enjoy the moment. If you keep thinking of new things you want to try, don’t hide them from your partner. Open communication is key to feeling close with your significant other and it can allow them to better understand your needs.

Ask for help where you need it

It’s also important to keep in mind that experiencing difficulty with physical intimacy is normal, especially for older couples. For example, about half of all men experience erectile dysfunction, and nearly a fifth of women face vaginal dryness. Don’t let these get in your way of physical intimacy; have a simple conversation with your doctor to learn about easy remedies. They can connect you with treatments ranging from an erectile dysfunction medication that improves male performance to a gentle personal lubricant that can make intercourse more comfortable for women.

If your interruptions are more mental, consider meeting with a therapist or discussing different ways to approach sex with your partner. There are several ways to be physically intimate that avoid traditional sex, it often just takes some creativity and understanding from a partner.

 

If you and your partner are having issues feeling emotionally intimate, consider seeking out a couple’s therapist or a marriage counselor. A professional, unbiased party can help open lines of dialogue in a relationship, pinpoint areas in need of attention, and flesh out issues that might be preventing emotional closeness.

Find common connections

It’s also important to find ways to build intimacy in other ways. Connecting with your partner about similar interests is a great way to foster closeness and rediscover your common passions. Whether that means trying out something new to both of you, or investing time in each other’s hobbies, finding these common connections will help you develop more emotional intimacy.

It could also be beneficial to use creative ways to learn more about your partner. Often, couples who are together for years begin to feel that their relationship, or even their partner, has become repetitive and uninteresting. Instead of settling into a comfortable routine with your significant other, challenge them (and yourself) with new activities or thought-provoking conversations. Consider using some interesting questions to guide your dialogue to give you some new, intimate insight into your partner and allow you to feel emotionally closer to them.

If your relationship is lacking intimacy, consider some of these ways to find closeness and rebuild passion between you and your partner.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Four David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Sasquatch. Wandering through a hole in time, they encounter Sasquatch. Can they survive?

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

Books are now available on Amazon.

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter.

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Does US mean no more ME? Relationship strain.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Couple not talking

Unhappy relationship.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Can your relationship survive?

The client comes for counseling, sometimes it is a couple, sometimes they have already spit or divorced and the client comes alone. The complaints are remarkably similar.

In the beginning, this relationship was so perfect. We spent a lot of time together, couldn’t wait to be together and then things started to change.

Starting a new relationship sets off a series of changes in everyone’s life. Some of these changes are enjoyable, falling in love is better than most drugs. But that new relationship also sets off stress. Those seeds of change planted at the start of the relationship become the weeds of disappointment later on.

In the process of creating an US, the couple finds themselves distancing from people who have been in their life before the relationship. Most of us have full lives, even when we say that there is something missing, like love, still to make room for the new partner something has to go.

The picture I get of this person entering a new relationship is sort of like my desk. It is full. No matter how much I clean it off more stuff appears and fills it up. So anytime I add a new thing, a book I want to read, something else I planned to look at gets covered up or if I push that new book onto the desk something falls off the other side.

Is your relationship overly full like that?

So to make room for that new love, you see less of old friends. Maybe your new partner doesn’t like some of your friends, so you stop seeing them. There may be conflicts between your partner’s interests and expectations and what your family expects. So you change a little and then your relationships with family and friends, those relationships change in response.

As the relationship progresses all sorts of conflicts arise. Where do you spend holidays? Do you go to activates with your friends and family or your partners?  As your new love takes you away from your established relationship your family and friends may push back.

You may be expected for a holiday meal with one part of the extended family and another part is angry because they expected you. You can see how the conflicts mount up.

You may decide to adopt the customs of one person or the other or you may compromise. Either way life activities outside the relationship will change. You have to stop doing some things to make way for others.

Creating an US in your relationship.

At this stage, couples come to counseling for help in creating space for an US. They need help in setting boundaries with people outside the relationship. They may also need help setting boundaries within the relationship.

The resentments may accumulate. You have given up a lot to make this relationship work and now you wonder what happened to ME since we became US?

Not losing ME in your relationship.

He came home from work after a hard day and she wasn’t there, out with her girlfriends again. She used to call him about every little decision now she calls her mother and tells him what her mom said she should do.

He used to want to be with her all the time. Now he spends Friday night out with the guys. Soon Friday turns into 3 or 4 nights a week. He starts going to the gym or running every day.

The time they used to spend together each now wants time apart. Often one or the other partner thinks the other is having an affair, sometimes they are, but most of the time they just decide to go back to doing the things they did before they got into this relationship before WE and US started to obliterate the “ME.”

Rarely does a couple both start the US to Me change at the same time.

So as the process of reestablishing ME begins to take shape, The relationship undergoes a new strain, creating separateness within togetherness.

Relationship counselors have looked a lot at the progression of relationships. We are seeing that relationships and people in them go through a series of changes. If one partner’s changes are out of step with the others then there can be problems in the relationship.

Sometimes that first embrace gets too tight and one person may push the other away.

This is a time to look at how the relationship is progressing not to think you picked the wrong person. Healthy relationships change over time.

There can be ME’s for both partners within the US. It takes time, understanding and effort to create that space within the loving relationship.

Frequently the two of you become three or more and then the relationship stress mounts. Do you have to give up being that loving couple to be a family? Can there still be a ME and US and an ALL OF US?

Making it a Family.

Family can and do make these transitions. It helps if you know they are coming. If these inevitable relationship strains and changes are making you wonder if you made the right choice in the first place, consider relationship or family counseling.

All relationships continue to change and starting over with a new partner means going through these relationship changes all over again. Couples who are willing to work at navigating the changes that always come, end up navigating those changes together.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.