Keep the Intimacy Alive During a Dry Spell
If you've been with your partner for a long time, you're bound to hit an occasional roadblock in your sex life. The birth of a child, surgery, depression, illness or any number of life circumstances can keep you from a regular romantic routine. Fortunately, there are plenty of creative ways to sustain intimacy, even when sex isn't an option.
What is intimacy?
Intimacy is often used interchangeably with sex or sexual acts. However, intimacy describes the soulful connection and sense of comfort and closeness you feel with a partner. Just as it's possible to have sex without intimacy, it's also possible to have intimacy without sex. Depending on your love language as an individual and your current lifestyle and history with your partner, intimacy can look very different from one couple to the next.
Intimacy ideas beyond the bedroom
Fostering a strong intellectual and emotional bond with your partner adds richness to your relationship. By taking time to understand the inner workings of your loved one's mind and heart, you can discover a greater appreciation for what they bring to the world outside of your relationship. Ask questions to delve deeper into how they think, what they need and the values they hold dear.
For meaningful conversations to get to know your partner better, try asking:
- What advice do you wish you could give your younger self?
- Describe what an ideal day looks like to you.
- Let's each share one embarrassing moment we haven't told each other about before.
- What is an accomplishment that gives you a sense of pride?
- What was your dream job as a kid?
- Who was your favorite teacher and why?
- How would you spend your ideal vacation?
- If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be?
Even if you think you know your partner well enough to finish each other's sentences, you may be surprised to learn there are areas you haven't explored. Never underestimate the gift of listening. Demonstrating a genuine curiosity about your partner and taking the time to listen to what they have to say is a powerful way to show love and appreciation.
Showing affection without sex
Physical intimacy is more crucial to some people than others. Try to be mindful of your partner's needs, even if they're different from yours. When you're unable to have sex, you can still demonstrate love to your partner with simple gestures like giving a massage, showering together, holding hands, rubbing the other person's back, hugging, sitting close and cuddling.
Sometimes the smallest gestures can turn a cold interaction into a meaningful one.
Why intimacy is essential
No matter how you define it, intimacy's unifying characteristic is that it is essential. Without intimacy, relationships feel empty and primed for collapse. Even the closest couples go through periodic dry spells. What sets them apart from those who fail is they enjoy a multifaceted relationship that doesn't rely on physicality alone.
It's a common misconception that when a relationship is right, it should always be easy. However, any long-lasting partnership is going to face periodic obstacles. Luckily, finding ways to work through challenges with your partner further strengthens and solidifies your intimate bond.