DR. CELESTE CATANIA-OPRIS, PH.D., LMFT
You know there is a problem. It may be hard to say aloud, but you know it’s there. You feel yourselves drifting apart. One of the main factors may be related to the level of intimacy in your relationship. This can be rather complex, as there is no specific definition of what is “normal” when it comes to feeling connected with your partner. Each relationship is different and has its own set of hardships and struggles, so keeping the “spark” alive is an individualized process for each couple.
Here are several ways to increase intimacy in your relationship.
Touch can bring two people together, especially when it is so desperately craved. Random touch will show your partner that you still care and that you are still “into” them. Run your fingers through their hair like you used to, plant a random kiss on their forehead, or look directly into their eyes when they walk into a room. Gently caress their face when you see they are having a bad day. This will send a shiver down their spine knowing you still want them. Randomly touching one another can feel erotic, but most importantly, make each other feel loved and desired.
Don’t let pride or anger get in your way. Have fun with each other. Use humor to lighten the mood and remember to laugh with one another. Go watch a funny movie together, go grab a cup of coffee and chat, or simply walk around your neighborhood, giving yourselves a chance to catch up. Schedule a time to have alone time, even if it is just watching television in bed. Scheduling a time may seem odd, but with our crazy schedules, sometimes it may be the only option for now. It can definitely be a good start.
Compliment your partner in order to show appreciation for who they are and what they do every day. Thank your partner for going to work today, for doing the dishes last night, or for giving the kids a bath. The key is to “notice” your partner’s strengths, but you can’t do so if you are not looking anymore. Pointing out their positive qualities can offer your partner the recognition they may have been needing from you, leading to an increase in intimacy and feeling connected.
The more time that passes before you discuss your intimacy issues, the more uncomfortable it can become to start the conversation. The option of going to see a professional is always there, but if you prefer to handle it on your own, don’t be intimidated. You both have known each other for quite some time so if you are feeling vulnerable, the odds are your partner may as well. The spark between the two of you can still be there; just don’t forget to keep lighting it.
Celeste Catania-Opris, Ph.D., LMFT, offers therapeutic services to individuals, couples, and families. Visit www.TherapyForModernHousewives.com.