Do you DO intimacy with your significant other?
No, I don’t just mean sex here; I’m talking about emotional intimacy.
Do you talk intimately to one another? Tell each other what you like, dislike, want, don’t want–from each other, from life?
Do you sit next to each other sometimes in your family room or living room just because? Or at least while reading, listening to music, or watching T.V.?
And do you hold hands while sitting with each other?
It’s quite interesting how many couples I run across in my professional work who are uncomfortable with each other when it comes to intimate moments.
They have great difficulty looking at each other in the eye, talking to each other about their feelings, wishes, hopes, desires, etc.
And if things do get a bit intimate or if one of them tries to get close either verbally or physically, the other makes a wise crack, a joke, or a sarcastic comment:
“Hey, who’s this Mr. Touchy-Feely all of a sudden?!”
“Hey, cut it out and be serious!”
It’s hard to learn to take risks with each other by sharing intimate words or gestures if we know that the other person will not go along with us or that they might even make fun of us or immediately deflect or reject the attempt.
Many couples who have been together a long time develop problems in their sex lives, which most often can be traced right back to these very same issues regarding the degree of general intimacy between them.
Work on saying the things that are uncomfortable for you to say:
“I really love you.”
“You are the greatest.”
“I really love the way you….”
“You’ve always been so good at that.”
“I love your eyes/ears/neck/forehead.”
And work on doing things that are uncomfortable for you to do:
Give a warm hug.
Give a loving kiss in a non-let’s have sex now-kind of way.
Rub the other person’s back/neck/hands/feet.
Sit next to one another.
Soon, you will rebuild the overall intimacy in your relationship which will set the groundwork for all sorts of great re-awakenings!
Anthony Ferraioli, M.D.
Author, Don’t Get Married! (Unless You Understand a Few Things First)