Intimacy is about feeling close to your partner. It is about feeling safe enough to be vulnerable. It is about having an interpersonal adventure by trying new things together in and out of the bedroom.
In this article, I write about the five main obstacles that prevent many couples from enjoying the deep pleasure of depth and feeling genuinely bonded.
If you have one or more of these obstacles happening in your relationship, just remember that I assist couples to blow up those obstacles and have the relationship they truly want. The statements below are not judgmental even if they may sound that way. Most human beings struggle with reaching their relationship potential because of these 5 blocks. The good news is that you do not have to settle for a less alive relationship. Healthy intimacy is within the reach of almost all of us.
1) You stopped being interested in your partner a while ago.
You don’t ask questions and do not realize how your lack of interest has been a factor in the deterioration of the aliveness in the relationship.
2) You protect yourself from getting hurt because you have felt hurt because of your partner before (and/or others) and don’t want to take a chance with your heart again.
Instead, you settle for a mediocre relationship that does not break up but is dry and routine. Your partner may be doing the same thing.
3) You get defensive rather than listen to your partner especially when there is something negative he or she is feeling and stating.
Nothing tears away at intimacy faster than reactive, defensive communication. Staying open and present no matter what your partner is experiencing and expressing is challenging to most of us reactive creatures, but it is worth the effort to practicing the skill of staying present when your impulse is to get defensive or leave.
4) You have sexual issues and rather than face them, accept them or work on them, you avoid sexual intimacy altogether.
This can lead to the rupture of emotional intimacy as well. Avoidance leads to hiding from each other and leads to partners living life lonely and disconnected.
5) You don’t take the time to slow down together on a consistent basis.
When you were courting, you slowed down together. Now that you are in a longer term relationship, you have your to do list, your electronics (phone, computer, TV) and your overall busy multi-tasking lives. The expression- “When you don’t use it, you lose it,” applies to intimacy as well. The more time that passes when you don’t slow down together, the more a non-intimate relationship will feel normal.
However, deciding to slow down together on a consistent basis can bring your intimacy back in a relatively short time.
How many of you can say the same thing about exercise? If you don’t go to the gym or do some other exercise for a long time, it is harder to get into it and it feels “normal” not to exercise. However, when you are exercising regularly, you miss it when you don’t do it.
And like exercise, slowing down together feels great when done on a consistent basis.