5 Tips for reviving intimacy in your relationship

And they lived happily-ever-after. This is where most stories, films and plays end – at the good part where conflicts (usually only one) have been resolved; the lovers fall back into each other’s arms, passion is reignited, and all is well, forevermore. Pure fiction, fantasy almost, because in real life, even the closest of partners will have days when the memory of being single is an idyllic one, and the only reason you haven’t walked out already is that you can’t remember which was yours and which was bought as a joint purchase.

It is perfectly normal for relationships to experience periods of low libidos and a heightened awareness of the differences between you and your partner’s habits. Problems arise, however, when those periods get so long that you can’t remember the last time you were intimate together. Intimacy is not just about sex either; it is a sense of attraction and wanting to be in your partner’s company. In poetic terms, it is the desire that ignited when you first looked deep into each other’s eyes and thought – yes, I want to be with you.

Some couples are okay with their relationship becoming one of companionship over time. But if you feel that your relationship is suffering because of a lack of intimacy and you have established that the reason for low libido isn’t medical, here are some proven tips to help reignite the spark between you. 

1. Talk about it

Do you remember the first time you and your partner had sex? Did you talk about it first, or was it a mutual look of lust on the dance floor? Was there flirting, anticipation, a mutual expectation that you ‘would get it on’? Take some time to talk to each other about that first time, what you liked, how it made you feel. Sometimes just the act of talking about the good times and how good you made each other feel will help in recreating the feelings of desire you once had for each other.

Letting each other know why you are/are not feeling in the mood is a healthy habit to develop. The sharing of feelings, fears and desires is an act of intimacy in itself as it shows that you trust the other person with your innermost thoughts. Communication and trust are two of the cornerstones in building a great relationship after all.

2. Create anticipation

Schedule time for sex. The anticipation of pleasure creates feelings of desire, a knowing wink between the two of you that something good is going to happen later that day/week. Having something to look forward is also a known mood enhancer. Thinking about the pleasure you are both about to enjoy together helps increase feelings of desire.  

3. Don’t forget to flirt (with each other)

Often a couple who have been together for a long time, get into such a routine of work and companionship that they forget that part of becoming aroused is in the verbal communication shared. Knowing someone thinks you are sexy is an aphrodisiac. Compliments help people feel good about themselves and are a great way to show your partner that you are still attracted to them sexually.

4.   Make time for each other

Devote some time and attention to each other without the children/pets/social media/work getting in the way. Dating is just as important in a relationship that is ten years old as it is for one that is ten days old. Dating is time spent enjoying each other’s company. It doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant; sometimes just watching a sunset together can be an intimate experience that encourages bonding. 

5. Sex is a desire, not a chore

Just because you have scheduled time for sex, it doesn’t mean that the act also has to be routine, mix it up or try something new. If it feels awkward to begin with, that’s okay, start with just lying in each other’s arms. Talk about something that is of interest to you while gently stroking each other. Arousal can take time, especially if it has been absent in the relationship for a while.

Remember, living happily-ever-after is not the destination. It is a journey, and intimacy is an integral part of ensuring the road you are travelling together is a smooth one.

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Ann Jay

Ann Jay is a Wellington Relationship Counselor who provides marriage counselling, couple's counselling, and relationship coaching for couples and women either in a relationship or single. Her goal is to help people create healthy, loving and fulfilling relationships and experience the love they deserve.