As a mother of 2, who only has time to write her drafts in the wee hours of the night in between the baby’s four hourly night feeds, who spends the day nurturing the kids while scampering to get house chores done and as someone who wakes up in the morning still tired and in a never-ending loop of sleep debt… I get it. I understand how one could just not be DTF… (and no, not Din Tai Fung lol). But my husband and I make it a point to maintain intimacy because we can feel how much it actually improves our lives together.
Credit: Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP
Ok, so you’re exhausted. Stressed at work. Have a home to run. Work overtime. Travel for work often. Have children to raise. Family turmoils to deal with. Whatever. You can reason out the lack of intimacy in a long term relationship or marriage all you want but I can tell you that it’s not right. A relationship needs intimacy; both physical and emotional intimacy. Without it, you will eventually fall out of touch and out of love.
When your physical sexual needs aren’t met, and/or when your need for emotional intimacy isn’t fulfilled, problems arise. You get disgruntled with the situation, you start finding (other) faults with your partner, you are shorter tempered, you may even get paranoid, you may give in to temptation if it is laid out for you on a silver platter or you may even search outside of the relationship for the intimacy which you crave. Even if the status of your relationship remains the same, it doesn’t mean that it is a good relationship, it doesn’t mean that one or both of you hasn’t checked out of it. You may be just continuing to exist because you lack options or you don’t dare rock that boat.
Here are 3 things you can work on right now to maintain a good level of intimacy in your relationship:
1. Talk about your needs to each other. There’s no one gold standard of how much sex or kisses or cuddles is needed in a relationship. What’s important is you both communicate what your ideals are to each other so that you can both find a way to keep each other satisfied and happy.
2. Make time for sex. Physical intimacy is one of the most primal and effective way to show love, affection and attraction. Loving, nurturing and satisfying sex actually does increase happiness in a relationship. It will also boost self-esteem and lower feelings of insecurity, leading to a more positive attitude towards the relationship.
3. Touch each other every moment you can. Touch doesn’t have to be reserved for sex. Be physically present when you’re around them… this means things like holding hands, draping your legs over his while watching TV on the sofa, an arm around the shoulder, etc. Let that physical connection you make say to your partner - I love you, I want to be close to you.