Going Through A Dry Spell
My partner and I seem to be going through a dry spell, sexually. How might we be able to get back to the closeness and fun we once had?
Signed: Going Through A Dry Spell
Dear Going Through A Dry Spell,
Couples struggle with physical/sexual intimacy for all sorts of reasons. It might be the worries of life that get in the way; or the pull of responsibilities and busy-ness that wears one or both of you down; or a family-focus that has taken over; or a quiet comfortability that has turned into a bit of a rut. Sometimes, one or both partners may feel they have changed (put on a bit of weight, or had their hormones shift, or are struggling with their own confidence for any sort of reason) and they might be feeling a bit insecure.
If you find yourself going through a dry spell, try these steps to breathe a little life back into your sexual connection:
- Be sure you create/practice daily Rituals of Connection. These are the special loving gestures or comments that are exchanged between you and your partner (and are not shared with anyone else), each and every day, that create the foundation for connection (things you say or do to show love/caring for your partner when one of you comes or goes from the home, just before bed, as you wake up in the mornings, etc);
- Make time to cherish one another with Signs of Affection. Remind your partner of what you find attractive about them, inside and out (share a treasured memory, give praise/compliments, send love notes/texts, use your body language and facial expressions to show your partner that he/she still gives you butterflies);
- Learn each other’s top two Love Languages (physical touch; words of affirmation; quality time, acts of service, gift-giving) and make the effort to show caring in the ways that your partner appreciates the most;
- Make Date Nights a priority. Spend quality time together (on the phone, over Zoom, in-person) and make sure the conversation focuses on your relationship, and not on the kids, house, finances, extended family or work. Try new things together; explore one another’s interests; grow stronger together through laughter and fun;
- Get comfortable Talking About Sex. Discuss what works well and what might be a new interest for each of you. The act of intimate conversation deepens sexual connection in ways that physical contact cannot do alone (you can write or text to one another if you are too shy to say these things out loud);
- Engage in physical touch that does not always end in sex. If you only touch your partner as a prelude to having sexual intercourse, the intimate connection can easily be lost. Practice PDA’s (to whatever degree you are comfortable), even if it’s just around the house. Kiss, hug, hold hands, give massages just for the sake of strengthening the love you show for your partner in that moment, and not with the expectation that it will be taken any further.
Remember too that sexual intimacy does not just stem solely from overt comments or gestures that so directly suggest love. There are many other ways that the closeness and intimacy between you and your partner grows, and these aspects of your relationships need your time and attention as well. Be someone your partner can always trust and count on. Keep your promises. Have one another’s backs and be a united team, together. Look for the positives in your partner. And be compassionate about their failings. Learn how to apologize properly. Validate one another (you don’t have to think your partner is right to show that you can understand their feelings/opinions). And reaffirm the commitment you feel for your loved one by sharing your dreams and goals for the future you want to spend together.
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