It is common for couples to come into counseling admitting that they have let the intimate side of their relationship wane. The truth is that when couples lose intimacy it is almost never intentional. It isn’t always disappointments and hurt that get in the way. Often, the busyness of daily life, exhaustion from work and raising kids, worry about issues like finances, or the feelings that go along with trying to stay on top of things, can simply take priority. When couples start to talk about it together in couples counseling, they often realize it has been many months since the last time they were intimate.
It can feel like failure to the partners to be in this situation. They might be embarrassed that they let this happen. What’s worse is the prospect of being intimate again can become awkward and feel like pressure and initiating seems impossible. There is, however, hope for couples who desire to be intimate again.
Here is a simple way to easily start to become intimate again. This Romantic Resolution exercise will relieve the pressure of initiating so that you and your partner can feel connected again. Of course, it may still feel a bit awkward, but only at first. So, if you and your partner agree that it would be good to get intimacy back in your relationship again, agree to sit down together and try this exercise.
This exercise works best if you plan to start on the first day of the next month. You will need a calendar, two dice, slips of paper, a pen and a bag as you prepare for next month.
- Create slips of paper with numbers on them, one for each day of the next month. Put the slips in a bag.
- Roll the dice. The number that is rolled will be the number of slips you pull out of the bag. You will have between 2 and 12 slips.
- Each number pulled out of the bag represents a day next month that you will be intimate together. Record those dates on your calendar. Plan on being intimate on those days — but only on those days. Strict adherence to following the dates on the calendar is crucial to this exercise.
- Now that the frequency and timing of your intimacy has been decided for you there is no more weird wondering about when, or if, it will happen. You’re all set to go. Intimacy is on the calendar! Have fun with this. Be playful about it. Know that you are doing something good for your relationship. Sure it’s silly, but isn’t that better than wondering and worrying, and being frustrated and resentful?
Give up the idea that intimacy has to be spontaneous to be enjoyable. Let go of the fear and awkwardness you let develop in your relationship around being intimate. Agree together to try this exercise. Follow the dates you draw carefully. If you do this together you will share a month that includes a little bit of awkwardness but mostly connection, fulfillment, anticipation, and renewed closeness.