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I won’t kid you – intimacy is not easy to rekindle once it is lost, and certainly very difficult unless both parties are willing to make it work. That is not to say it is impossible to seduce and rekindle your partner’s passion, but much easier if you work on it together.
- Don’t expect intimacy to ‘just happen’ without effort, time, attention and truly caring about your partner’s needs, not just your own.Give your partner your full attention when they speak, no matter how boring it seems to you! It is obviously important to them!
- Try to look at things from your partner’s point of view. Where are they hurting? What is it like being in their shoes?
- Pretend you have never heard what they are saying and listen again. If they are angry, perhaps it is because they don’t feel that you are hearing them properly?
- If our partner thinks you don’t understand, then you DON’T! If you think you do, then why don’t they feel as if you are hearing them?
- Don’t give advice or offer solutions unless you are asked! Listen! Observe! Ask them what they think before giving your ‘wisdom’.
- Make time for one another. Put your phone and iPad down! Have a proper conversation.
- Don’t hold on to the past. Forgive past mistakes and rekindle the relationship afresh. If you can’t, get help! Old thorns just fester if not pulled out.
- Don’t think you can be angry, say hurtful things and still have intimacy. Your partner will leave emotionally, then when they can, physically.
- Never, ever, bully or emotionally manipulate your partner into being intimate. It will only build resentment and have the opposite effect in the long run.
- Don’t just talk – act on what you learn! Initially it will feel ‘forced’ and unnatural but after a while it will feel normal. The important thing is to make the effort!
- Don’t expect a few love notes or flowers to do the trick. It takes time and getting to know one another again.
- Do things together. Shared interests and shared experiences create history and closeness.
- If you don’t know what to talk about, ask and share about feelings. Talk about the relationship, share your deepest fears and dreams. Some people find this scary, but come on, this is your life partner! If you find it difficult get some help. Sharing emotions isn’t a sign of weakness, it takes strength, trust, and being fully human.
- Don’t turn to porn or outside stimulation – it is likely to create more problems and less intimacy between you, even if you do find it sexually stimulating.
- Don’t just hope things will get better. Get some help from an experienced counsellor before somebody else turns you or your partner on!
Communication to rebuild intimacy
Genuine communication is the most important aspect of intimacy – it all starts in the mind!
Get to know your partner better! It is surprising how many couples think they know one another but have never discussed some important aspects of who they are and how they ‘tick’.
It is interesting that many people mistakenly think that what ‘works’ for them to create desire and feel loved or loving should or does work for their partner too. It worked before so it should always work, right? Wrong. The dynamic between you is entirely different now to what it was in the early part of the relationship. Do you speak the same Love Language?
“What makes you feel loved, sexy, turned on?”
“What do you think makes me feel loved, sexy, turned on?”
“What makes you lose desire?”
“How are things different for you now to what they used to be?”
You may be surprised at what you find out, but even if there is nothing you don’t know, you will have created intimacy!
Have your hormones checked. Loss of libido, especially as you get older, is often due to changing hormones. Research the subject and do what you can to keep your hormones balanced. Most doctors won’t bother about diet, but what you eat affects your body chemistry and how you feel is all about chemistry – if your chemistry is out of balance, there will be no ‘chemistry’ between you!
Somebody mentioned that the bonding chemical oxytocin is produced when we make love, and suggested making love more often – but if a couple is making love regularly then they probably won’t be reading about how to rekindle intimacy! Also, a couple that have been together for a long time are likely to have that bond and loyalty already, but may have lost the desire and intimacy. More oxytocin can only be a good thing though!
Spend time talking and really looking at one another. Maintain eye contact as often as possible for as long as possible. Eye contact while sharing deep truths or secrets about ourselves is, apparently, particularly bonding and creates wonderful intimacy (and more oxytocin!)
Gender and Personality Differences
Learn about personality as well as gender differences.
Most people are aware of gender differences (it is said that one must first make love to a woman’s mind before her body becomes engaged!) but we don’t always understand or investigate personality differences.
Perhaps you or your partner would benefit from more ‘me’ time and come back to the relationship rejuvenated? Or do you or your partner need more social stimulation?
(Read: “I’m not Crazy, I’m just not You”)
In the beginning of a relationship we tend to use all the love languages, but after a while will really only naturally use the ones that we find automatic to us. This can make the couple feel as if they have lost something or that their partner ‘no longer shows me love’.
If the couple have the same ‘love language’ it is very likely that they simply need to remind themselves to make an effort to use them effectively. They will remember how they felt loved, desirable and loving when they first met. However if they don’t have the same ‘love language’ then learning about them and making the effort to use the partner’s primary way of feeling loved will very naturally cause their partner to respond in a new and surprising way!