He leaves for work in a hurry with a quick “Have a nice day” thrown over his shoulder..almost as an after-thought.
She gets ready for bed at night, turns out the light, and just manages to mumble, “Good night honey” before curling up on the opposite end of the bed.
Are you both happy with this, or are you defaulting to a very lazy, fruitless status quo? This default is also dangerous, as intimacy plays an integral role in the health of a long-term relationship.
If these scenarios are more or less the norm in your relationship, then now is the time to turn up your relationship thermostat and rekindle the physical intimacy between the two of you.
It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day lives and to forget about the importance of affection in our relationships. Affection is a natural reflection of the love between you and your partner and showing affection and warmth to one another is key to strengthening your relationship.
If you’ve become accustomed to physical distance, start off with baby steps to warm things up – begin each day with a kiss goodbye and show the same affection when you both get home from work. And at bedtime, try not to turn away from each other, even if you are more comfortable facing the wall on the other end of the bed. Small efforts such as kissing your partner good night and sleeping a little less far apart will begin to chip away at the invisible wall between you and your partner.
If it makes you feel too uncomfortable to sit down with your partner and have a discussion about this, then just do it. If it doesn’t start out feeling natural, it will come to be natural over time. If your partner doesn’t notice the changes at first, have no fear and persevere! Consciously or not, your efforts will be appreciated and reciprocated.
Turn up your relationship thermostat day by day to take your relationship from luke-warm to steaming hot.
To Greater Intimacy,
Rachel Moheban, LCSW