Intimacy is a core component of a relationship, but many couples experience challenges when it is lacking. Whether this is down to communication problems, busy schedules, health issues, or other setbacks, a lack of intimacy can have a devastating impact on a relationship.
In this article, we explore the biggest barriers to intimacy, and provide strategies you can use to strengthen your intimate relationships.
What is Intimacy?
The term "intimacy" originates from the Latin word "intimus," meaning "inner." Intimacy plays a crucial role in fostering strong bonds between individuals on multiple levels, and is an essential aspect of any healthy relationship.
Intimacy is about the closeness between a couple, and encompasses affection, physical tactility, psychological stimulation, sexual connection, and even sometimes a spiritual connection. Intimate relationships tend to have high levels of trust between partners, with each partner feeling able to be vulnerable in front of the other.
Intimacy requires that both people in the relationship are honest and able to be vulnerable with each other. It can mean sharing one’s innermost thoughts and feelings with another, which can require a great deal of courage. Intimacy is like a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly to remain healthy. Over time, couples can build their intimacy with consistent effort and intention.
A lack of intimacy can have a negative impact on relationships; it’s one of the main reasons that couples break up. The good news is that intimacy can be rekindled, if both parties are ready and willing to put in the work required.
What Gets in the Way of Intimacy?
Intimacy is a crucial component of healthy relationships, but many couples face challenges that get in the way. The most common obstacles include:
Communication problems create misunderstandings, miscommunications, and frustration.
Stressful and Hectic Schedules
The everyday pressures of work and your personal life can get in the way of your connection with your beloved.
Physical health problems, such as chronic pain, fatigue and sexual issues can dampen desire.
When couples don't connect emotionally, they become distant from each other which translates to less desire to be intimate.
Infidelity, or cheating, is a big threat to a couple's intimacy and can seriously harm the trust and emotional connection between them.
Previous traumatic experiences, like abuse or neglect, can cause emotional distance and intimacy problems.
Lack of Intimacy Knowledge
Some couples can struggle with intimacy due to a lack of knowledge or practical sexual skills and experience.
Disputes over Intimacy
Differences in preferences, such as how often a partner wants to have sex, can cause tension and conflict between a couple.
How to Increase Intimacy & Sex Drive Naturally
Intimacy and sex drive can decline for various reasons, but there are many natural ways to increase the connection between you and your partner. Here’s some useful tips:
The foundation of a healthy relationship is good communication. Carve out time to honestly and openly discuss your desires and needs with your beloved.
Exercise boosts physical and mental wellbeing, energy, and self-esteem. All of these things contribute to both feeling and looking more attractive, and a healthy libido.
Chronic stress takes its toll on sexual function, so finding ways to manage stress, like with meditation, yoga, qigong, or physical exercise, will improve sex drive for both men and women.
Mindfulness practices help couples to connect on a deeper level. Practices like tantra have many exercises designed to bring couples together in a profound and beautiful way.
Experiment with new things
Trying new things, like new sexual positions, doing roleplay, or exploring other forms of intimacy helps to increase the novelty and excitement in a relationship.
Prioritize quality time
Schedule in regular dates or start a shared hobby together. Spending quality time together is a powerful way to reignite the spark in a relationship.
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Keep the Fire Burning
There are several natural ways to increase intimacy and sex drive, including improving communication, exercising regularly, reducing stress, practicing mindfulness, trying new things, and prioritizing quality time.
By incorporating these strategies into your relationship, you and your beloved can experience more intimacy and a stronger, more fulfilling relationship.