Connecting With Your Partner Emotionally and Physically — The Practical Side
“I just want to have mediocre sex,” or “I just want to talk LESS/spend LESS time with him/her,” said no one ever in a healthy romantic relationship. Mentally healthy people do not begin romantic relationships/get married because they dream about having boring sex or spending little time with their partners. Generally, we pursue romantic relationships with people because we believe being intimate with them—emotionally and physically—will bring us joy, fulfillment and new life experiences we would not otherwise have without them.
So…what happens? Why do roughly half of all marriages end in divorce? Why is their infidelity? Why do people (especially married ones) often spend little time together talking candidly about their hopes, dreams, fears and feelings?
The answers to such questions vary. BUT, there are some basic reasons, I believe, that so many relationships nowadays struggle.
1) Communication: We are poor communicators. We either do not share our needs and feelings (our partners are not mind readers, by the way) or we share them in ways that are not well received. For example, waiting until we are having a meltdown, demanding help or lashing out are not helpful ways of making our needs known. Learning and using good communication skills is the key to feeling heard and understood and getting the most out of your relationship.
2) Connection: Life is too busy. We often do not make time to connect, even with those we love most. Connecting is like eating right and exercising. If you literally do not schedule it in, it probably will not happen. Make a concerted effort to spend quality time with your partner every single week.
3) Intimacy: Hollywood has polluted us. “Amazing sex” usually does not just happen. First, emotional intimacy AND “good” sexual intimacy flow out of good communication and connection which both require investing in your relationship. If you spend time together, communicate well and feel connected emotionally you will have better sex. Second, sex is not what we see in the movies and on TV. Most people have sex 1-2 times per week and it is not always with candles glowing and soft music playing. Nevertheless, romance (i.e., lingerie and candles) do happen with some forethought. And, sex can be really satisfying for both parties if couples communicate what they like and don’t like in the bedroom. No one is born naturally knowing how to “be good” at sex just like people are not born good at communicating. Such things take time, effort, practice and sometimes counseling.
If you are having difficulties in your relationship or marriage, or simply want more out of your relationship, a trained licensed mental health counselor can help you. A counselor can work with you on a variety of relationship topics including communication, connection and intimacy so that you can have the most fulfilling relationship possible. Please call Life Enhancement Counseling Services today at 407-443-8862 to make an appointment.