Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Physical affection is soooooo important to human beings that without it, babies can't survive, and yet, many of us will go weeks, months, or even years, with little or no caring touch. If you're in a relationship where this has gone missing or is in short supply, you're probably wondering how you got here. Juggling the demands of careers, kids, and other responsibilities, can sometimes cause us to forget to make our relationships a priority. If this has happened to you, fear not! The following steps will help get you back on track and cuddling in no time.
Establish Daily Physical Rituals of Connection
A ritual of connection is something you and your partner do on a regular basis that keeps the two of you emotionally and physically connected. When you have time on the weekend and you are both calm and relaxed, try discussing these rituals with your partner.
Bedtime Ritual: How do the two of you say goodnight? Do you hug, kiss, spoon, say, "I love you?" Why not discuss adding or expanding this? Even if you don't go to bed at the same time, you can still perform your ritual before the first person goes to sleep.
Morning and Goodbye Ritual: How do you great each other in the morning? If you don't usually hug, why not adding this to your repertoire? How do you say goodbye to each other? A German study discovered that Men who kissed their wives goodbye each morning lived an average of ten years longer than men who didn't! Give that goodbye kiss a try, and while your at it, make it a six-second kiss rather than a peck on the cheek. Researcher, John Gottman, says that a six-second kiss is a kiss "worth coming home to." Adding that as a daily ritual can make a huge difference to your relationship.
The Daily Stress-Reducing Conversation: At the end of each day, have a twenty minute conversation about what went well that day and what was stressful. Offer support and empathy to each other, but don't give advice. This conversation is to support your partner emotionally, not fix the problem. If the other person wants advice, they can ask for it. You may be thinking, "How will this help create more physical affection?" The answer is that by strengthening the emotional connection, you are increasing the desire for touch, for snuggles, for sex.
Plan a Date Night Regularly
Couples need couple time. Even if you both work full time and long hours, you still need to have time together without the kids or other family members or friends. Don't let your guilt make you skip this. By taking time to strengthen your relationship, you'll be better and happier parents to your kids and more responsive to other family members that may need your assistance. Date nights needn't be expensive, but they do need to be exclusively for the two of you. Try to make this happen weekly or every other week. Swap babysitting with another couple if needed.
Take a Couples Vacation
Get away for a weekend. You'll all benefit. It may be hard to leave responsibilities (especially kids) behind, but find a way to do it! Most couples find a short vacation to be a total recharge that injects new life into the relationship.
Sex doesn't need to be spontaneous to be exciting. For a great many of us, If we leave sexual intimacy to happen naturally when we are both well rested, stress free, and feeling amorous, chances are...well...it's not likely to happen often. That's why discussing when it would fit well with the schedule is often important. Equally important is having a gentle way to ask for sex and kindly refuse sex, so that no one's feelings are hurt. While you're at it, why not ask each other what turns you on? If you do this, you're both likely to be motivated to make your next sexual encounter special.