What happens to a couple over time? They fall into a routine. Most of the time, it's a routine they don't even like. And it can be BAD for your relationship.
Routines That Kill Intimacy
Maybe when you get home, you both change into your worst clothes, grab your phones and settle into the couch for some good ol' scrolling. Why wouldn't you? You deserve some relaxation time! You just worked all day. But then you both get to scrolling and never interact. You sit there, grab some things to eat that somewhat resemble a dinner, then get ready for bed, and goodnight.
Maybe at night, right before bed, one of you nudges the other one. "Hey, you up? Are we having sex tonight." There's a pause while the other person contemplates their options briefly. "Yeah, sure." Then you do your sex routine. First hands here, then this, then they do that, then this, and good night.
Maybe when the kids get home, you help them with homework while they make dinner, you all eat quickly, run to the activities, get everyone ready for bed, finish the little things you didn't get to, then you get ready for bed, and good night.
None of this is very exciting. But I'm sure a lot of this is familiar! We all get into these unhelpful routines. We're just trying to get through our overly scheduled, crazy jam packed filled days. It's easy to fall into these habits where we barely interact. Forget real conversations. Forget laughter and fun.
But - sex, connection and intimacy loves the unique. It loves mystery. It loves fun, looking into each other's eyes, conversation, novelty. So if you want more sex, a stronger connection, and deeper intimacy, you need to change these patterns. You need to break these habits.
Smash Those Habits
If you want things to change, you need to change what you do every day. Choose one thing and do it differently today. Look for one, practical, concrete change you can make with the goal in mind of increasing sex, connection and intimacy.
Need some ideas? I got you. Look below.
Changes to Make to Increase Sex, Connection and Intimacy
Change your entrance into your house.
-If you come home everyday and say "hey" and then walk to your room to change, try this instead. Before you walk in the door, take a few calming breaths and prepare yourself to create a connection. Walk in the door, grab your partner and give them a hug and a kiss. Twirl them around. Say something really nice. If you make this your new habit, it will pay off.
Change your relaxation time.
-If you always chill on the couch, each watching your own shows, in separate rooms, or on your phones, change it up. Ask your partner if you can watch something together. Find a show that becomes both of yours. Better yet, ask them if they want to play a game together (video game, card game, 20 questions, etc.). Ask them to go for a walk with you. Ask if you can trade foot rubs while you answer questions about your childhoods. Make it your goal to increase your connection while you relax.
Change your bedtime routine.
-If you always climb into bed when you're both exhausted and about to pass out, get into bed earlier. Ask them to spend some time cuddling in bed and talking. Rub each other's back. Try not to leave it to the point of there only being enough time for a quickie. Ask them if you can go to bed together earlier so you can have extra time. Say you want to do something to them they like.
Change your breakfast.
-If you hurriedly grab a granola bar and run out the door in the morning, try this instead. Get up a little earlier and make yourself a nice breakfast. Better yet, make a nice breakfast for you and your partner. Spend some time relaxing and enjoying your breakfast together. I guarantee this will make a difference in your day.
Change how you do chores.
-If you both separately do some chores around the house, what if you did them together? When the bathroom needs cleaning, what if you tackled it together while talking and listening to music? Or if the yard needs racking, go out there at the same time to do it and talk. If you have kids, have everyone do it. Involve the whole family. Make a game out of it. (But not a contest, those usually end in someone crying). Create alter egos: you're superheros cleaning up the city after a big fight, get creative and talk about who each of you are and the roles they played in saving the city. Or maybe you wash the car and play like it's a car wash. You get the point. Spice it up and make things fun and different.
So this ended up being way longer than I intended. Guess I had a lot to say!
Changing your habits and routine can be hard. But sex, desire, connection and intimacy love for things to get shaken up. They love unpredictability, fun and excitement. It takes a little more effort but you will reap the rewards.
Corrin Voeller is a relationship therapist in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. She does in-person and online counseling and coaching with couples and individuals to improve the relationships in their lives. She lives with her husband, children, and extremely fat dog.
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