Many couples face difficulty with physical connection and sex at some point in their relationship. This is usually reported as a lack of passion in the relationship. While the many factors can influence the decrease of physical connection and passion, it is important to
considered that passion is created through cultivation. This means a continuous effort to create and maintain passion in a relationship is necessary for it to be present long term. Though physical connection and passion may feel that they have decreased drastically or may feel nonexistent, physical connection and passion can be regained in a relationship.
Consider these ideas our couples have had success with when trying to fix the physical connection and passion in your relationship.
Check on the emotional connection of your. Often times couples begin therapy thinking that they have an issue with physical intimacy and actually the bigger issue is the lack of emotional intimacy. This includes feeling consistently wanted, needed, and desired by one another, knowing and understanding each other’s inner world, and having secure attachment.
Here are some questions that you can answer together that can help build both emotional and physical intimacy.
1. What helps you feel desired (emotionally and sexually)?
2. Is there something I already do that helps you feel desired that you’d like me to do more?
3. What makes you feel less desired (emotionally and sexually)?
4. Is there anything I do that makes you feel less desired?
5. What is your favorite sexual memory of us? Why is this your favorite? How did you feel (emotionally) afterwards?
6. What are your fears about yourself in our sexual relationship (e.g., rejection)?
7. Which attribute of me do you find most sexy?
8. What are three words that describe your ideal sexual experience?
9. How do sex and intimacy differ in your mind?
Additionally, many of our couples like to answer the 36 Questions that Lead to Love published by the New York Times: http://36questionsinlove.com/
This activity if often done as a nightly check in using one or more of the questions to create fun conversation at dinner or before bed.
Rethink Physical Intimacy
Physical intimacy isn’t just sex. It can be very difficult to have fulfilling and healthy physical intimacy if the couples is just focused on sex. All of the steps leading up to sex including attraction, flirting, romance, intimacy, non-sexual touch, and sexual touch are important for building intimacy. If you feel you and your partner are struggling with physical intimacy, check and see if you’re doing the basic steps of courtship (flirting, holding hands, going on dates, etc.). Ask one another where you feel like you’re doing really great and where you need to improve with your courtship.
Navigating the path of regaining physical intimacy and passion can be difficult to do alone, especially if the relationship is experiencing high levels of conflict or is recovering from infidelity. A sex therapist can help you determine where the difficulties connecting are in your relationship and how to overcome these barriers. The therapist can assist you in assessing both emotional and physical intimacy levels and provide feedback and “homework” to try. Sometimes the therapist might focus on practical topics with you including how to increase passion, fun, and pleasure. Other times, the therapist may focus on encouraging you to increase your emotional intimacy and non-sexual connection to strengthen work towards the physical connection.