True or false: when your sexual relationship is going well, your chances of a successful overall relationship increase in turn. And when your “sizzle fizzles,” the chances for a successful overall relationship plummet. Most people connect the quality of their sexual intimacy with the strength of their relationship. If that is true, then why is it possible for a relationship to deteriorate even when a couple is sexually satisfied? And why do some fear that because of a difficult time in their own sexual performance, their partner may leave? This is a hard emotional burden to bear, on top of the physical problems that need to be addressed. Certainly sexual chemistry, sexual satisfaction, and sexual frequency provide important information about the relationship, but sex doesn’t paint a complete picture of a relationship. The best road to a healthy relationship is honesty with yourself and your partner about your sexual, emotional, and intellectual desires and needs to build both your sexual intimacy and your heart intimacy.
For new couples, it’s important to discuss the timing of initial intimate relations and deeply held personal values that come into play for both individuals around the subject of intimacy. Two people are bound to have varying mores around sex, different relationship histories, and depending on how their prior relationship ended or if this is their first relationship, different hopes and expectations. It might seem “un-spontaneous” to “just talk” with someone you’re very attracted to, but it makes a big difference in helping partners know each other. Sex is a partnership, making it work better when you know and respect each other’s values, hopes, and expectations. Then partners can evaluate their relationship based their sexual intimacy as well as on their heart intimacy.
For established couples, many times their biggest fear is that the sexual intimacy will end, and in turn, their relationship as they know it will end, too. They envision a scenario in which they are trapped in a sexless marriage, for instance, waiting for children to get old enough to handle divorce. Being the partner who struggles with their sexual performance is frightening, too, and causes tremendous guilt. Here is where the partnership aspect—a couple’s heart intimacy—really comes into play. Just as they are used to being naked physically with each other, it is at these times that they can take their heart intimacy to a deeper level and be emotionally naked together. This is a time for partners to talk honestly about their deepest fears, in the physical and emotional parts of the relationship, and in life.
By balancing your sexual intimacy with your heart intimacy, your relationship will grow and strengthen.
- Take care of your body. Focus on the health of your body nutritionally and physically to enhance your sexual ability. Start by booking your annual health exam to determine your current health and wellness status. But don’t wait for the appointment to start your new life. Follow Yoffie Life’s guidelines to amplify your water intake to meet your body’s needs and/or add a short workout routine to your weekly schedule. Simple lifestyle changes can start you on a path to a healthier and more confident you that may help you get out of that sexual rut or insecurity that is plaguing your relationship.
- Go on a heart-intimacy date. Experience a place, event, or person that affected who you are today to further invite your partner into your life. You may visit a location where you served in the military, or introduce your partner to your favorite teacher from high school, or simply enjoy a picnic with your partner at your favorite outdoor location. The specific activity does not matter as much as your focus on exposing your partner to a part of you they may not have known or experienced in the past.
- Connect through conversation. Sharing your thoughts and viewpoints is crucial for your relationship to grow. No one expects you to be the same person years or even months after the beginning of a relationship. It is up to you, however, to share how you change with your partner. For example, has there been a change in your viewpoint on an important issue in the last month or year? Share your new views with your partner to ensure that you know and understand each other as you evolve as an individual so that you can grow together as a couple.