Reprioritizing Your Time to Reconnect with Your Significant Other

By Dr. Tiger Devore

The fairy tale starts out like this: we are attracted, we meet, we date, we fall in love, and we start making a life together. Then, the reality hits: we set goals, we work hard, we have kids, we have no time to remember to connect emotionally and sexually with our beloved partner. Intimacy and sexuality often suffer; we might take less care of our bodies, gain some weight, lose our sense of being sexy, even to ourselves.

Does this sound like you … and everyone you know?

Even with the most in-love couples I work with, remembering to set time aside for closeness and intimacy seems to be the last place where precious time gets prioritized. I’ve learned that as powerful as a therapist’s suggestions may be, patients often simply resist. I cannot just tell a couple looking to regain their lost romance that they need to put more time aside for sex and intimacy and then it will instantly happen in their daily lives. Like so many other things we want to commit to because they are good for us, we will not do it unless there is some other motivator put into the mix, even though regaining intimacy really ought to be worth it. The same goes for looking and feeling better. We know that in order to do so, we must give up fatty food, drinking too much wine and start getting some exercise, but how many people do all that so easily?

It is about creating a habit: changing how we think about our schedule, making a commitment to something we have decided to make a priority. So how do we trick ourselves into making a change?

We can sometimes do this by creating a new tradition. This season, how about putting the word out to friends and family that you and your significant other are planning a getaway for a week or weekend? Recruit babysitters, if necessary, but start arranging the resources for you to be able to enjoy some time together without the distractions of all the unopened mail, the laptop, or the cell phone that are always within your peripheral vision at home, cueing you to check that text or email you looked at five minutes ago. This weekend away is about a romantic setting, a comfortable room, easy access to food and drink, and time with just you and your loved one to get reacquainted. No distractions and very little planned other than to be with each other.

Sounds scary, right? You will both have to face how unfamiliar you are with playing with your significant other this way since you have probably been avoiding it for a few years now. It would be easier to get busy sightseeing, but that is not the point of this. I must press patients to do some preplanning to include what they would like to have in their life with their partner, the feeling they used to have, the familiarity of their partner’s body they have forgotten, the appreciation that made taking time so easy when they first met.

I will also ask that the couple do some shopping together. Buy some lingerie and bring along the lubricants or other supplies that make intimate contact more fun. Take the opportunity for each of you to bring along something new that your partner might not know that you would like to try out. This experience should be playful and celebratory. And … who knows … If the romantic weekend works out, this may be something you will make happen every couple of months, instead of once a year.

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