Maintaining Intimacy in Committed Relationships

IntimacyIntimacy usually means that we feel close to one partner both emotionally and physically. The level and intensity of intimacy in a long-term and or committed relationship often waxes and wanes over time however if intimacy is lacking for any significant period of time then the relationship soon becomes troubled. A relationship that is intimate most of the time creates safety, security and well being for both partners.

What blocks intimacy?

Intimacy becomes eroded when we lack self-awareness so that we aren't clear with our partner and ourselves about what we need and want. Each of us needs to take responsibility in being aware of our own thoughts and feelings and learning how to share these with those we love.

Another barrier is when we lack the skills to communicate with our partner and/or are too afraid to say what we think. The foundation of intimacy is the mutual sharing of our personal internal world.

These days most of us have too much on our plate and we can become tired and irritable. Learning to relax by yourself and as a couple will improve the level of relationship satisfaction. Going for a walk, massaging one another, listening to music all help to build intimacy.

Low self-esteem can damage the intimacy between you. If you don't like yourself or believe that you don't deserve to be loved, how will you be able to let your partner get close to you? Giving compliments and expressing appreciation can build self-esteem as well as intimacy.

Although we can't change the past, painful experiences may still bother us in the present. Infidelity, childhood abuse, death of a loved one and other traumas may contribute to ongoing anxiety, depression and anger. You or your partner may need professional help to deal with these issues before intimacy can be re-established.