Intimacy is an important part of a romantic relationship for many reasons.
Intimacy is an important part of a romantic relationship for many reasons. It’s a great way to connect with your partner, express yourself and it can really be a lot of fun. It would be unrealistic to say that when you have children everything remains the same in this department though because, for most couples, it definitely undergoes a change.
If you have noticed a change in your intimacy levels or “couple time” since the kids came along then you are not alone my friend – we hear you.
There are so many factors which influence how often we a) want to be intimate with the person we love and b) are intimate with that person. Children change every facet of your life and this is no different.
Change doesn’t have to be a bad thing though. It is actually quite empowering to accept the change, roll with it and be open to altering life accordingly.
Exhaustion is a huge factor. Parenting is an extremely tiring affair. So much of your physical and emotional energy is spent caring for other human beings on a daily basis.
It very often leaves little time to focus on your own needs and the needs of your romantic relationship. It is a very real obstacle and it really does have an impact on the intimacy in your relationship.
Then come the logistic factors. Up until now, you may have shared a bed with just your partner but these days there are a variety of little toes that find their way in there on a nightly basis. This is a very real everyday consideration. If intimacy typically happens for you in the bedroom or at night time this will have changed things greatly.
And finally – stress has a lot to answer for. Being a parent, running a household and trying to keep daily life running smoothly can come with a huge amount of stress.
Sometimes that stress is steeped in all things financial while other times it might be something domestic or an emotional/behavioural issue with one of the kids.
When you are feeling stressed you may feel unenthusiastic about a lot of things and intimacy definitely falls under this umbrella.
There is no perfect quota for relationship intimacy. There is no secret recipe or guideline that equals a healthy relationship so it is important to do things on your terms and remember that every couple is different.
However, IF you want to try to improve the intimacy in your relationship these tips might just help you.
- It’s not a sexy word but communication is key here. If you are concerned or feel like this topic is the elephant in the room then speaking about it should really help. It might be the biggest obstacle in the way and simply airing out your thoughts can really make a difference.
- Do you try to have date nights? They don’t even have to involve leaving the house. Buying a nice bottle of wine or the more expensive steaks some weeks is often enough! What matters is spending couple time together. Time where your identities extend beyond Mammy and Daddy. It’s great to reconnect.
- Be open to change. Some times you have to grab an opportunity, be a little open-minded and work with the change. The bedroom may now be a place of sleep whereas the other rooms of the house might just have more potential than you think.
- Stop listening to other people and comparing yourself to other couples. What works for one couple does not work for another. You are two human beings in a unique relationship so try to just focus on you two.
- Ambience has a lot to answer for. Light a candle, reduce the clutter and notice how much easier it is to relax. This really helps.
- You’re never too old for a cheeky text. Don’t be afraid to send flirty emojis throughout the day. It can feel very exciting as you go about your day.
- Remember that intimacy is about so much more than sex. Simply snuggling on the sofa or giving each other a massage is a great way to reconnect.
- Kiss each other hello and goodbye. It is SO easy to forget this when life is busy and you have a million things to be thinking about but it’s a great way to stay connected.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.lovofliving.ie.