Having a strong intimate connection and showing love in relationships are both important aspects of a marriage that should not be overlooked. When you love someone you feel a deep chemistry that can’t be denied. This is healthy and natural, but that doesn’t mean you should let it overtake other important aspects of your time together.
Too much of a good thing can be harmful to the health of your marriage. Getting close in the bedroom is fun and beneficial for strengthening your bond, but there needs to be a balance between physical and emotional intimacy in relationships.
Here are 7 steps to finding the perfect emotional and physical balance with your spouse
1) Connect Emotionally
When partners have a strong emotional bond with your partner they show empathy, respect, and love in relationships. Emotional intimacy also promotes forgiveness and trust, both of which are essential for a long-lasting, healthy marriage.
Noting the importance of emotional intimacy in relationships, studies show that couples who have a deeper emotional connection report higher relationship satisfaction than those who simply share a physical connection.
You can connect emotionally by spending time together talking and sharing experiences together. Regular communication about your marriage is also important for establishing an emotional connection.
2) Try New Things in the Bedroom
If you feel confident in your emotional connection to your spouse but desire more physical intimacy, you're not alone. Couples who have been together for a long period of time may experience a dip in libido or sexual interest after a few years.
Do you want to up the physical intimacy in your relationship? Don't be afraid to try new things in the bedroom. Some couples may feel nervous about this suggestion, wondering if they will have to go “wild”, change their personality, or invite a third party into the bedroom in order to see results. The truth is quite the opposite. Here is a small list of just some of the new things you can try with your partner:
- Role Playing
- Trying a new position every session
- Reading erotica together
- Acting out a fantasy
3) Plan a Sexless Date Night
This may sound like it defeats the purpose of having a “date night”, but sometimes couples can get so focused on physical intimacy that they forget to actually have fun with one another. Date night doesn't always have to be about creating a sexually charged evening. It should be about reconnecting and having fun together.
Practicing non-sexual intimacy is a great way to strengthen love in relationships and deepen your bond. Go for a walk together hand in hand, cook meals, see a movie or a show, head out to a museum, plan a picnic, or just sit together with a glass of wine and talk. Ask questions, get to know one another all over again. Do something that stimulates you emotionally and mentally, instead of just physically.
Sexless date nights are also a great callback to when you were first dating and there was a flirtatious, fun energy to every encounter. Sure, you were excited about the prospect of being “alone” together, but you were also focused on having fun.
4) Build Sexual Anticipation
One way to practice emotional intimacy in relationships while encouraging sexual chemistry is with simple anticipation building techniques. Building sexual anticipation is truly the best of both worlds. It helps you strengthen your communication skills while getting you both geared up for connecting on a physical level.
You can do this by reminiscing about the first time you were intimate together, sending flirtatious or “dirty” text messages to one another throughout the day, making out like teenagers, talking about some of your sexiest moments together, or giving one another massages. These techniques are fun because they encourage both emotional and physical bonding.
5) Take up a Hobby Together
One great way to balance your emotional connection with your physical one is to take up a hobby with your spouse.
Ideas may including biking, photography, writing, visiting auctions, learning a new craft, joining a book club, going to the gym, doing karaoke, taking up dancing or a sport, learning a new language, starting a collection, or even listening to podcasts or audiobooks together.
When you and your partner take up a hobby you'll feel challenged in an exciting new way and will look forward to spending time together. Whatever you love to do, share it with your spouse, or start something new as a couple! This will help deepen your bond and create a balance between intimate and emotional time shared together.
6) Communicate about Sexual Frequency and Preferences
One way to ensure you're striking up the perfect balance regarding your sex life is to communicate openly about it. Are both of your sexual needs being met? Use a date night session to talk to your partner about their sexual preferences. You may be surprised at what you learn.
Some topics for consideration are:
- Words they do and do not like to hear used during sex
- Use of sex toys
- Favorite and least favorite sexual positions
- Ways they like to be touched
It is also very important to talk about preferred sexual frequency. While you may be more than happy to have sex once or twice a week, your partner may have completely different expectations in mind.
Knowing how your partner feels about sex will help you both get a better understanding of how to strike that emotional and physical balance in your marriage.
Not all couples have the same libidos. Your partner will not always want to have sex or just hang out together when you do. While you would never want to feel forced or force your partner into doing something the strongly don't want to do, compromise is still important in order for both parties to feel satisfied both emotionally and physically in the marriage.
If you want a strong, healthy marriage, you need to be willing to work on both your physical intimacy and emotional intimacy in relationships. Build the love in your relationship by striving to connect emotionally on a regular basis, communicating about your desired sexual frequency, and being open to new things in the bedroom.
About the Author:
Sylvia Smith is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey to a great marriage. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.