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Coasting Shouldn’t Be An Option in Relationships. Intimacy Requires Effort.

People in long-term relationships often claim intimacy inevitably fades over time.

When I was younger, I doubted these claims and thought that if I found the “right person,” things would always be exhilarating. Growing up, I discovered that feelings could quickly become less exciting, especially in a long-term relationship that spans years or decades.

My husband and I are incredibly compatible. Sometimes, it feels as if the universe plucked him to be my match. However, even though we have so much in common and love each other deeply, there are days when it is difficult not to reflect on the early honeymoon stage with a bit of longing.

Life becomes busy, and time becomes more scarce the older we become. Even though we live together and both work remotely, some days pass without genuinely having a connection, and we have to make time for it.

There are four primary aspects we incorporate into our relationship especially when life gets hectic.

#1. Plan an adventure outside of your home base city

On our wedding day, I included in my vows that my husband and I have traveled to twenty-four states and six different countries since we started dating.

Traveling is essential to us and something that we both love. However, getting into the rut of feeling like we need to plan a great trip every time can be easy.

Trips abroad are always romanticized, but you don’t need to leave the country for an exciting experience with your partner.

We are fortunate enough to live in the mountains, and there are so many beautiful spots we haven’t scratched the surface yet, in cities just an hour or two away from us. For the rest of the year, we are making it a point to explore our backyard spots instead of feeling the need to travel to an exotic country.

#2. Don’t be afraid to pencil in “intimate time” on your calendar

Scheduling romance is something that my younger self would scoff at if she saw me writing it now.

Intimacy was something that I thought would never become “a chore.”

That was before adding in living together, full-time jobs, a pet, and a global pandemic to the mix. For the past few months, intimacy hasn’t looked the same, and my partner and I have decided to have a conversation every month about what we what to try in the bedroom that is “new.”

Scheduling intimacy as a whole may seem a bit boring in theory, but the reality is that you have to make time for it, or else you may start feeling less connected to your partner. It can give you something to look forward to because if you take the time to have open conversations, you may learn something new about the other person’s personal preferences.

#3. Don’t assume you know everything about your partner, be inquisitive

Whether it is a road trip, a vacation, or even on our honeymoon, my husband always has a book of questions in his backpack to ignite intimate conversations.

Even if you have been together for years, card decks/ games can spark unique conversations and uncover things you may not have known about your partner.

My personal favorite is the love languages question deck. The questions are varied and have layers to them so you can spend a whole evening on just a couple of cards.

Remember, you don’t need a deck to ask questions. Take the time to ask your partner about their past dreams, what they want for the future, and what they are struggling with within the present, and I guarantee that the conversations will flow.

#4. Explore a new creative outlet together

After a long day of work, I first want to turn on the TV and mindlessly drift off.

Luckily my partner is not cut from the same cloth. Due to his encouragement, we are constantly exploring new activities. We are starting salsa dance classes for the first time and will do them twice a week, which we have talked about for several years.

These days everything is available online. You can search “How to learn to paint” and tackle a new hobby together. Yes, I get it, you and your partner are tired at the end of the day and want to relax, but I promise that pushing through that feeling and doing something fun will make your evening much more memorable.

Intimacy has inevitable ebbs and flows.

I have been with my husband for years, and he is still the best part of my day. That being said, we prioritize our relationship and ensure we make time for each other and communicate our needs/wants as they evolve.

When I was younger, I believed that a relationship needed to be exciting to be successful, with fireworks bursting every second constantly.

I didn’t know there would be no feeling like having a long day and having your favorite person wrap their arms around you. I wouldn’t trade that feeling for all the fireworks in the world.

Carrie Wynn



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