Feeling alone in marriage is becoming more common. With so many of us leading busy, stressful lives, the importance of sex and romance can easily be overlooked. But making time for sex is an essential component of marriage. Not only does it replenish your connection to your partner but it also provides a break from hectic schedules and stresses of the day-to-day. And of course, the sheer fun and pleasure of a healthy sex life shouldn’t be overlooked. So how can you make more time and space for sex and romance in your relationship?
The Role Of Sex In Your Relationship
Discuss with your spouse the role sex has in your relationship and make sure you’re aligned in your wants and needs. When you’re both in agreement about your expectations, you’ll be more likely to make time for intimacy. Remember that sex and romance is far more than just intercourse. Touch, flirtation, shared laughter and many other fun ways of connection all count as intimacy. By removing the pressure to have sex, you open yourselves up to many more opportunities for emotional and physical closeness.
Similarly, foreplay is more than just the physical warm-up to sex. I define it as every interaction you and your partner have since your last sexual encounter. Holding hands, dancing, a suggestive wink or love letter all count as foreplay. People need foreplay in order to feel more connection to their spouse. The more connection, the better your sex life.
It’s quite common to have partners who don’t fully share the same attitude when it comes to sex. For these couples, it’s all the more important to have a frank discussion about what they want out of their romantic relationship and work on realigning their expectations on their own or through therapy.
Love, Like, And Lust
Love, like, and lust are three essential components to a fulfilling sex life. All three of these elements feed into each other and need to coexist in order for a marriage (and your sex life) to thrive. For some people, sex is how you get to love, like, and lust. For other people, love, like, and lust lead to sex. Each of these components is necessary but they are not always in perfect balance with each other, and they will fluctuate over time.
Take some time to reflect on the role love, like, and lust play within your marriage and see if any of them need to be replenished. Ask your partner to do the same, and have an open discussion about what’s already working well and what could use a little support. I highly recommend using past examples of what you really enjoyed as a way to describe what you want. This is a much healthier approach than just talking about the lack of something in your relationship.
Make Time For Sex By Planning For Spontaneity
Most couples want spontaneity, but ironically, you need to plan for spontaneity. There are so many distractions and competing priorities in our daily lives, it’s all too easy to forget about sex and romance. But making time for sex is one of the most important variables which sustains your marriage. Make room for romance by setting up regular date nights. The current guidance is at least every other week with 2-3 uninterrupted hours alone with each other. It can be as simple as going for a walk together or watching a movie. What’s most important is to allow yourselves the time to be together and enjoy each other’s company.
I often remind my clients that date nights must be given a high priority. When something is a priority, it should be on your calendar, not on your to-do list where it’s more likely to be forgotten. Block off time for dates and come up with activities together. Build spontaneity into each date night, but set aside the time and stick to the commitment as much as possible.
Remember, in order to make time in your life for sex and romance, you and your spouse both need to be motivated to be together. Engage in foreplay even a little bit each day to build and maintain emotional closeness and connection. Plan your dates together or take turns so you’re both looking forward to the time. And if you find yourselves struggling to keep your romantic life flourishing, seek out professional support.