Intimacy: When Your Expectations Don’t Align

The question of intimacy, for many couples, is sort of like the age-old question, Which Comes First, the Chicken or the Egg?

One partner needs quality time, romance, and connection in order to feel turned on for intimacy. The other feels the act of intimacy is what turns on their sense of romance and connection.

Intimacy is like so many other aspects of your relationship. You need to understand that you are two individuals with differences in personality, style, worldview, and emotional needs. We can’t assume that two people will align completely. And that’s okay!

So the question becomes: How do we cope/manage the differences?

One of the secrets to success of happy couples is the realization that all interactions flow into each other. Courting, flirting, and foreplay is a continuous cycle throughout the life of the relationship. There really isn’t a beginning or an end.

What I mean by this is: When dating, you have your courting, flirting, and foreplay in “doses” – date night, an afternoon together, maybe a weekend away – then you each head back to your own home.

Things don’t work that way when you live together. Taking out the trash, commenting on how nice, sexy, beautiful, or handsome your partner looks, holding his or her hand when you take a walk, even the way you deal with personal stress, is part of the flow of your continuous courtship, flirting, and foreplay.

How Couples Therapy Can Help

There are many strategies couples can use to cope with differences of all types. I work with couples on finding ways to:

  • Prioritize time for the relationship because intimacy, for many busy couples, isn’t something that just happens, but needs to be nurtured. In a sense, you should never really stop dating each other!
  • Cultivate a culture of appreciation so you are more assured of a sense of teamwork and support in your daily lives.
  • Speak more openly, directly, and effectively about intimacy so you can start to work together to honor each other’s needs and style.

Have questions or want to learn more about Couples Therapy? CLICK HERE to contact Dr. Parker