‘The spark’ is a phrase that’s used a lot when it comes to romantic relationships. In fact, you, like many of my patients in my Cary, Il office might have felt ‘the spark’ in the beginning of your relationship, and as a result, the early days were very exciting for you and your partner. However, like every other flame, ‘the spark’ needs to be kept alive by both partners. When you think of intimacy, you probably imagine physical attraction, and sex, however, as a counselor, I remind my patients that intimacy is so much more than that. It encompasses both the physical and the emotional.
At the beginning of your relationship, you just can’t seem to get enough of your partner. You want to see him/her all the time, and he/she is constantly on your mind. Naturally, romance blossoms and intimacy is high and effortless.
All Counselors Would Say it takes Effort that Feels Satisfying
However, as time goes on, life sort of gets in the way. Routine and the stress of everyday living makes it almost impossible to sustain high levels of intimacy without effort. It takes practice, time and effort to keep intimacy levels high in any relationship.
Here are 5 methods I teach my patients in Crystal Lake and Cary to strengthen the intimacy in their relationships and keep the flames burning.
1. Do exciting things together- As your relationship develops, you are bound to form a routine. However, routines become boring. Shake things up by making an effort to do really exciting things together, such as climbing a mountain, seeing a play in Woodstock, going on a vacation, taking an exciting class together at MCC or even going bungee jumping! It will provide a much-needed breath of fresh air in your relationship and help you discover new things about each other.
2. Have deep meaningful conversations– Talk about your relationship, your current lives, plans for the future and your emotional state. Try as much as possible to be vulnerable with your partner and let them see the real you. Lack of communication and bottling up negative feelings can lead to resentment. Explore the things that make your relationship work, and strengthen your commitment to each other. Having a relationship therapist facilitate these conversations can make them fruitful and rewarding.
3. Be thoughtful – Intimacy isn’t about the grand gestures. Something as simple as writing your partner a love note or stocking up on his favorite snack can make him/her feel incredibly loved and appreciated.
4. Make couple time- It can be really hard to focus on one thing in today’s digital world, and sometimes we unconsciously pay more attention to our gadgets than to our lovers. At least once a week, turn off all electronic devices and participate in an activity you both enjoy. I encourage my patients in Mchenry County to go on a “Date Night.” You could also watch a movie, cook together or massage each other. This gives you time to enjoy each other and connect on a deeper level.
5. Express gratitude- Every night, before bed, express gratitude for one thing your partner did during the day, no matter how small or random.This will help him/her feel loved and appreciated.
Whether You Live in Cary, Crystal Lake, Il or Anywhere Else, The Big Question Is: How Do I Choose the Best Counselor for Me?
First, pick a therapist with at least 20 years experience. Experience matters. Next select a clinical psychologist. not an ordinary counselor. A psychologist has a doctoral degree which means he has several more years of education than an ordinary therapist. Next, and very important, make sure you feel comfortable and have a good rapport. Without a good rapport nothing will work.
If you would like to improve intimacy in your relationship, strengthen the bond between you and your partner and you live in the Cary and Crystal Lake, IL area, please book a relationship therapy session with me. As a psychologist and relationship counselor, I would be very happy to help.