It takes time to build rapport and intimacy in any romantic partnership, be it marriage or a long-term relationship. If you and your partner are an intimate couple then you find a connection not only physically but emotionally and intellectually as well. However, as you start spending more and more time together, you realize that the intimacy that you once had and enjoyed has disappeared.
Lovemaking starts to seem more like a chore on a to-do list than a pursuit of pleasure. The emotional intimacy might continue to be there but there is just no urgency to be physically intimate. This could happen to any couple. When it does, a lack of intimacy can begin to take a toll on the relationship.
Can A Relationship Last Without Intimacy?
Intimacy is a key part of a relationship that helps strengthen the bond between couples. Gradually, intimacy might wane as a couple settles down in a relationship. This is often considered an ominous sign as lack of intimacy can become the root cause of more serious relationship issues.
Intimacy between romantic partners means closeness that manifests in form of cuddles, kisses, tight hugs, holding hands and sex. It is a reflection of love, care and affection that is built over time through trust and chemistry.
It is possible to have sex without intimacy but it’s hard to build intimacy in a romantic relationship without sex, unless of course, a couple is asexual.
Being sexually intimate is only a part of the intimacy a couple builds over time by sharing their lives together. Over time, partners also achieve an intense level of emotional and intellectual intimacy. As the bonding becomes stronger, the need for sexual intimacy might become less.
In such situations, it is possible to survive a sexless marriage without cheating. Some couples are just fine without sexual intimacy and are no less happy. But in most cases, when once intimate couples stop being intimate, it gives rise to a number of issues in the relationship.
Why Intimate Couples Drift Apart?
There can be multiple reasons why an intimate couple may stop engaging sexually. The most common is a disparity of sexual desires. When one partner in an intimate relationship wants more and the other wants less sex, and there is no communication about it, the problem starts.
We list 5 most common reasons for which couples stop being intimate and lose intimacy.
1. Nothing’s new anymore
After spending years together, having sex, seeing each other every day, the novelty of the relationship fades away. Partners can guess each other’s next move and the unpredictability that made them look forward to the intimate moments together diminishes.
Day after day, when you have a routine with nothing to break the monotony, couples start getting bored and may lose interest in each other sexually. This lack of novelty and excitement is the reason why many married people stop being intimate.
2. Phone addiction
During a special moment of intimacy, you don’t feel the ‘connect’ with your partner because you are busy wondering who must have messaged you when your phone beeps. As Priyanka Chopra and hubby Nick Jonas say, they do not take their smartphones to the bedroom.
This is probably the most sensible thing to do because one partner’s smartphone addiction takes a toll on the entire intimacy factor of the relationship.
In the issues that millennials bring up in therapy, lack of intimacy because of excessive phone time is definitely one. The WhatsApp wars and social media sleuthing surely take a toll on an intimate relationship.
These issues are brought into the bedroom and as a result, resentment grows leading to a lack of intimacy amongst an intimate couple.
Related reading: 7 signs that gadgets are taking over your relationship
3. They don’t want to discuss or face problems in bed
Not talking about a problem makes it only grow bigger by the day. If you and your spouse are having problems in bed, then it is necessary that you face and address them. Not being intimate and ignoring it is not a solution. It only leads to worsening of the intimacy issue.
A common reason why couples suddenly stop being intimate is a low libido. If you and your spouse can talk about these issues, chances are that you will find a solution and go back to being the intimate couple you once were.
The key here is to not blame anyone. By being empathic and compassionate, you can address these issues without your emotional bond taking a hit. Eventually, things will improve on the front of physical intimacy as well.
4. Priorities change as family grows
It goes without saying that once you have kids, your priorities change and couple intimacy goes on the back burner. You have an added responsibility of raising a child and making sure you give the best of values and upbringing.
Many couples experience their intimate relationship taking a hit because they rarely get time alone, and even when they do, they are too tired to get things going in the bedroom. Numerous couples also start sleeping in different rooms after a child’s birth. That definitely hinders intimacy.
Couples need to put in more effort to make their relationship work on a more intimate level after starting a family. However, very few couples make that extra effort needed to bring back intimacy after having a baby.
Gradually, those days of hot, steamy action become a thing of the past and they accept it as a way of life.
Related Reading: Here’s What To Do When You Are Making Love And Your Child Walks In
5. They are not adventurous
In order to keep the intimacy in a relationship alive, couples have to be adventurous. They need to keep trying new things to keep the spark alive. Being adventurous does not necessarily mean doing extraordinary things. It could be as simple as cooking his favorite meal or getting her roses without any reason.
Sending each other flirty text messages often and making plans for the weekend are all a part of being adventurous. These little things help to keep the romance alive in an intimate relationship. Both partners need to put equal effort to keep the novelty and intimacy of the relationship alive.
In a marriage, couples should not take each other for granted. Sometimes you’ll find yourself putting more effort than the other, but in the end, it is all worth the effort to make your married life fulfilling and stay together as an intimate couple.
5 Tips To Regain Intimate Relationships
Deeply connected couples find a way to build strong and healthy relationships. They do not let the passing phases of dry spells in the sexual life affect their intimacy. They work on getting fixing what’s not working in the relationship instead of letting the situation slip to a point of no return.
Being intimate is a natural instinct between partners and a little bit of effort is all it takes to keep the wheel of romance and spark turning in the right direction. To help you get started, here are 5 ways to get back the intimacy in your relationship:
1. Schedule sex
Don’t bank on spontaneity to get back your sexual mojo. Scheduled sex works as much and if you choose the morning hours then nothing like it. You are fresh after a good night’s sleep, the hormones flow better and there are no pings on the mobile.
2. Try different positions
To get rid of the boredom of sex, you can try different positions. There are plenty of positions that are pleasurable to women and men alike. There are also positions that you could use to get intimate if you are feeling lazy.
Mix things up between the sheets. Variety is the secret ingredient of a rocking sex life.
3. Take a short vacation
Get out of the house and take a breather. A short vacation can do wonders for your sex life. Going to a new place away from the responsibilities and daily grind can give a new lease on life to your sexual escapades.
Relate Reading: 12 Ways To Build Intellectual Intimacy In A Relationship
4. Physical intimacy doesn’t only mean sex
Being intimate does not necessarily mean that having sex. It also includes loving physical gestures and touches such as hugs and cuddles and kissing. Engaging in these allows you to build upon the sexual tension throughout the day, culminating in some mind-blowing action at night.
5. Try to know each other better
We think that we know everything about our partners. But that’s not really true. People grow, evolve and change, little by little, every day. That’s why spending quality time as a couple is crucial for staying in sync.
Set aside time for each other and ask relationship-building questions to get to know what is on their mind, and being intimate will come more easily to you.
If you have stopped being intimate, then it does not necessarily mean that you have drifted apart emotionally. Most couples face dry spells in their relationship. By following, these simple tips you can get your sex life back on track. And in no time, you will witness that the intimacy is restored and you are back to feeling connected and content in your relationship.
1. What happens to a relationship when there is no intimacy?
When intimacy is lost in a relationship, it becomes quite difficult for the partners to establish and maintain compatibility and understanding. Though intimacy is often understood in the sexual context, an emotional connection also plays an important role in couple relationships. When such healthy intimacy is lost, it causes the self-esteem of any one or both partners to plummet. One may start thinking that their spouse is no longer attracted to them.
2. How long can couples go without intimacy?
Most couples in long-term relationships experience phases of sexual dry spells. European men and women seem to go without sex for about two weeks, while Americans are more likely to go without it for a month. (Source: Superdrug Survey) Single people can go without sex for even two-three months while the divorced don’t have it for years. The millennial are considered to be the least likely to go on for a long amount of time without sex, although dry spells are also more likely to occur earlier in relationships of younger people.
3. How do I talk to my partner regarding lack of intimacy?
Opening up and talking about such sensitive matters requires utmost care. You should first and foremost make sure that you are in a stable headspace, and then, ensure that your partner is comfortable. Be as clear and direct as possible; don’t beat around the bush, and especially refrain from playing the blame game. Also, make sure to drop subtle hints before. Don’t just spring the conversation out of the blue, as it may come as a shock to your partner.