For many (all?) of us, there are times in life when sex just doesn’t make sense. Maybe it’s a health issue, maybe it’s a lifestyle/scheduling change, maybe it’s something else. But just because sex is off the table for a season, doesn’t mean intimacy has to be.
We can still enjoy a sense of closeness and openness with the ones we love. Here are a few ideas to feel connected, vulnerable and loved without doing the deed.
1. Get Naked and Get Close
We know, we know… this sounds a lot like sex, but that’s not what we mean. Being naked creates a sense of vulnerability, wonder and openness but it doesn’t need to lead anywhere you don’t want it to go.
Take a long bath or shower together or snuggle up under a blanket and just enjoy skin to skin contact… then talk. You might be surprised what comes up when the clothes come off. Hold space for one another by sharing and listening without judgment to experience a new sense of closeness, intimacy and belonging.
To add a special touch to your bath or shower, shop here.
2. Walk Hand in Hand
Get those feel-good-hormones flowing with a long walk while holding hands with your partner. Take this time to leave the to-do list and daily stressors aside and be fully present with the person you want to connect with.
You can use this time to talk (sometimes moving our bodies can move ideas forward), or just be in silence together. Either way, take note of your senses and how it feels to be walking through this world with the person you love. Feel their hand in yours. Notice how your pace syncs up so you’re walking at the same speed. Look at the changing scenery around you and soak in the fresh air. Consider how your mind, body and sense of closeness change with every step you take.
3. Hug for a Loooooong Time
Like, a really, really awkwardly long amount of time. We promise, on the other side of that uncomfortable moment - when one or both of you want to break away - there’s a sweet surrender where both partners just melt into one another as everything else fades away.
To enjoy the bonding benefits of a long hug, both people need to have their feet firmly planted on the ground, supporting their own weight. (This can be arranged sitting as well, it’s just important that one partner isn’t leaning against the other.) So much can be conveyed through physical touch alone, so listen carefully with your body and emotions and you might be surprised by what you discover without anyone saying a word.
4. Make Big Talk
It’s so easy to talk about the business of life: schedules, meal plans and who’s turn it is to clean out the fridge, that we forget to connect on the things that matter, like: hopes, dreams, and secret plans to take over the world.
If you’re feeling stuck on what to say, or if you feel like you’ve had the same conversations 17,000 times, lean on some conversation starters - thoughtful questions designed to elicit thoughtful responses. Our favorite is Big Talk Conversation Cards, but you can also find some with a quick google search.
5. Do Something Out of the Ordinary
Create a shared experience together, outside the routine of everyday life. It’s easy to settle into daily patterns and habits, but there’s a spark that happens when we step away from the expected.
So get out of town, but choose your destination by closing your eyes and randomly pointing to a map. Or, take a little inspiration from your favorite competition show and do a scavenger hunt or have a bake-off. Perhaps you can even take a class or workshop together to learn something new! The shared adventure will draw you closer together and give you even more to connect on.
We hope you'll honor yourself and your relationship with time to connect and feel close to one another. #welikeitslow