How to Maintain Intimacy When You’re Tired
When you’re in the midst of the whirlwind of life, sometimes the most important things fall by the wayside. We’re looking at you intimacy.
Life can be tiring, we get it. Between jobs, school, kids, working out, maintaining a social life, and all the other things you’re juggling, sometimes one of the last things you prioritize is your intimate life. Although it may not feel like one of your top priorities, it is a vital part of most people’s lives, from your relationships to your relationship with yourself and self-care.
Single people, before you click away thinking this doesn’t apply to you, this is for everyone. You experience intimacy in your romantic relationships but also in your friendships and even with yourself. No matter what the dynamic is, being burnt out can take a toll on your relationships. So how do you maintain intimacy when you’re tired?
The Intimacy Catch 22
Here’s the conundrum: Feeling close to yourself and other people is a vital part of life. Intimacy helps with stress management, increases feelings of well-being, and adds an extra layer of love and juiciness to life.
Intimacy makes you feel better, especially when things are tough. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the first things to disappear when you’re under stress. That’s the catch-22. Even though it’s one of the things that helps you the most, it’s difficult to maintain when the pressure of life is on.
This is a quick reminder that intimacy is a lot more than sex. While that can certainly be a part of it, intimacy is the overall feeling of closeness that you have in your relationships. This includes physical intimacy like sex and cuddling, and emotional intimacy like being honest with each other and feeling comfortable talking about what’s on your heart and mind.
Sometimes you need a little shove in the right direction to remember how to fill up your own cup. Ofen filling up your cup means turning to those around you.
Talk About Your Needs
Your partner is not a mind reader. If you’re craving more intimacy in your relationship – you need to tell them. You may both be caught up in your own little stressful worlds of work and life, making it that much more difficult to connect.
It’s probably not either one of your faults, life can be hard and these things happen, but you can take steps to help remedy it. You want to bridge the gap that’s developed between you two without blaming anyone.
Here are some ways to approach this conversation:
- “I know we’re both busy, but it’s important for us to make time to connect.”
- “I love you, and I don’t want the stress of life to keep getting in the way of our relationship.”
- “It may not seem like it right now, but you’re my favorite person and I want to spend time with you.”
Tapping into intimacy can sometimes be more complex than saying dropping one of these lines, but they’re a good start. When things are really tough, or you’re dealing with serious life stressors, you may need outside support to help facilitate the conversation.
Go to A Couple’s Therapist
People often think of couples therapy as something people go to when they’re about to break up or get divorced. But therapy is for anyone who wants another way to improve their relationship with themself and everyone around them.
Couples’ therapy gives you a dedicated space and time for you to discuss whatever is happening in your own lives as well as your life together that is getting in the way of your relationship. Your therapist can help give valuable, objective insights that can give you clarity on your relationship, as well as practical tools for you to use to help maintain intimacy.
Just like any relationship, finding the right therapist can take time. But it’s an invaluable tool when trying to maintain intimacy in the middle of your busy lives.
A lack of intimacy sometimes comes down to time. You’re short on time so even if you have the best of intentions, you don’t leave time for intimacy.
One way to help deal with this is by scheduling mini-dates. If you don’t have enough time for a weekly date, this at least gives you time to check in with each other, and have little moments for love when you need it most.
Looking for some mini-date ideas? We’ve got you covered:
- Take a lunch break together for a sweet little meal with one rule – don’t talk about work!
- Spend 10 minutes in the morning to cuddle and talk about any dreams you had last night, or what you want to focus on today.
- Make time to cook dinner together, even if it’s something simple you have time to connect without screens and do something you need to do anyway.
- Run errands together. Again, have fun doing something you have to do anyway.
- Make time for a quickie before dinner – sex is important!
Maintain Intimacy with Yourself
Intimacy starts with yourself. Maintaining intimacy with your partner (if you have one) is that much easier when you’re feeling connected to yourself. Although we’re emphasizing the importance of connecting with your partner, it’s ok to prioritize time for yourself.
When you make time for yourself, you’re able to show up that much more fully in your relationship. It may seem like you don’t have time, but even just a few minutes here and there can make a world of a difference.
These are some tips on increasing intimacy with yourself:
- Develop a morning routine like journaling, stretching, or reading with your morning beverage.
- Try a self-care practice like meditation, yoga, or breathwork.
- Solo therapy can be essential for your well-being, and in turn, help your relationships.
- Masturbation is a great way to connect with yourself and bring a more spicy version of yourself to the table.
We know how frustrating it can be to feel disconnected from your partner, or that your needs aren’t being met. Especially when life is wearing you down. You and your relationship are worth it. Take a little extra time and you’ll be amazed at how much more smoothly the rest of your life seems.
Natasha (she/her) is a full-spectrum doula and health+wellness copywriter. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, health, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more education and empowerment. You can connect with Natasha on IG @natasha.s.weiss.