Friday, June 9, 2017

How can I stay motivated to deepen sexuality and intimacy

This blog was written by Ester Perel, author of Mating in Captivity.

How can I stay motivated to deepen sexuality and intimacy between us, if my partner isn’t onboard with me? -- Gabriella, 44

Often in a relationship, there is one person who drives the closeness, intimacy, and connection (the pursuer). And another partner who tends to sustain distance, aim for space, and emphasize autonomy (the distancer).

This is typical in any relationship. The fact that one person wants more closeness than the other is not unusual. Gabriella feels like she’s the only one in the partnership who cares about their intimate connection, and her partner does not value it. If she feels alone, this can lead to a ladder of escalating negative emotions: Rejection > Ashamed for wanting connection > Questioning self worth > Feel unloved, etc.

If there is a solid foundation in the relationship, this type of conversation is one I recommend for many of my pursuer partner clients: “I totally understand that you’re on a different page than me right now. We don’t feel the same way. But I do need to know that you care about me, that you have empathy for what I’m going through, and that I’m not being dismissed. I don’t need you to want what I want, but I do need that you care about what I want, and you value that I what it.”

If you want more intimacy with your partner, but you seem to be on different pages, these questions may help generate a conversation like the one above:

What is going on for you right now? What is holding you back?
What can we do to change this together?
Is there anything you need from me so we can proceed in a direction that gives both of us what we are looking for?
What is going on for you sexually?

You want to try to understand if the reasons have to do with the relationship, with you, or if they are really the struggles of your partner, which he or she needs to take responsibility for him or herself.

Ganga Daryanani, RSW

416 769 6810

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