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Where Has The Love Gone

Sexual intimacy is the major thing that distinguishes your relationship with your partner from your relationships with other people. Sexual intimacy is also a limited resource. If you are being intimate with people other than your partner, you are robbing and sabotaging your relationship. Affairs occur for a variety of reasons. In my opinion, the foremost reason that people engage in affairs is that they are in need of love and intimacy that they feel they are not getting from their relationship. Why do so many seek love and intimacy outside of their relationship? The question that comes to my mind is, "When and how did the love and intimacy in the relationship start to vanish?"

At the start of a relationship, during the euphoric stage, the sex is incredible: you are in love, and you could not imagine being with anyone else. Reality eventually sets in, as it always does, and the euphoric bubble bursts. You spend less time with your partner, and, especially, less time making love. Many of us get into a pattern of making work or other things outside the relationship a higher priority, putting ourselves last, and continually running ourselves ragged. Particularly when you have children, time and energy are precious commodities. As one woman I talked to once said, "You are so tired, the last thing you really want to do is do that one thing that got you in this situation in the first place." Some reasons why sexual intimacy becomes neglected are fatigue, lack of time, or lack of privacy. Another is lack of interest: sometimes lovemaking becomes routine or a little boring. People frequently have affairs to recapture the excitement of the initial stages of a relationship, or to escape from the predictability of daily life with their partner. There is no doubt that life's daily pressures take a toll on our loving relationships. Fatigue and boredom make us lazy and complacent, so we start to take one another for granted. No wonder the passionate intimacy we once had fizzles out to next to nothing.

I feel that when sex disappears, it is usually a sign of a problem in the relationship. I feel that two people can have a passionate, satisfying, fulfilling sex life with one another, forever. Before I share how, take a moment to contemplate one idea. If there is nothing else you remember from reading this article, remember this: Sex is fun. So often we complicate it and make it a topic for serious discussion. Sometimes this is necessary, but sometimes you just need to look at sex as playtime for you and your partner. Sexual intimacy is the defining factor that makes your relationship with your partner different from all your other relationships. The sexual intimacy that you share with one another is what makes your love for one another ever so sweet.

Like every other facet of your relationship with your partner, sexual intimacy is an integral part of the practice of the art of loving. Like every other facet of your relationship, you have to make the time for sex with one another. I am not saying that you have to pull out your calendars and isolate a specific day and time when both of you are free to have sex. Some days there might be more time than other days, but it is important that you set aside that time together. Having time together allows you to communicate and to engage in activities with one another. It allows for some romantic time and sexual intimacy together, if that's what you both want. It all starts with you. Both you and your partner have to make time for one another.

When sexual intimacy starts to disappear in a relationship, many couples fall into a trap that I call the standoff. In a standoff situation, neither partner is honestly communicating their needs with one another. One or both of them are afraid of being rejected by the other, and so neither partner initiates physical contact of any type, and it virtually disappears. The hand-holding, hugging and kissing -- all forms of affection and touch that they once had -- vanish. When this type of situation occurs, you have to step back together and look at what is happening. You have to communicate with one another to discuss the sensitive issue of why physical closeness between you has deteriorated.

Where Has The Love Gone, Part 2

Touching one another in a non-sexual manner is the bridge to sexual intimacy. Non-sexual touch says, "You are important to me, I trust you, I love you, and I want to be with you." It is vital for the bond to grow between you and your partner. If you stop touching your partner, the bond between you starts to dissolve, the level of trust diminishes, and your relationship with your partner becomes increasingly distant and cold. It is next to impossible to share sexual intimacy when this is happening. In many cases, this is when affairs begin to occur. When touching stops, it is often a symptom that something is wrong in your relationship, or a signal that you need to re-establish the comfort that you once shared with one another. You need to identify the reasons for your lack of physical closeness -- and then take steps to remedy the situation. Sometimes, all it takes is a conscious commitment to demonstrate your love for one another through the simple act of touching. It is not until you are thoroughly comfortable with each other's touch again that you will be able to enjoy the pleasure, the wonder, and the ecstasy of sex once again.

We live in a very structured society, in which it is easy for us to get into routines. A common problem with many couples is that sex also becomes routine... even a little bit boring... boring to the point that the frequency of sexual intimacy diminishes. It is like anything in life: if you are bored with it, you do not want to do it as often. In my opinion, when sex trickles down and slows to a halt, it is an unfortunate occurrence that does not have to happen. All it takes is a little creativity and, above all, some imagination. A lot of people have affairs because they crave variety and excitement. Who is to say that you cannot have that variety and excitement with your partner?

Focus your energy, become creative, and use your imagination to invent new ways of being intimate with one another. For example, who says that sex has to be confined to the bedroom? What about on the kitchen table, in the shower, in front of a roaring fire in the living room, or maybe in your backyard at midnight under a full moon? What about creating an atmosphere with music, candles, sensuous attire, fragrances? How about role-playing? Remember, sex is fun. Do you always seem to have sex in the evening? Why not try the morning or the afternoon? Take a two-hour lunch break and have an erotic afternoon delight. Remember, there is nothing wrong with having a quickie, either.

Spontaneous, frantic, hurried sex can be exciting, exhilarating and explosive. Think of different ideas for turning each other on sexually. Go out for dinner and talk about sex all evening. Try wearing sexy clothes and working out together. Spend an entire day flirting or engaging in foreplay, but force yourselves to wait until the end of the day to have intercourse. Massage... non-erogenous touch... the list goes on of things you can do to spice up your sex lives. Creativity, imagination, and a little openness to some new ideas are all it takes to keep sexual intimacy alive in your relationship.

Some couples are very comfortable with being sexually creative; others are a little hesitant about being adventurous. If, as a couple, you and your partner can learn to become comfortable discussing your sex life, it will eventually give you the freedom to explore, together, new ways of making love. Learning about sex together -- by reading books or magazines, attending workshops, or watching educational videos -- is a wonderful opportunity to talk with your partner about your needs, wants, desires, or fantasies.

Communicating and learning together allows you to explore new sexual frontiers with each other. Talking about sex is an ongoing discussion that can continue throughout your relationship. As your relationship grows, your sexual intimacy develops and evolves, as well. Feeling comfortable with one another and having honest communication regarding sex will allow you and your partner to enjoy a satisfying, lifelong, sexual relationship with one another.

About the Author:

The Art of Loving
"Bringing Love Into Your Life"

"Your Information Resource For Advice On Love & Relationships" Articles on love, relationships, singles, couples, family, sex, intimacy, heart & soul, personal growth, self development, and more. Featuring internationally published, love & relationships writer & lecturer, Paul Mauchline. The Art of Loving also features the contributions of many guest writers, and authors each month.

Information on Art of Loving & Odyssey workshops & seminars, now held in Tamarindo, & San Jose, Costa Rica.

Individual, Couples, & Family Counseling Available By Appointment Only

Telephone Consultations Also Available

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4. Tracking down your Soul Mate
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