In this blog, we’ll learn effective tools for connecting to your partner that will fit easily into your busy family life.
Last week we discussed the importance of prioritizing the primary romantic relationship in a family unit, and we talked about how children thrive when their parents are engaged in a happy and harmonious romantic relationship.
We also discussed the role of self-care in having the energy to give to your relationship and we reviewed some simple tools that a parent could use to steal some me-time and recharge. If you didn’t read last week’s blog you can do so HERE.
Now that you have established a practice of taking some much-needed alone time, it’s time to start focusing on taking some time for your relationship. I’ll share some simple tools that I recommend to my Tantra students to begin making time for intimate connection with their partner.
Begin touching your partner throughout the day and encourage them to touch you. Talk about how you would like to be touched and which displays of affection are comfortable for you in front of the children and which are not. Sensual touch should be no strings attached. It is a great way to stay connected to your partner even during times when your libido is low. By keeping expectations out of it, both parties can enjoy engaging in sensual touch without feeling pressured to have sex or guilty if they don’t want to have sex.
Examples of sensual touch could be – stealing deep kisses throughout the day, running your fingers through your partner’s hair, gently kissing or biting their neck or ears, touching their body or simply engaging in a long hug.
Engaging in sensual touch keeps the sexual energy present and allows it to build over time, making it much easier to transition to having sex, or sexual intimacy, when both parties are ready.
For parents who have young children and are “touched out,” it can be good to engage in sensual touch that is soothing and can help to remind you that touch can feel good.
A long hug from your partner or a backrub may be a good way to re-establish a positive feeling toward touch. It’s really important for “touched out” parents to get some much needed alone time. Refer to part one for some helpful suggestions. Also, remember to communicate with your partner about your feelings so that they can be an ally to helping you get your needs met.
Try going to bed before you are ready to sleep. This is a wonderful way to get some daily connection time with your partner. So often parents are functioning side-by-side and don’t have time to actually connect because their energy is focused on the children. Going to bed early allows you to lie together and talk about your day, maybe to touch and kiss, and may even end in sex.
That being said, it’s important to keep the pressure off and to focus on connection first and foremost. Connection is such an important part of libido for so many people, and often partners need it before they can feel turned on. The Catch-22, however, is that the expectation of a sexual encounter can be a barrier to connection and a block to sex!
By keeping the pressure off and focusing on having a loving, kind and connected experience together, you actually create the best environment for a healthy sex life even in times of extreme stress.
Words of affirmation:
Start actively appreciating your partner by saying words of gratitude out loud. This will help you to focus on all of the things you love about your partner and it will help your partner to feel appreciated and cared for.
Ask your partner to share words of appreciation with you, as well. In this way, both partners are simultaneously focused on what they love about the other and they are hearing positive, life-enriching words about themselves. In our work, we call this Tantric Speech, and it can go a long way to opening the heart and creating an intimate connection.
Make a Tantra Date:
I always encourage my students to make a couples “Tantra date night” for at least an hour once a week. It’s important for couples to schedule this time so that they are held accountable to practicing the methods we are learning, and so that they aren’t allowing their busy lives get in the way of making time for their relationship.
You can start your own “Tantra date night” by setting aside an hour once a week to connect and play together. Start by sitting across from one another and gaze into each other’s eyes. You can place a hand on the other’s heart, comfortably lock eyes, relax, and breathe.
This simple act can be deeply connecting and nourishing. Don’t worry if you get the giggles, it happens. Bring your focus back to your partner’s eyes until the giggles have completely stopped. Once you feel full from eye gazing you can continue to connect and play in whatever way you’d like.
You can talk, kiss, or cuddle; the choice is yours. It’s your Tantra date. The only guidelines are to show up, be present and loving toward one another, and to be curious about where your time together might lead.