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When to Touch Each Other and When to Touch Their Hearts

Updated: Dec 24, 2022

If you didn’t know already, the newer generations are having less sex than ever. Yes, the generation whose every show, song, and wardrobe is hyper-focused on sex. So if you’re one of the many who isn’t as physical as you feel you should be, you are normal. There are plenty of valid reasons to explain the decline in sex drives such as birth control and other medications. Being busy, social pressures, diets, and let’s face the music, a pandemic, may be some other reasons. No one is built to be in a perpetual state of fight-or-flight for as long as we all have been facing the unfortunate and unknown. It’s more than understandable if your mind is focused on other things these days. All of these factors can result in lower libido, and it may not just be one but several of them combined that are contributing to why you aren’t desiring physical intimacy. You may just need (wait for it) other forms of intimacy! There are 5 love languages because even the person who identifies their love language as “physical touch” the most still desires the other four. The strongest relationships grow from nurturing all the ways in which you communicate with your partner how much they mean to you.

Most days we go on our phones to see media that is saturated with physical ways to show and please your partner through appearance, gestures, and “10 Crazy New Moves That’ll Leave Him Dying for More.” But when we strip all that back we see the most pivotal part, the core of relationships based on raw connections. Taking breaks from physical intimacy whether it’s intentional or not, shouldn’t be seen as a failure. Designating time to focus on the other ways you can show each other you care may leave you finding yourself even more content. Imagine taking out the amount of time spent worrying about how often or how well you may be performing in bed and more about how your actions elsewhere are coming across.

Between a pandemic, apartment fire, emergency surgery, losing a parent, and more in just the last two years alone, I have learned how crucial it is to be intimate in ways other than sensual. It’s still unfortunately more common than not that the success of a relationship centers on the chemistry of the sex. However, I cannot express enough the importance of communicating with your partner. Taking time to just appreciate each other’s presence, making the other smile, and telling them even the smallest parts of your day are the things that you’ll remember when you glance out your next window longingly. Every song I play on the commute home makes me think about a memory or how much I care about my partner, but better yet, I tell them that. Tell your loved ones how much you love them as much as you can. If you’re a giver like me, but sometimes you can’t afford to buy every little thing, it still means more than you think to take a picture and show them what it is that made you think of them. The same goes for all those memes and TikToks you come across. For the last year now it’s become a nighttime ritual before bed to watch the things we sent each other throughout the day together. Sometimes the opposite helps, to make sure our phones are set aside, and we have a meal together at home rather than just side-by-side. Better yet, make it as important as getting the groceries each week that you make time to do something together. It should go without saying that daily moments like these are prime opportunities to ask one another about the little things that went on in your day. You can also bring up the ways they made you feel and what you can do for each other going forward.

If all these small steps somehow seem awkward or strained, or maybe you’re already doing them all but it still doesn’t feel enough, then I’d like to prescribe you: games. Honestly, anything you can do together. And yes… kind of like couples therapy or a retreat. It can be running errands together, cooking a meal, or maybe even working out as partners. What I personally mean by games however is more literal. My partner loves video games so we found games we can play together so it doesn’t feel as if we’re competing for each other’s time and we can share a hobby he already loves. So for you, I’d like to recommend a little game called We’re Not Really Strangers. You may have already seen the little red boxes on your Instagram ads or perusing the isles at Target, but it wasn’t until I came across the Couple’s Edition that I became fascinated. For Valentine’s Day this year, I ordered the box which came with 3 sets of cards. Each set acted as a level. Upon completing one set, we worked our way up through with wild cards, heartfelt questions, and more. We set the cards out so that each day we could just casually grab and do a few, sort of like those calendars that have a daily activity or motivational quote. Some questions were silly while others were as hard-hitting as “When was the last time I made you feel loved when you felt unlovable?” (The discussion pretty much flows out of you as long as you’re ready to open up like the box warns.) One night we even sat down to do just a few cards and finished an entire level before we had noticed the time pass.

It’s in moments like those where I usually realize I’m only as concerned about our physical intimacy as much as society tells me to be. I feel closer to my partner and better about myself than ever when I know that they see me for me rather than just touching me.

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