Hide your screen from your mama, this one is about sex. REAL talk.
I know when you’re a teen sex is this exciting, experimental part of your life. And this is probably true lifelong if you want it to be. But for many of us in long term relationships, or with kids, or even just full time work, sex can sometimes fall in line with the “task” category. You know, along with writing the grocery list and hanging out the washing… And recently I’ve had an open discussion with my instagram community about WHY that is.
Most of us lead quite busy lives. Yes, even us stay at home mums. And SO many of my followers agreed that to them, finding the time and energy for physical intimacy is a task. Why? Because we are spending so much energy elsewhere, on our kids, our job, the housework. And the problem is, that is energy we have to spend. We can’t just suddenly not rock up to our job, or decide to stop feeding/bathings/soothing/nurturing our children. It’s just the busyness that is life. And it can be totally exhausting.
In one of the polls I created over 80% of people stated that they aren’t enjoying sex as often as they’d like to. The key words in the question; They’d LIKE to. See, none of us are out here not wanting to. It’s just when push comes to shove, we’re too tired or too touched out. But what if we changed the way we looked at it? After all, sex isn’t a task, it’s a feeling. A place you can share with your partner to get away from the daily tasks and busyness that is life. And I KNOW that changing your mindset on the matter can be difficult, but if you don’t you risk being stuck in the struggle of balancing intimacy and real life, which can have a profound impact on your relationship.
Remember the first time you kissed your partner? Or the way you felt when you got a text from them in those first few weeks before you “made it official”? None of those feelings were forced, they were totally non-intentional, blissfully consuming feelings. Undoubtably you felt them for a reason. The physical chemistry between you and your partner exists, otherwise you would never have come together. There is no denying that a relationship will never feel as electric as it does in the beginning, however making the effort is something you are capable of taking control of.
I know a lot of advice I hear is “alone time”, like organising dates or weekends away. Which I will admit, are definitely important. Though I truly feel that working on the daily things can have a far greater impact. In my poll I asked about all forms of physical intimacy (like holding hands, hugging, kissing etc) NOT including sex, and how often people engaged in it and whether they thought that it was often enough. A large majority said “not enough” or “not as much as we used to”. And while work and general life can get in the way of things, this daily intimacy stuff that isn’t sex is almost more important than the sex itself! If you find it difficult, set yourself a small daily goal, even if it’s just five minutes of undistracted conversation about your day. Make the effort to give your partner that undivided attention, you’ll be surprised where that can lead. I HAVE to stress that your phone will be the biggest culprit in taking away from this on a day to day basis, so make sure you put it down to dedicate that time to yourself and your partner.
Let go. I know for me, as a mum, I find it SO hard to relax. I flinch away from intimacy a lot because I feel stressed out and high stung. I always find that taking a breath and taking in the moment for what it is helps. Forget about the washing or the dirty kitchen for a bit and take the moment for what it is, time with your partner. And remember you deserve to have those moments together, the washing and the dishes will be there later.
I think sharing the fact that we’re all in our own ways facing this struggle with intimacy is important to note. No one has a perfect relationship, and the people with great relationships have them as a result of momentous effort. Comparison, however, is the thief of joy. There is not a single relationship that exists that is the same as the next, so I think perhaps the best advice I can give is, don’t compare, look for the individual good in what you already have, and build up from there. Is it the way he can make you laugh? Or maybe the way she comforts you when you’re feeling overwhelmed. There IS something special about choosing to share your life with someone, its sharing the load of the mundane and still having someone to flop onto the couch with at the end of it all.
It is so easy to neglect our relationships. Especially when we are so wrapped up in our lives. We love because it feels right, not because it’s easy or effortless. I’m not saying you should jump into bed every spare chance you get, but I am saying, look into their eyes a little more, hold their hand when you get the chance, ask how they are and actually listen to their answer. You both deserve to feel some of that magic from the beginning of your relationship. The secret is in realising it hasn’t really gone anywhere, you just may have to dig a little deeper to reach it.
xx Emily @ LovingLittleOne.com
Beautiful Photo from our engagement shoot by Jocelyn at JC Photography Services