When a wink can mean more than sex

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Frequency of sexual intercourse is a poor gauge of how strong a relation is. There is no right or wrong. For some couples, it’s once every two days. For others, it could be once every two months.

However, that as a couple grows older, the frequency of coitus will automatically decrease as their sexual libido dips. What grows, however, is the level of intimacy between couples with a strong foundation.

There is more hugging, holding, petting and cuddling. And intimacy is what holds a couple together.

Here are 10 guidelines for intimacy in a marriage.

LISTEN TO AND UNDERSTAND YOUR PARTNER

When people marry, each comes into the relationship with different habits concerning closeness and space, togetherness and privacy. It takes time and patience to arrive at a mutual comfort zone.

Gain a good understanding of your partner’s needs and desires, likes and dislikes, strengths and foibles. Study your partner lovingly and listen to him or her.

OPENLY EXPRESS YOUR INNER SELF

In a meaningful relationship, people show their feelings, sharing their personal history of sorrows, joys, accomplishments, disappointments, changes and growth.

All feelings need to be shared, including negative ones, but share them lovingly and tactfully.

One of the greatest destructive elements in a relationship is the

inability to relate what you are feeling at the moment, and to lapse into brooding silence instead.

DISPLAY A MUTUAL RESPECT FOR ONE ANOTHER

Intimacy develops between two people who share their inner lives because they want to, because they have a vital interest in one another’s thoughts and feelings.

There must also be a growing visible delight in knowing one another better. That is the greatest incentive to intimacy.

REMEMBER THAT SEX IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR INTIMACY

Intimacy is a whole-day affair involving the person, while sex is a much shorter interlude focusing on the physical.

Intimacy makes it possible to “make love”. Impersonal sex intensifies loneliness.

CULTIVATE NON-SEXUAL PHYSICAL TOUCHING

Touching can communicate and build intimacy, and not simply signal the desire for sexual activity.

Try hugs, holding hands, and all the gentle gestures which say so much. Even a smile or a wink across the room builds intimacy.

MAINTAIN THE “WE” PERSPECTIVE

Forget what today’s culture claims about the importance of self-fulfillment.

Newlyweds find it easy to use the word “we” intimacy has already occurred.

COMMUNICATE APPROVAL AND ACCEPTANCE

Everyone fears disapproval and rejection, especially from the one you love most. There will be differences of opinion. But when you disagree, do it gently and in a respectful way.

OVERCOME FEAR OF INTIMACY BY BUILDING TRUST

Although people long for intimacy, they sometimes react to it with fear when it becomes a possibility. This is because intimacy represents a mutual desire for closeness, and people are afraid to depend on someone else for fear of being hurt.

Actions, word and attitudes can be used to cultivate a sense of trust.

NURTURE ONGOING DISCOVERY

When you married, each of you left your own world to form a new one together.

You will need your own language of love. Know what makes your partner feel loved and share this information, being as specific as possible.

Think back to a time when you felt totally loved. Re-experience that moment and try to find the key ingredient. Then tell your partner.

FOLLOW YOUR CHOICES FOR INTIMACY

When both partners are nurtured in the ways they desire, they feel loved, and when they feel loved, they feel like loving.

One of the prime secrets of a happy home is finding out what matters to our partner and then doing it.