Building Bridges

Issue # 13 of 43 

David LeClaire
By: David LeClaire

Taking Responsibility For Your Intimacy

Reviving or maintaining the intimacy and sexual connection between a couple is not always easy. Since some couples don't always know how to do so or believe it's even possible, they make the mistake of avoiding the challenge by just starting over with a different partner.

They cast aside the relationship in which they had invested so much time and energy because of an absence of regular and satisfying sex for one that is new and full of desire. Yet chances are their new relationship will grow to be familiar and predictable as well. It's the art of keeping sex alive and interesting over a long period of time. If one can't figure out how to do so in their current relationship, the same problem will just re-surface in their next one.

When there is a significant imbalance or the overall sex life has diminished or disappeared, some people make no attempt to do anything about it or only put in a token effort towards change. When the results are not immediate, they conclude that their relationship is doomed to remain the same. Unless they have already made serious, consistent attempts at creating the changes in their relationship that they both need to feel satisfied, they're cheating themselves by walking away.

If your sex life is non-existant or boring at best, what have you done about it? What responsibility have you taken, what attempts have you made to create serious change-beyond surface efforts such as an occasional romantic gesture or trying to initiate sex a couple of times?

Without an extraordinary commitment to keep sex and intimacy part of your lives, you can unconsciously let this important aspect of your relationship disappear. Two people who possess solid communication skills and who are both committed to creating and sustaining intimacy simply do not allow themselves to expend all of their energy on everything but intimate time together. Scheduling intimacy time and discussing how you can be better lovers is important.

After work, meals, and children, it's easy to be drained of energy and uninterested in sex. Sleep can be much more enticing. Occasionally changing your daily habits in order to leave energy or making the time for each other can be a valuable practice. For example, suppose you're in the habit of eating a large dinner which usually leaves you feeling tired. Once in a while plan on making love on a particular evening, and make sure that night your dinner is very light. Even better, if at all possible, enjoy having sex before dinner.

Another example of an adjustment that can be made is to plan some intimate time during the day. If children are an issue, make arrangements to have them taken care of so this may be possible. Get away for some weekends, just the two of you.

Some couples find themselves glued to the television until they are totally out of energy or until it's late and they must go right to sleep since they need to get up early for work. Why not occasionally turn the tube off an hour or two before you normally go to bed? The two of you can go to bed earlier than usual so you can be awake together. These simple examples are just a few minor daily adjustments that can help you keep your sexual relationship active and alive.

People typically don't want to accept responsibility for aspects of their life that are less than perfect. Some like to be victims who are powerless to create change in their lives and instead find it easier to blame their boring or sexless relationship on their partner. Since they believe their own perspective is accurate, they point fingers and make no progress. But the real responsibility lies with each of us. Truly committed couples are comprised of two partners who will both make the effort to communicate through whatever obstacles may stand in the way of a satisfying and fulfilling sex life.

If you have needed major change in your intimate and sexual relationship and already have made what you thought was a heroic effort to make change occur but to no avail, try again. For other couples, keep making the effort to let your partner know how you feel by sharing frequent and meaningful intimacy.

The heart of the matter is, the more focused you are on your partner and what you love about him/her, the more involved and interested in being sexual with them you will be. Having a sexless relationship doesn't just happen to people. We all make choices regarding how we spend our energy and express ourselves to our partners.

Chances are what you both really want out of sex is the feeling of being loved, desired, and wanted, expressed physically. You know why interest fades and what you can do about it. The real question is what will you actually do about keeping the passion and excitement alive in your relationship? Remember to take responsibility yourself. The more respect, love, and appreciation you express, the more you will feel and experience in return.

David LeClaire has spent much of his time teaching at community college and private school, and lead communications training for Fortune 500 companies. Now a popular and active Seattle area sommelier, this graduate of Central Michigan University led seminars for a wide variety of organizations. LeClaire is the author of "Bridges To A Passionate Partnership." He can be reached at

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Text © 1998, David LeClaire. Part of the original Sideroad.
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