Creating Intimacy in Uncertain Times

Creating intimacy in uncertain times can be a huge challenge.

In creating intimacy during uncertainty, compassion will be required more than ever. Without compassion, we will feel more distressed and less connected.

For some partners, creating intimacy during this time of quarantine and social distancing will come naturally. It can be a welcomed time of slowing down, having time for more in-depth conversation together, experiencing an increase in sexual desire, and using the challenges to work together.

For others, creating intimacy will be very anxiety-provoking and challenging. For some, instead of creating intimacy, it will be a time of restlessness, boredom, anxiety, less sexual desire, less patience, more conflict.

And for many of us, it will most likely be a combination of all of the above as we navigate our changing world and our own physical, emotional, and spiritual needs day by day.

If we have learned anything so far, it is that being cut-off, being distant, and being disconnected creates suffering.

The process of creating intimacy will require us all to lean into each other now and carve out sacred spaces of relational safety, support, while also grounding into our bodies and to this earth. Together, we are stronger.

Today, I am offering some simple practices for you to do at home for creating intimacy during these uncertain times.

Not everyone has the emotional capacity to do all of these, that does not mean anything is wrong. It just means you will have to cultivate even more compassion for yourself, listening to your body and heart and spirit even more, and follow your authentic voice as you build your emotional muscles. Practice with gentle compassion as you move toward creating intimacy.

Start with what feels most comfortable for you. Trust yourself. Gradually try more of these practices as you feel more confident and grounded.

Practices for Creating Intimacy and Leaning into Each Other:

1. This is a time for us to LEAN into the sacred space of our own Wild Belonging. To return home to ourselves, our emotions, and honor our body’s needs, our heart, and our spiritual practice.

During times of intense stress, unpredictability, and constant swirling change, we need time to unplug from our screens, the news, social media, and other people’s anxiety and fear, and create SACRED SPACE.

Sacred Space gives us room to heal, and listen to and tend to our body, our heart, and our spirit.

Sacred Space can include things like:

  • RESTING/NAPPING
  • PRAYER OR MEDITATION
  • BREATHING
  • PLEASURE/PLAY
  • MOVEMENT
  • EATING
  • DRINKING WATER
  • BEING IN NATURE

2. When you are in an intimate relationship it is necessary for each individual to have separate SACRED SPACE for themselves as well as for partners to create SACRED SPACE together.

What does Sacred Space look like for partners?

Together, you can do all the things listed above in number one as well as the following:

Cultivating a willingness to be vulnerable and share emotions, fears, and worries.

In order to create intimacy in these uncertain times, move slowly through this.

I suggest that each of you take turns to be the one sharing and the one listening. The sharer talks solely about their own experiences and emotions. The listener holds space with non-judgment, curiosity and compassion.

Conversation in which one partner is the one opening up and the other a compassionate witness, creates a sacred container and deepens intimacy. Start by opening up with less vulnerable, less emotionally charged topics. Move into more vulnerability, slowly.

3. Plan and organize how things will look when you are working from home. Whether just one partner is working from home or both partners. There are many hidden challenges in making this transition, that can catch us off guard when they surface.

If you both have to work from home, try to create separate office spaces for each of you so that you create a distinct working space.

Stay in a routine during your work week by “leaving” for work at the same time each day, when possible; focusing on work tasks during the work day; limiting distractions.

Honor each other’s work hours, and do not interrupt or assume your partner can talk or hang out just because they are home with you.

Decide together how child care and household chores will now be taken care of.

If one partner was the primary stay-at-home partner caring for children and household tasks, while the other partner worked, perhaps that will remain the same. Or perhaps each of you will split the childcare and tasks more now.

End the workday in an “official” way, and transition back to home and your “not working self” clearly. Some suggestions to do this are:

  • Set a time work ends and stick to it.
  • Close the door to the office or put your computer and phone away and “return” home.
  • Take a walk around the block to make a clear transition from work to home.
  • Change from your work clothes into your home clothes.
  • Greet your partner with a kiss and ask how their day was.
  • Make dinner together or a transitional activity that helps your relax together.

The most important thing is to not make assumptions about how this will look, but to be clear and proactive with each other.

4. SEX. For some, stress increases sexual desire and a desire for physical affection and closeness. For others, it decreases this desire.

Again, there is no “right or wrong”. Our sexual desire is something that is constantly impacted by both our internal and external experiences. The key will be in checking in with yourself (see number one above) and then checking in with each other (see number two above).

Remember those who have the most satisfying, rewarding sexual experiences are those who:

  • Have a compassionate mindfulness about what their body, heart, and spirit truly desires or needs in any given moment, are able to trust this and to voice this to one’s partner.
  • Have an expansive view of what sex is beyond intercourse and orgasm.

These two things listed above may be not in everyone’s reach. If you have never learned how to connect with your body, heart, and spirit, or if you do not trust yourself or are not able to voice your desires and needs, please be compassionate toward yourself and reach out to me for more support.

Sexual interactions can be anything from cuddling in bed naked, or taking a shower or bath together; it can be exploring each other’s body with different kinds of touch and pressure and textures. It can be kissing and massaging. It can be exploring pleasure together in ways that feel relaxing, nourishing, grounding.

The options are many when we expand beyond intercourse and orgasm. We can create intimacy through many different kinds of sexual interactions.

So ask yourself, what am I truly desiring now? And be honest with yourself and your partner.

Create a sacred space of physical and emotional safety that strengthens deep intimate connections.

Crating intimacy with those we love strengthens our ability to be resilient, flexible, and hopeful in times of stress.

The key components in any deeply intimate and vitally connected relationship are:

  • Trusting each other
  • A solid, strong, and abiding friendship as the core of the relationship
  • Making time for sex (expanding the view beyond intercourse and orgasm). Creating SACRED SPACE in which each partner is safe to be vulnerable, to lean into each other physically and emotionally, and to give and receive compassion.

These days we are all being asked to do things that are uncomfortable, new, stressful. For some, creating intimacy can be part of the uncomfortable, the new, and yes, even the stressful experiences.

Join my FREE online gathering Sunday

Please consider joining me next Sunday, March 29th at 11:00 AM Pacific Time for my online gathering where we can chat more about these challenges for intimate relationships.

This event is for anyone who wants to get together and chat about the challenges of intimate relationships during this time.

How to Join the Call

Use this specific Zoom link to join the call.

Just click through at the time of the call on Sunday, March 29th at 11:00 AM Pacific Time.

Zoom link to join call – https://us04web.zoom.us/j/7404519608

As always, peace in the journey.
Jane

P.S. And if you are in a relationship currently that is struggling mightily, you are not alone. Please reach out to me today.

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Jane Ryan

Jane Ryan, M.A., LMFT, is a Licensed Couples and Family Therapist with twenty years of clinical experience. She specializes in intimate relationships, sexual challenges, sacred sexuality, and helping clients embrace their true erotic nature. She supports women in discovering their most radiant, vibrant and powerful feminine essence.

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