What happens outside the bedroom between partners is brought to the bedroom. When partners begin feeling like their relationship is stale, their sex life reflects that. Sex becomes routine or boring, leading couples to focus more on it and become more dissatisfied with each other. They are often surprised when their doctor or therapist suggests taking a break from sex and focusing on the rest of their relationship.
Whether or not a sex break improves your relationship depends upon the willingness to explore new ways to build intimacy. Taking a break from the pressure and focus of sex can reset your relationship and facilitate honesty with yourself and each other. How long the break lasts will depend on the couple, but most sex therapists recommend 1 to 2 weeks. Here are 5 areas to focus on during your sex break that will enhance your relationship:
1. Use this time to get back to the basics. Simple touching, hand holding, kissing, and cuddling are important but often neglected for most couples. When time is focused on restoring these simple gestures, couples report feeling closer to each other.
2. Strive to see your partner’s intentions more clearly. In a new relationship you may have focused on sex without understanding or caring for each other on an emotional level. This leads to problems if one partner wants an emotional connection but feels like sex is the only thing they have in common. A sex break can help you weed out how invested your partner is in the emotional aspects of the relationship.
3. Invest more time into the friendship/emotional connection with your partner. Emotional intimacy is the glue of happy long-term relationships. Sex alone cannot sustain your relationship. Couples who spend more time working on their friendship report feeling more connected and happier.
4. Uncover the deeper issues not talked about. One of the reasons couples neglect getting help when they need it is because sex is being used as part of their denial. You cannot heal old hurts by denying they exist. If one of the partners is resistant to having sex, there is a reason why underneath. Resolving these issues will enhance your relationship.
5. Appreciate your partner and relationship more. When couples come back together, their sex life feels more invigorated and less routine than it did prior to the sex break. Restoring appreciation for your partner and making your relationship a priority leads to better sex and improved intimacy.
A sex break works best when both partners want to restore intimacy in their relationship. Sex should never be used as a weapon or punishment; its purpose is to connect and bring pleasure to one another emotionally and physically. Taking breaks from sex is good for your emotional and sexual health.