How to fix romantic miscommunication with your partner
Regardless of the length of your relationship or how well you communicate with each other, talking about your sex life with your partner can fall out of sync. Your partner may complain that the two of you aren’t romantic anymore and recall earlier times in your relationship when you couldn’t keep your hands off each other, wondering what happened to the two of you. This shift isn’t abnormal nor is it indicative of a rocky relationship. More likely than not, it is a product of being out of sync with each other in the way you talk about sex, including indirect or misleading communication which ends in frustration.
Most of us aren’t in tune with what we really want when we ask our partner for more intimacy, and if you aren’t sure what specific parts you miss, you cannot effectively communicate your needs to your partner. Simply stating a desire for more sex can feel overwhelming to your partner and result in defensiveness. However, your request feels achievable most nights of the week when you communicate the specific parts of shared intimacy most important to you, such as holding your partner or cuddling under the covers.
Initiating discussion about your sexual feelings and needs can help couples minimize feeling hurt, rejected, and as if they are totally responsible for initiating intimacy and pleasing their partner. I have four suggestions about how to begin the talk and enjoy romance with your partner.
1. Begin the conversation when the two of you are relaxed and not preoccupied. Look for an opportunity to bring up your romantic life, keeping the discussion light and easy. Talk about what you miss - and be specific. Telling someone you miss sex is overwhelming; whereas, expressing to them a yearning for kissing and cuddling feels less intense and easier to accomplish.
2. Understand your partner’s priorities and respect their feelings. If you have small children, talking about what you miss or aren’t getting enough of can sound insensitive to your partner’s daily struggles. When discussing the aspects of your sex life that you miss, reassure your partner that you want to help them make time to enjoy romance as well.
3. Talk about prioritizing romance time on your schedule. The thought of scheduling time for sex sounds unappealing to many couples, but it helps in two big ways. First, you both help create a time and space free from exhaustion and distraction. Secondly, it demonstrates to your partner that you take your commitment and romantic life as seriously as other activities on your schedule. Intimacy is an important and vital component of your relationship and overall health; devoting space on your calendar for it increases the likelihood of occurrence and enhances anticipation. Send each other a flirty text, plan a romantic dinner, or whatever excites you for the scheduled date.
4. If one feels too tired for romance, offer a plan B or reschedule without taking it personally. Rejection can feel terrible if you suspect the reason your partner said no is due to lack of desire. Therefore, when you express your exhaustion or stress to your partner, offer to cuddle on the couch instead and schedule a nice date for the weekend. This will give you both something to look forward to while also offering you space to connect and enjoy each other tonight.
When couples miscommunicate about intimacy, individuals are left with hurt feelings and a sense of being misunderstood or unwanted. Being specific about your intimate needs rather than resorting to blaming or shaming your partner is much healthier and more helpful for your relationship. You’re in this together, and you communicate effectively about the kids, the house, and everything else. Take time to ask your partner about their needs, and tell them in a gentle, direct, and loving manner what makes you feel close. Work together to communicate more effectively so the two of you can find yourselves in romantic sync with each other again.