While it is easy to be romantic on Valentine’s Day, it can be more challenging for moms and dads to stay intimate the other 360-something days of the year.
Face it, most of us became parents by enjoying the process of making babies, right? Now that the fun part is well behind us and we are left diapering, educating, shuttling and financing the results of that hard work (snicker), it’s sometimes difficult to find that loving feeling again.
So here’s four ways to stay intimate with your partner after all the chocolates in that heart-shaped box are gone today:
Start with having ‘The Talk‘
No, not that one with the kids. The one with your partner.
If sex is important to you in your relationship, then tell your partner. Find out where they stand on the subject. Learn what turns your partner on and, in return, they should know what turns you on. Discuss the obstacles — work, stress, exhaustion from kid care, a changing libido — that may be preventing each of you from finding the loving feeling more often. Understanding and respecting the needs, wants and desires of your partner is how everything should start and continue long after.
Keep romance alive with flirting
Once you have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t work you can start making things happen. A little flirting with your partner lets them know you are interested. Send them a text message, write a note on the bathroom mirror, or give the gentle touch on the arm or neck as you walk by – much easier in these days of working from home. It will make them feel wanted. It will remind them of how attracted they were to you early in your relationship, you know — before kid.
Find the time and schedule it
We’re all busy these days. Between work, shuttling the kids to their activities, and the few social things we still have going on, spontaneity is not as easy as it was when we were younger and had far fewer commitments. If you truly want to stay intimate with your partner, look at your schedules and block some time out just for the two of you. Then set yourself up for success. Remove all those obstacles to intimacy that you two have talked about — the kids’ presence, obviously; household tasks; your various screens, etc. This way, when the time comes you can give your partner all your focus.
Stay intimate without sex
When we start dating, intimacy was not sex. It was holding hands, cuddling, hugging, kissing, maybe giving your partner a foot rub or shoulder massage. While you may not always have the opportunity, let alone the time, for sex, you can work many of these other intimate times into your schedule, such as when you are sitting on the couch watching TV … even when the kids are present. Taking advantage of these opportunities helps prime the pump for more intimate adventures you might get caught up in later.