When it comes to a couple’s sex life, open and transparent communication is extremely crucial for sustained intimacy in the long run.
Communication. We all know it’s important and we all know we should be doing it more. And perhaps – doing it better. But have you ever stopped to wonder why communication in the relationship is so essential?
Why communication with your spouse or partner ensures intimacy?
Why communication can lead to a better sex life and a more fulfilling relationship?
In this article, you’ll learn 3 reasons why communication is crucial to maintaining intimacy – be it in your marriage or your relationship.
Intimacy Is Easy In The Beginning
At the beginning of relationships, intimacy is a kind of a given.
Little thought is put into creating it – it just sort of happens. There’s always time to enjoy a snuggle on the sofa, time to cook dinner together, time to share a bottle of wine – time to have sex. A lot of sex.
Falling in love is one of the most intimate experiences.
But when the passion dwindles, which it does for most of us around 6 months to 2 and a half years into the relationship, intimacy can turn into a hard project.
One for which we simply have no time or energy to work on.
All of a sudden, it’s like intimacy can only be achieved by going to fancy restaurants, booking ourselves into a spa facility or going on a trip to Paris.
But intimacy doesn’t actually need to be fancy or expensive. There’s a much simpler solution right in the back of your pocket – communication.
Want to up your communication skills with your partner? Read 6 Communication Strategies Of Happy Couples in Relationships
1. What Happens When We Don’t Communicate
– Our Relationship Stops Evolving & Our Sex Drive Diminishes
When we keep the lines of communication in the relationship open, our relationship is privy to constant evolvement.
A relationship that changes and grows keeps us interested. The novelty we experience in an ever-changing relationship – be it sexual or nonsexual – is also great for our libido.
But a great sex life isn’t only dependent on novelty between the sheets. It also needs extra heat which is, in part, caused by finding our partner or our spouse intriguing and interesting outside of the bedroom.
You might be thinking “but I like my relationship exactly the way it is!”.
And maybe you do today, or tomorrow, or still for months to come.
But when our relationships stop growing, they become stale and boring. They stop feeding our souls and tending to our needs. They stop revving up our sex drives and sex turns into more of a project than a fun activity.
Relationships that don’t evolve run the risk of losing all intimacy.
– Our Brain Thinks We’re Going To Die
When communication in the relationship stops (or never actually starts) – we stop being intimate.
Intimacy is a crucial part of being human. Not just because it’s “nice” or makes us feel good. Our need for intimacy is rooted in our DNA. Our genetic make-up thrives on it because intimacy is a part of love.
And love was what made sure we were a part of the group way back when we lived on the savannah.
If we weren’t loved and didn’t love, we ran the risk of being excluded from the group. And when we were left to be on our own, we were much likelier to die.
Nowadays in western society, love and intimacy might not be as crucial to our physical survival. They are, however, still as important to our mental well-being.
This is partly because a lack of intimacy can, on a subconscious level, be misconstrued as a sign that we’re excluded from the group. Effectively, our brain thinks we’re going to die, leading to worry, anxiety and depression.
2. We’re Not Loved For Who We Truly Are
When we don’t communicate with our spouse or partner we don’t show who we truly are. And when we hide certain parts of ourselves, we don’t get to experience being loved for our wholeness.
The only sides of ourselves that are showered with love and affection are the “good” ones. The sides of ourselves that we believe make us lovable.
This leads to us keeping our innermost feelings to ourselves and the experience of love is kind of cut in half.
We distance ourselves from our partners, whether we want to be or not, and we lose the intimacy we once shared.
Are you having trouble communicating with your partner? Read 12 Important Life Hacks To Improve Communication In Your Relationships
3. What Happens When We Communicate
Communication can be many things – a means to a boring end; like getting your partner to do the dishes, a way of establishing boundaries; like telling your spouse you need space, or, or, put simply; a way of creating intimacy.
– What Sexual Communication Is
Sex isn’t usually viewed as a way of keeping communication in the relationship alive. But sex kind of is communication.
Whether it be purely bodily communication or a mixture of the physical and conversational – having sex is letting one another know how much we enjoy them.
It’s telling our partner we find them attractive, sexy, interesting, lovable – comforting.
But sexual communication isn’t only the act in itself, it’s also the conversation about sex.
Talking about sex can be difficult. It can feel embarrassing and awkward, but if we’re willing to accept those feelings, over time, the conversation can turn into an incredibly intimate experience.
By talking about our likes and dislikes, our fantasies and needs, we’re creating and sustaining intimacy again and again.
If you find it tricky talking about sex (most of us do!), you can read more in this blog post about communication and relationships and how to talk to your partner about sex.
– What Non-sexual Communication Is
Communicating on a day to day basis is fundamental to our relationship.
When we communicate we’re bonding with our partner. We’re sharing our thoughts, feelings, and needs.
We’re letting them know about our fears and hopes, and – perhaps most importantly – we’re sharing the parts of ourselves we let few others see.
The parts we fear people will find annoying.
The parts we secretly dislike.
The parts we’re deeply ashamed of.
When the lines of communication are open in our relationship, we’re constantly creating and sustaining intimacy, because communication is intimacy.
In order to keep our intimate connection going through the good times and the bad times, we need to keep communication in the relationship going – both sexually and non-sexually.
When we do this we don’t run the risk of our brains thinking we’re going to die, of our relationships going stale and boring, or of not being loved for who we truly are. By communicating we’re creating and sustaining intimacy. And in the end – intimacy is what relationships are all about.
If you want to know more about how communication is vital for sustained intimacy, then check out this video below:
Leigh Norén is a sex therapist and writer with a Master of Science in Sexology. She’s been featured in Thrive Global, The Good Men Project, Babe, The Tab, Glamour, Sexography, The Minds Journal and more. For more advice on communication, visit her website. For a happier relationship and better sex life, download her free resources.
This article was originally published at https://www.therapybyleigh.com/human-sexuality-blog/3-reasons-communication-in-the-relationship-is-crucial-to-sustained-intimacy