Relationship health is often something we neglect. We’re so busy testing the keto diet and mastering mediation that working on the connection to our partner falls by the wayside. But it turns out you need to work out your relationship the same way you do your glutes. So here are 4 easy exercises to get you started.
Exercise 1 – Do you see what I see?
One of the biggest problems we have in relationships is around communication. So, let’s get back to basics and not only learn how our partner receives and analyses information but also explore ways of communicating and problem-solving with them. In Fifty Shades Freed, Anastasia says to Christian “Talk, listen, work stuff out. Isn’t this how it works?” If only it were that easy! But at least that starts as a good guideline to communication and conflict.
What to do: Sit with your backs towards each other and have one person drawn a picture or object on a piece of paper without telling or showing the other what it is. The person who has drawn the picture has to explain the picture or object without saying what it is and the other person has to replicate it. Were you able to communicate what is it? Try this again with the other person and see if you can identify where you get stuck or where you excel with communication.
Exercise 2 – What is intimacy
We all know that we need intimacy in order for a relationship to flourish, but do we ever stop to think about what intimacy is or how we should show it? How can we increase something if we can’t even describe what it is? You and your partner may have a lot of sexual chemistry but that isn’t where the real intimacy grows. Intimacy is created in those moments where you are challenged as a couple and forced to work things out.
What to do: This exercise can be done just with talking to your partner. Can you both have a go at trying to describe what intimacy is to you? Often this is something couples have never discussed. Then once you think you have some form of a definition, identify ways that you can show it, another thing people are unaware of. Often we think that intimacy is about sex, which it can be, but there are also lots of other ways that you can show and increase intimacy. But first, you and your partner have to work out exactly what that is.
Exercise 3 – Exploring intimacy
One way to explore intimacy is with touch. We are often so distracted that if you might be touching your partner, attention is not there. This exercise is about tuning out of the outside world and tuning into each other.
What to do: Either close your eyes or use a blindfold and take turns at touching each other in a non-sexual way (it’s okay if this turns to being sexual too). Run your fingers over your partner head, face, earlobes, neck, arms, fingers, legs and feet. How do they feel? Are you paying attention to the touch of their skin and every curve and bump on their body? For the person that is being touched, how does it feel to be touched? You can take turns at this but take it slowly. This is about tuning into each other and reconnecting from the distracted interrupted world we sometimes live in.
Exercise 4 – Exploring boundaries
Now lets put these skills to the test in the bedroom. Often couples just assume they know what the other likes when it comes to sex. Even attempts to spice things up can fall flat with couples stuck thinking about what it is they wanted to try.
What to do: Both take a piece of paper and fold it into three columns, and write yes, no, and maybe. Don’t yet show each other but in the yes column write everything you would do sexually, in the no column things you wouldn’t do and in the maybe, things you might do. Then show this to your partner and compare. In the yes column circle the things you both have that are the same. In the no column, this is where you might want to discuss boundaries and why they are there.
Please note you are allowed to have sexual boundaries in a relationship. The maybe column is where you might be able to get some idea of something new and different, which is really what the definition of kinky is all about. But make sure to discuss why it’s in the maybe column and talk about any concerns or bad experiences you have had around this act. This is somewhat similar to infamous contract from Fifty Shades of Grey. Yours does not have to be as official as the one Anastasia and Christian signed but it is good to put down in words what it is you both like, dislike and might want to try.
Just like you train to keep healthy and look after yourself, maybe you need to train your relationship and sex life too. We all will admit that relationships require work but do you ever stop to think about what work specifically there is to do. Well, at least now you have somewhere to start.
FYI Fifty Shades Freed is now available to own on Digital, 4K ULTRA HD, Blu-Ray and DVD
While we’re on the topic, make sure you check out why happy people are horny people and the science behind why some pain feels so good.
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