Making (Time for) Love.

Via on Apr 8, 2011

Making time for love is an important barometer of the commitment and sustainability of your relationship.

When you consider the outrageous scheduling hoops we agree to without qualm in our work setting, or even more intensely in managing our children’s activity calendar, it makes you wonder how the idea of scheduling intimacy could still be so taboo.

Yet, taboo it is, with an overriding belief that sex and intimacy are somehow tainted if they are not spontaneous and immediate. This belief system is connected to the shame and guilt we carry around from our adolescence when we could only describe a make-out session if we could first say, “I don’t know how it happened, but suddenly we were just doing it!” We can only fully embrace our sexuality if it just happens to us. Planning for it forces us to claim the most unpredictable, and to some degree uncontrollable, part of our life.

There are a lot of good reasons to start including love time in your regular schedule. Leaving love to the spontaneous in a life that is overbooked with commitments to family and careers, means that our love often gets the lowest ebb of our energy. Most of us arrive at our bedrooms exhausted, finally turning away from the last email, the last bill to be paid, the last dish to be washed, the last light turned off. Even the most spontaneous among us can barely muster the energy of imagining a wild interlude at that moment.

Planning love dates can add excitement to the rest of the week. Looking forward to an intimate time, which can but doesn’t have to include full-on sex, can be both relaxing and stimulating. Couples that are struggling to find physical connection may find it easier to agree to mutual massages than to envision hours of lovemaking. Either way, setting aside time and energy for your partner sends a message that sustains commitments. While my husband and I don’t have set days of the week, we do agree to “dates” either later in the day or the next day. Setting this time for lovemaking becomes part of the foreplay and gives permission to entertain thoughts that might come in handy later.

Inventing a shared language for intimacy connects partners. Revisiting the art of flirting can spice up even the most common of conversations, “What’s for dinner?” suddenly has multiple meanings. We are more playful with each other when we are waiting for our date time. Unfulfilled or, even worse, conflicting expectations about intimacy are often the most difficult ground for couples to maneuver. This is where communication is the currency of the relationship on every level.

Learning to schedule time for love requires that we acknowledge and are willing to talk about our sex life together. This is challenging because the taboo is so strong against speaking honestly and openly about sex. Yet developing a language for love is one of the strongest predictors of having a good sex life. Couples who can talk about what they want or prefer in their physical lives, may actually be able to get it. Code words are okay; they may even add some excitement to the game.

First and foremost, make time to play.

About Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family. In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy, she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative advice. It has been called "the essential guide for relationships." The book is available on ebook, as well as in paperback online. Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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4 Responses to “Making (Time for) Love.”

  1. Dace says:

    Thanks for the wonderful article!
    Yes, when we want life term exciting relationship, we must embrace it with total openness and playfulness. Code words indeed work amazingly well!

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  3. Lisa says:

    Great Article! My bf and I live apart and have kids, he is out of the country away on business half the time. We schedule love and intimacy when we can. Which means a couple of “nooners” during the week if we have to. Being very close intimately means we don’t need to bother with all that foreplay. One kiss, one look, one touch, one moment of tenderness and then we are right there! Its a relief to hear that cause we can do this our relationship will endure!

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