For over a month, I’ve been in a frenzy writing (& completing!) my book. It’s been an exciting process, one that took up every ounce of my thoughts, energy, & artistry.
As I delved deeper into the construction of this manifesto, I became very much like a hermit crab, only coming out to buy groceries for the upcoming week. Sometimes, I would even forget to eat.
The creative process can be quite exhausting.
In the midst of putting the final touches on my book & obsessing over the structure of every sentence, I not only realized that I wasn’t taking care of myself, but I wasn’t giving care to my husband either.
I wasn’t giving him affection or attention.
Physical touch & quality time are vital in every relationship. Usually, Jonathan & I are very conscious of our efforts & we always take time to be intimate throughout the day, whether that be going for a hike at the end of the day or embarking in a few naked wrestling matches. (Yes, really.)
We do our very best to make each other a priority. This can be fairly easy since we’re both self-employed, but it can also be a great challenge.
Moderation (on both sides of the “working from home with your lover” spectrum) is everything.
I can always tell when Jonathan & I have neglected to nourish our relationship in the present. We become rather distant with each other. We rarely make eye contact (how can we, when our eyes are steadily glued to a computer screen?); our conversations only go so far as “Can you read this line in my book & tell me if it sounds good?”; we’re barely physically intimate with each other: there is no hand holding, no couch cuddling, no footsies underneath the table.
We become completely absorbed in our own little worlds, going throughout the day quietly & exclusively, coming back together at bedtime, when we’re both too tired to do anything but sleep.
In the process of all of this, we’re both terribly frustrated, sexually & emotionally. Our spirits are low while our work ethic remains abnormally high, which is a wretched combination. We are cranky, short-tempered, & frazzled.
This has been our story for the last several weeks.
Add this to the fact that we just came back from a five day love fest with 500+ writers in our city & you’ve got a couple that is in desperate need of reconnection.
Sex is the most obvious way to reconnect with your lover, literally & figuratively. But it is also a prerequisite; it is assumed. I wanted to try different, more unexpected methods to reacquaint myself with my husband. And I didn’t want them to come with the heaviness that sex sometimes involves for the two of us.
In the stillness of our bedroom (where the best conversations happen between us) this is what we collectively came up with:
1.) Turn off the television.
Watching television is a great way to turn off everything in your weary brain & let it rest as you tune out the world with nonsensical moving pictures. And this is precisely why watching television should be limited to a minimum. When your eyes are fixated on The Idiot Box, they are not fixated on the things that really matter: your lover is one of those things.
So turn off the television & lock eyes with your beloved. Engage in his bewitching, moving image. Become intrigued by his realness. Fall in love with his physical existence.
2.) Take a shower together.
One of the best features in our suburban home is our very large, very shareable shower. When taking a shower together, it’s easy to get lost in the drudgery of it: lather the soap, rub it all over your body, rinse, repeat. But when indulging in a shower together, it’s imperative that you take the mundaneness out of this seeming chore.
Wash each other. Everywhere. Wash her back. Wash underneath her arms. Wash her between her toes. Wash between her legs. Suddenly, washing yourself (& getting washed) has become intimate, delicious, sensual.
If you don’t have a suitable shower, take a bath. Fill the bathtub with warm water & your naked bodies; cuddle with each other if you must so that you can fit comfortably. Soak in the water; soak in each other.
3.) Give each other massages.
Physical touch is vital for reconnecting with your lover. Without it, you’re merely having a good time with a good friend. The one thing that differentiates between Friend & Lover is physical touch. It communicates the deepest of messages: I am yours; you are mine (in every, every sense of that phrase). Giving & receiving a massage relays the essence of your commitment & desire for each other exquisitely.
Make your bedroom into a love sanctuary. Dim the lights (put a red scarf over your lampshade); light candles & incense; put on your most soothing & sensual record. Warm essential oils in your hands & take turns touching each other. Agree to massaging each other for an equal amount of time — 10 minutes, 20 minutes. They key here is not arousal or touching each other in a way that you become aroused. Rather, it’s focusing on touch being a kind of communication.
Slow, deep, smooth embraces with the palms of your hands. Conscious breathing. Stealing kisses on shoulders every once in a while. Reconnection should always be this luscious.
Don’t just talk; communicate. Really listen to what your lover is staying; give her your undivided attention. Look into her eyes. React to her words. Share with her how you’re feeling, what thought processes have been going through your mind; tell him how much you’ve missed her.
All the while, stay close to her. Touch her hand, caress her hair, sit on her lap. Closeness + easy conversation is a golden.
5.) Go out to dinner.
Get out of the house. Change up your scenery. Get dolled up. Wear your best perfume, your sexiest underthings. Go to your favorite restaurant (one without a drive-thru window), sit at your favorite table, & order your a meal your mouth is watering for. Splurge; get the best wine; indulge in a few appetizers; share a delectable dessert.
Sit next to each other if you want to be able to freely fondle your lover underneath the table. Or, if you prefer to stare keenly into the intricate workings of your lover’s irises, sit across from each other.
Feed each other; feed your senses. Relish in the taste of your meal relish in the gorgeousness of the moment. Toast to your greatness. Share your hopes & dreams over mango sticky rice. Walk out of the restaurant hand-in-hand, bellies full.
Then, go home & take a shower together.
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Q: what are some ways you reconnect with your lover after long periods of work/socializing/trying times?