Here’s How to Ask Your Partner for More Intimacy

Got intimacy? If you’re wondering how to ask your partner for more intimacy and closeness, it’s important to explore what you’re really looking for.

Wondering how to ask your partner for more intimacy? Here’s how to connect with your partner to get the closeness you want and deserve.

Relationships are an adventure in intimacy and navigating our connections with others, but understanding how to get the intimacy we want can be confusing. What are we really looking for? Deeper conversations? More sex? A more attentive partner?

Here’s how to ask your partner for more intimacy and get the connection you crave.

Embark on An Adventure in Intimacy

Intimacy. It’s an often-misunderstood term. We may think intimacy refers to our physical connection. We may think of intimacy are romance, closeness, or sharing a deep conversation. Real intimacy is all these things and more.

Intimacy is about learning and growing together to fulfill our fullest potential. When we’re working on our best selves, relationships can be both a womb and a crucible. They form us and forge us into our best selves. So while it’s important that our relationships are nurturing, it’s also crucial to recognize that growth can also be a painful process.

When a butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, it must go through the struggle to build up strength. If we “help” the butterfly before it is ready, the wings will fail to develop the proper strength, and the butterfly won’t be able to fly. Similarly, when we emerge and grow into our potential, we must go through difficult challenges to increase our strength. While our relationship can support us through the lessons, our partner can’t take away our difficulties or “fix” us. In fact, our partnership is strengthened when our partner is an ally—pushing us toward our best self.

If our relationship isn’t challenging us and pushing us to grow, then it’s just a pacifier. We need the conflict to continue to evolve. Conflict is where growth and change really happen.

In our book, The Heart of the Fight, we discuss the many ways that love and intimacy are messy. It’s about embracing our roles in the relationship and working on ourselves to live extraordinary lives together. One partner may be a great parent, and one might have a great career. Relationships and intimacy are about bringing those strengths together to become transformational agents, engaged fully and intimately together, bringing out our best selves and the best in others.

Great relationships are all about engaging in the adventure of life together as partners and allies.

Yearnings and Understanding the Nature of Conflict

Our yearnings drive us. As human beings, we constantly try to fulfill our yearnings and listen to them. At times, we may deny our yearnings, but that becomes painful. We find ourselves shifting blame and being dishonest about what we want. This can cause resentments to build as we disengage from the relationship.

The truth is that many of us fall out of touch with our yearnings. We aren’t sure how to get what we truly want because we don’t know what it is. Yearnings are the deeper longings of our heart—to be loved, to be connected, to feel respected. Many of us mistake wants for yearnings. We think that we want to lose weight. We want a bigger house. We want to have fashionable clothes.

We may think that we want our partner to clean up around the house more often. We want them to take us out on a date. We want them to buy us gifts. However, the underlying yearnings go deeper than that. We want our partner to pick up the house because we yearn for the security that comes from an orderly space. We want our partner to take us out on a date because we yearn for intimacy and connection. We want our partners to buy us gifts because we yearn for love or admiration and connection.

When we confuse our wants for yearnings, we fall into a pattern of miss-wanting. We get what we thought we wanted, only to find that we’re still left unfulfilled and unsatisfied. We still long for more. We may even feel resentful or disengaged because our partner isn’t fulfilling the fairytale notion of giving us “happily ever after.”

Conflict helps us reengage with each other. It’s impossible to work for something—even a fulfilling relationship—without at least a little struggle and fight.

Think of any goal. We have to train and sweat for months if we want to run a marathon. If we want to get a promotion at work, we have to learn new tasks and work hard to get there. When we want something big, hard work is required. It’s likely going to be painful and even unpleasant at times. We can’t skip out the door one day and win a gold medal.

Most of us don’t enjoy fighting (and if we do, that can be detrimental too). Maybe we were raised to believe fighting wasn’t beneficial or that fighting would push others away. We call these types of situations “conflict-avoidant.” If we grew up in a conflict-avoidant household, it could be hard to see the merits and productivity of conflict. It’s difficult to let go of our limiting beliefs about conflict. We might feel like we shouldn’t express our yearnings or ask for what we need in a relationship.

Feeling conflicted isn’t wrong or bad. Engaging in conflict doesn’t make us mean or negative people. On the contrary, it can actually bring us closer together by moving us toward what we really want and need in the situation.

The skill in conflict is taking responsibility for our own satisfaction and then working together toward that satisfaction with a partner. People become so skilled at avoiding conflict that they avoid themselves right out of their relationship. When we avoid confrontation and conflict, we disengage. We become distant and disconnected. We might even resent our partner for not reading our minds or understanding why we’re upset.

Instead, rock the boat! Ask for more intimacy! When couples learn the rules of engagement, they learn to express their desires responsibly. They realize that conflict arises because they’re working for, not against, their relationship. Conflict is a means to strengthen our relationships and make our yearnings known.

Intimacy is Engagement

Intimacy is synonymous with engagement. If we want more intimacy, it’s not just that we want to have more sex (although physical intimacy can be an added benefit of reconnecting with our partner). It’s not that we want our partner to be more affectionate. That may be part of it, but we really want more engagement. We want our partner to connect with us, to see us, hear us, and know us.

If we think we’re moving toward our yearnings but expect our partner to get us there, we aren’t taking 100% responsibility for our own satisfaction. We are each responsible for getting satisfaction, and no one else can hand it to us. We must be learning and growing on our own, AND together.

We can get there by expressing what we want to our partner. We can tell them our expectations and share our yearnings. What would happen if we just asked? What is it that we want from our partners?

Ultimately, intimacy is about connection—loving each other and being close. It’s about wanting to have more of each other and gain a deeper understanding of the other person. Over time couples can become like systems engineers—working through the daily tasks of running a home, going to work, raising the kids. But within this scenario, intimacy is lost. We become two people bumping into each other and existing together. It requires deliberate action to get on the same page with a vision and connection. If we want it, we have to stop going through the motions and start doing the work. (It’s worth it!)

How To Get Your Partner Engaged in Your Relationship

What happens when one partner is ready to engage and get more intimacy, and the other partner is on the fence? What do we do when we tell our partner we want to build a deeper connection, and we get an eye roll because they think it sounds like B.S.?

First of all, this happens quite often. Change can be difficult and frightening, especially when we haven’t had time to process it. Our partner might be perfectly comfortable with the status quo because we’ve made them very comfortable. We’ve allowed them to ignore our yearnings and to be oblivious to our feelings. We can’t expect them to read our minds—they need to be uncomfortable too.

Too often, we get bogged down in a state where we feel sorry for ourselves and use it as an excuse for inaction. We think, “I’d love to work on myself and grow, but my partner isn’t into it. So it’s their fault that I can’t.” In reality, this is a lie.

We are each 100% responsible for our own satisfaction. If we’re learning, growing, and working to bring out our best selves, our partner must rise to the occasion. If we’re expressing our yearnings and acknowledging the truth in what our partner says, being open and honest, we will be a force to be reckoned with.

When we’re following the rules of engagement and engaging in conflict responsibly and honestly, it becomes uncomfortable for our partner to ignore our personal power and energy. They will engage with you because they have to.

It’s all about using conflict to get to the heart of what we really want. Just because one time we threw out, “I’d like to work on this,” and got shot down, we shouldn’t give up. Go for a different approach. Learn the rules of engagement and start engaging. Follow along in the book. We can get our partner to read the book with us, and if they won’t, we can start using the skills and following the rules. Eventually, our partners get curious about what we’re doing, and they will want to know more (even if they don’t admit it at first).

Relationships are beautiful and messy platforms to help us grow and change. When we’re working on our personal power, a healthy relationship is a launchpad for bringing out our next best self.

To learn more about living your best life and enjoying stronger relationships, don’t miss our courses at Wright Now. We have resources to help you discover more about yourself, your partner, your career, and your world. Get MORE today!

About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Love or Sex…Are You Getting One, or None?

Relationships bring out the best in us. When we truly connect with another person and we work together towards goal-oriented transformation, we can find ourselves truly engaged in a partnership based on reciprocity.

Sex can strengthen and solidify that bond. Skin-on-skin, intimate contact touches us at the most primal level. Since early childhood, we have learned to crave touch and associate intimacy and affection with love.

So, why is that in many relationships we find that something is lacking? We resort to the cycle of blaming, stepping into what Dr. Steven Karpman coined the Transactional Analysis Theory or the drama triangle. This cycle of victimhood, persecutor, and rescuer can become a vicious pattern that destroys otherwise healthy relationships.

In our book, Transformed: The Science of Spectacular Living, we discuss a way you can break this cycle, take personal responsibility, and improve your relationship. Two of the important ground rules in any relationship: 1. No one should get more than 50% of the blame, and 2.) Each partner needs to take 100% of the responsibility for their own happiness.

If you’re finding that the intimacy and passion in your relationship has flown the coop, then you need to look at the limiting beliefs you’re focused on about yourself, and examine how your behavior may be contributing to this cycle. Often our relationships reflect something within ourselves that might be holding us back (or making us head for the hills).

Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em

Are you finding that once intimacy and sex are on the table, the relationship takes a nosedive? Maybe you find that you’re pulling back, or you catch yourself avoiding the other person. Suddenly, the things that drew you in might be the things that repel you.

If you find yourself in the Groundhog Day version of repeating the same pattern again and again, it’s time to explore how your core limiting beliefs are affecting the way you deal with intimacy. Many of us feel we aren’t worthy of love or that we only want love (and sex) that we have to constantly chase and pursue.

We’re addicted to the seduction rather than the connection.

There’s the cliché that men are the only ones who are guilty of this mindset, but it’s not true—women can also feel stifled by intimacy or put off in relationships where they feel “too wanted.”

Why don’t we want, in the words of Groucho Marx, to belong to a club that would have someone like us as a member? Oftentimes it can go back to those core beliefs that were formed by the time we were seven or eight years old. If we were fighting for the attention of a parent, or had a mother or father who was withholding of affection, we may find ourselves constantly engaging in a chase that we will never win.

To overcome this pattern and break these self-fulfilling prophesies you must change your beliefs and change your actions. Sometimes it can feel strange, but it’s easier to change our actions and watch our beliefs follow. Try new actions by confessing your fears before things escalate, let the person know you can feel yourself starting to have feelings for them, and it’s scary. Being vulnerable and opening up can lead to profound growth and transition. Even if it doesn’t feel “normal” to you, when you change your action your core belief will start to change as well.

Break Your Patterns

Perhaps you’re the one who’s often getting “ditched” in relationships or you have a pattern of choosing partners who don’t meet your needs or leave you feeling less than fulfilled. Even in these cases, the onus is still on you to change. As we know all too well, while we can share with a partner and work together, we are responsible for our own behavior and actions.

Set yourself up for relationship success by breaking your patterns. The next time you have a date that’s not working, give yourself the go ahead to say, “It was nice meeting you, but I’m not interested in pursuing a relationship any further.” Reclaim the power you have to walk away and reframe the belief that you HAVE to make every date turn into a relationship or that this is your “only chance.”

When the Sex Becomes Routine

In a new relationship you’re embarking on adventure, exploration and the thrill of connecting and getting to know another person. Intimacy, sex, and that all-important skin-to-skin contact are key to building a relationship, and part of the fun.

What happens when things become blah? And yes, it happens to almost everyone—after a time, we fall into patterns—get up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch the news, go to bed (and sex is nowhere in the picture). As humans we are drawn to routine behaviors and establishing levels of normalcy; it’s just part of our nature. Because of this, yes, things can occasionally become less fiery and passionate than they were at first, but they also can become more deeply intimate.

If you’re committed to growth in your relationship and you and your partner are working together, you can achieve an even greater level of closeness, support and connectedness. It becomes less about physical intercourse and more about verbal and emotional intercourse. As you realize your own needs and articulate them to your partner, you’ll find ways to fulfill them yourself. At that point, sex is just the icing on the cake.

There are those couples that claim to still be all over each other like teenagers, while the rest of us look on with a raised eyebrow.

The truth is, that yes, perhaps both of you have very high sex drives and enjoy sex greatly, but a completely sexually driven relationship may be lacking in other areas of intimacy.

Be sure you aren’t using sex as a way to compensate or to connect over emotional distance. If you suspect this may be the case, then it’s time to do some exploration and transformational work to get your emotional intimacy back on track.

Love and sex are two different aspects of an intimate relationship, but they can be very beautifully intertwined. When you have a partner who is embarking on life’s journeys with you and you’re both challenging each other, it can be very fulfilling and help us work towards our best selves. Sometimes it’s hard work, but it’s so worth it.

If you’re looking for deeper, more meaningful relationships, you can order our new relationships book: The Heart of The Fight, out now. To learn more about intimacy and the health of your relationships, go to Wright Now, right now!

About the Author

Dr. Judith Wright

Dr Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach. She is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.