(S)ave (E)nergy (X)

 Is it unrealistic to ask if you “have” time and energy for regular intimacy?  In this post I will address factors that improved our relationship regarding a subject that’s taboo but so vital to long-term relationship survival: relationship intimacy and sex.

It is crucial to separate time and energy for sex.  Your partner’s engagement in your hobby has nothing to do with fulfilling your responsibility by genuinely making each other a priority.

No we did not meet as “athletes” at all! Our first date was a bar crawl on a weeknight.

frontWhen Roger decided to run his first marathon after 1 year together it meant a big change in lifestyle for me too. On the weekend, he would leave for his run before I got up, and when he got back exhausted, I was energized ready for the day of errands by bike; weekends meant nap life.  During the week, Roger had to run 8 miles to work and run 6 miles home to get in his long runs; understandably on weeknights he was toast.   I understood he had a goal, and was building endurance.  I knew it was for a few months, I did not allow it to cause resentment; classic marathon widow.

  He researched and secretly bought Goat Weed, a natural supplement for arousal without caffeine or side effects.  (I only found this out later) Even though he was very tired, he made the effort to make sure his hobby activity wasn’t a roadblock with our intimacy.  This gesture showed me he wasn’t exercising to get away from me, nor was he pouring any sexual deprivation out on a sport, he just really wanted to challenge himself to run a marathon bucket list item.  I can not emphasize the importance of this mutual understanding that the other person should not have to beg.   The physical is only a portion. Invest effort into staying connected emotionally and mentally.   Roger suggested I could pick where we had breakfast after his workouts, which gave me a fun task to research and look forward to.   I started to get involved in his training adventures, biking beside him for the remainder of the months.  The day of the race, I was teary walking with him to the start line because we had made it to the start line together! We were stronger than before because we decided to adapt together.

Fast-forward now 9 years later, our lifestyle changed again.

CAM00004The mind and body gets exhausted when cycling as transport, working full-time, and regularly exercising… but each of us has to decide whether that will interfere with the time and energy for each other.

Sometimes our bodies are too chaffed or knees too sore to move, but intimacy is a sacred safe haven.   We’ll take turns on foam roller, doing stretches on the other, using screwdriver handle for trigger point injury muscle massages.  While TV may brainwash people to think that once you’re in a relationship for 10+ years spontaneous romance disappears – don’t allow yourself or your relationship to feel like a victim – take control.   Looking at our work schedules, chores, recovery, sleep and individual libido times of day (think early bird meets night owl) will help determine what times are ideal.   Instead of creating any robotic vibes these scheduled times will be a highlight and will build anticipation  – because no one dreads lunchtime or time to clock out.

Here’s how it breaks down:

SAVE. (Time)  Intentionally observe how much time your partner needs because he/she may not realize it to tell you. You may not even realize that you may need more time than you thought.  Iron out slots of time to just be together and for intimacy where you aren’t bailing on responsibilities or rushing.  When deciding how you will utilize your day, base it around the needs of your spouse.   Offering your spouse sporadic leftover time gaps isn’t attractive or flattering.

How do you let your partner know you are interested, without feeling rejected if the other person isn’t ready right now?  We created a sequence that first and foremost starts with when you get home from work, change/shower out of your work clothes!

toon-3390ENERGY. Physical energy depends so much on our mental and emotional state.  Stress, anxiety, loss, arguments on top of hormonal changes can really mess with desire to do anything at all, let alone for someone else.  Intentionally protect your mental attitude towards your spouse based on love and respect for him/her. Intentionally invest effort into your physical health in order to feel balanced and confident in your own strength. Maintaining both the effort and strength improves the quality of the energy you have to bring to the relationship.

Affect of Birth Control on Libido and Discomfort brings out that some contraceptive styles with hormones can reduce female libido, which can add strain to a relationship.

Reminds me on this music video of Keri Hilton’s song “Energy”

Mental Attitude. Intimacy and sex is not a weapon or a reward, it is a delicate responsibility each person has for the other.  Relationship sex can’t be delegated and sorry, no, can’t be fulfilled solo.  Creating an atmosphere where both are invited to initiate, has even the power to neutralize arguments.  A mental attitude of endurance is when the love for the other person will prioritize over your own mood that day.

Human hearts have highs and lows of despair and selfishness, so it’s our brain’s job to keep ourselves in the path to our relationship goals.  When deciding what to do with your energy, endure and prioritize by taking into account the amount your spouse deserves from you that day.

Physical Fitness. Taking control of your health through a clean diet and exercise in order to try to have a higher quality and longer life is a big gesture of love towards your mate.   However, look deeper than just if your meals and fitness schedule are in sync, track the emotional state.  Spending time together intellectually doesn’t substitute sex.

 For example, even if you love your job, some days you may not feel like going; But you do because of the bigger picture of income.  Intimacy with your spouse is much more sensitive and also valuable than just being present at work or surviving through a workout. On the other hand, working overtime all the time or putting 200% into exercising all the time will destroy the hope of having energy for anyone else in your day. Similar to the accountability towards a training plan, you won’t have a chance to have this day’s progress ever again. Monogamy means you have an exclusive privilege towards your chosen one, for his/her sexual and emotional health.

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