Day 1: Connecting emotionally vs. physically- the chicken and the egg
Does this sound familiar to you? Your spouse wants to have sex. However, it’s hard for you to want to open up sexually yet because you haven’t connected emotionally first?
Or perhaps the other way around? Your spouse wants to connect emotionally but you find it hard to open up your heart because you haven’t connected sexually in a while. I know it’s a generalization, but it’s often as if women want to connect emotionally first so that they can connect sexually, and men want to connect sexually first so that they can connect emotionally.
Sometimes you might think, God sure has a sense of humor! This irony feels like a chicken & egg problem!
Here’s the good news: both people can put energy in physically and emotionally in tandem… as long as you avoid a stalemate by always insisting that your concerns always must come first.
For some individuals, validating conversation & feeling a genuine interest and concern from their partner is how they connect. For others, sexual touch that not only feels good but nourishes the soul is how they connect. Neither one is superior to the other. It’s just that we approach the goal of connection from different paths.
Some of my favorite, most connecting experiences with my amazing wife Emily usually started by clearing our calendar for a date night. With young kids this wasn’t always easy to do. But we made the effort. One of us would work on finding a sitter while the other planned the date.
My favorite date night was when I prepared ahead of time: without her knowing I hiked up to the top of a hill overlooking our town and set up a small table and chairs, tablecloth, candles, flowers, and a “Reserved” sign. Later that evening we got some take-out and I suggested maybe we could go up to that hill to overlook the city lights while we ate our meal. We got up to the top of the hill and to her surprise there was a table reserved just for the two of us! We enjoyed a very private & romantic evening, feeling really close to each other because we put a little bit of effort into both the chicken AND the egg.
For Day 1, I invite you to make the effort to go on dates, have meaningful conversations, and spend nice time together. Heck, you calendar time for work parties and other socials, why not treat some “us” time on your schedule with the same priority? AND to make sure some of this time is about physical intimacy and pleasure for the both of you!
That way, both of you get what you need to feel as connected as possible.
Do you relate to this chicken-and-egg scenario of connecting emotionally vs physically?