Moving Beyond Transactional Intimacy: A Journey to Genuine Connection

by | Jun 11, 2024 | General Posts

A couple I’m coaching privately recently shared a breakthrough moment with me. I’ll share their story, but first, let’s look at a pattern that you might find familiar. It involves managing each other to meet personal needs, which can be quite common in long-standing relationships.

The Pattern of Transactional Intimacy

For instance, she needed personal space, especially after a day with her children. To achieve peace, she would meet her husband’s “needs” in exchange for a few days without being bothered for sex.

He, on the other hand, sought reassurance of being desired, often through intimacy. He would try to be extra nice and reduce her stress in hopes of making her receptive to his advances for intimacy, but ultimately to fill a need of feeling desired.

The Problem with Transactional Relationships

The challenge with this approach is that intimacy becomes a transaction, not an expression of love, admiration, or fun. It’s hard to feel emotionally close or truly intimate with someone when the relationship feels like a series of negotiations.

The Breakthrough

What changed for them? They decided to focus on strengthening their relationship, much like one would with a personal trainer to improve physical health. They pinpointed a lack of consistent emotional connection as a weak spot and adjusted their bedtime routine to foster deeper connections, replacing distractions with meaningful rituals.

The Result

The result? Their last intimate encounter was enjoyed genuinely because it wasn’t about fulfilling duties. She focused on sharing pleasure with the man she admires and loves, and he, feeling more self-confident and less needy, became more attractive to her.

Lessons Learned

This story highlights the importance of seeing beyond the transactions in your relationship and focusing on nurturing true love. It’s the accumulation of tiny gains consistently applied over a period of time.

Take Action This Week

This week, take a moment to examine your interactions. How much is transactional, and how much is rooted in love? Start with small, consistent acts that help your relationship grow in love.

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<h3>Dan Purcell</h3>

Dan Purcell

Dan and his wife Emily Purcell are the founders of Get Your Marriage On! They are on a mission to strengthen marriages by making lovemaking incredibly fun and deeply connecting. Dan is a sex coach. They are also the creators of the popular Intimately Us and Just Between Us apps that have been downloaded over 750,000 times. They are the host of the popular Get Your Marriage On! podcast with over 1 million listens. In addition to their coaching program, they host romantic retreat getaways for couples, and put on workshops on how to have a great sex life and deeper intimacy.Dan and Emily met in middle school and have been married for over 20 years and have 6 kids. Dan loves cracking dad jokes, running marathons, planning the next creative date night with his sweetheart, and enjoys the magnificent outdoors around their St George home.

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