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Rekindling intimacy & romance in your relationship when you both have limited time

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the divorce rate in Australia has been steadily declining since the mid-1980s. In 2020, the divorce rate was 2 divorces per 1,000. The average length of marriage at divorce was 12.2 years. While these statistics may not accurately reflect the full picture of the divorce landscape, as many don’t formally divorce or they may have chosen to divorce in another country, it is sobering to realise that it’s most common for couples who have been married 12+ years. 


I remember when my husband and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary, and we had a 6-year-old child and a 2-year-old, and we were both working full-time. Our children are now 16 and 12 respectively. It was a very busy time for us. We were focused on getting what needed to be done, done. And if you’re not careful that pattern of behaviour can continue until one day you wake up and feel like you’re living in a house share, with no intimacy or romance, where you and your partner are co-parenting. And if that has happened to you, it’s a sign that intimacy is missing, and your romantic relationship needs rekindling. 


What is intimacy in a relationship? 

Intimacy in a relationship is the feeling of closeness and connection in an interpersonal relationship. It is an essential part of intimate relationships, and it also plays an important role in other relationships. Intimacy requires vulnerability, openness and trust from both people.  


4 Types of intimacy in relationships

In relationships, there are 4 types of intimacy: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. These are present in all relationships, not just intimate and romantic ones. And the presence of one type of intimacy does not guarantee the presence of the other types of intimacy. 

  • Physical intimacy relates to safe touch and body closeness to enhance feelings of emotional closeness. It can involve hugging, cuddling, kissing, and holding hands, depending on the nature of the relationship. Parents with their children and even friends can develop non-sexual physical intimacy. 
  • Emotional intimacy relates to the level of safety offered to you by your partner when you share your deepest feelings, fears, thoughts and desires. Can either of you share these with each other without being judged or feeling unsafe? 
  • Intellectual intimacy relates to you both feeling comfortable to share your ideas, opinions, and life perspectives. It may also involve intellectually stimulating or robust conversation, challenging yours or your partner’s views and requiring both of you to be open to learning, or at least considering, the other person’s point of view. 
  • Spiritual intimacy relates to feeling close, validated and safe sharing your inner most thoughts and beliefs on life’s purpose and your connection with the divine energies. It doesn’t mean that you have to share the same beliefs however it does indicate that you share similar values e.g., honest and faithful in relationship, and a shared sense of higher purpose. 


Rekindling intimacy and romance in a relationship when the spark has faded can be a challenging task, but it's not impossible. Relationships go through ups and downs, and it's natural for the initial excitement and passion to fade over the years, especially if you have both been busy investing in your careers or raising children. And, if both of you are willing to put in the effort, you can reignite the romance and bring back the excitement you both once had for each other. Here are some steps you can take to help rebuild intimacy in your relationship. 


7 Steps to build intimacy and romance in your relationship

1. Communicate openly and honestly: Communication is key in any relationship, and it's especially important when trying to rekindle intimacy and romance in your relationship. Talk to your partner about your feelings and what you need from the relationship. Be honest about what's not working and what you would like to change. Listen to your partner's thoughts and feelings as well. Open and honest communication can help to build trust and understanding between both partners.

2. Spend quality time together: One of the reasons why the romance might have faded in your relationship could be due to a lack of quality time together. Make an effort to spend time alone with your partner, doing activities that you both enjoy. This could be anything from taking a walk in the park to cooking dinner together. Depending on your diaries you may want to pencil it in, so that it happens rather than it putting it off when things get busy, because that’s how you got here! The goal is to create new memories and experiences that will bring you both closer.

3. Show physical affection: Physical affection is an important aspect of any romantic relationship. It's important to show your partner affection regularly, for example, holding hands, hugging, and kissing. Remember safe touch as you may need to build up to where you once were, if it has been some time. Doing this mindfully will help to reignite the spark and remind your partner that you still care.

4. Be romantic and thoughtful: It’s the small things that count. Doing small things to show your partner that you care can go a long way in rekindling the romance. Write love notes, send flowers, or plan a special date for just the two of you. These small gestures will show your partner that you're thinking about them and that you're making an effort to bring the romance back into your relationship.

5. Be patient and understanding: Rekindling a relationship takes time and effort from both partners. Depending on how long you have been operating independently and have been ok with less intimacy and romance, it may take almost as long to start feeling comfortable getting back to where you once were. Be patient with each other and try to understand each other's perspectives. Remember that both of you are working towards the same goal, and it's important to proceed with care and respect.

6. Seek professional help if necessary: If you're having trouble rekindling intimacy and romance, it might be a good idea to seek professional help. A couples therapist or counsellor can help you and your partner work through any issues that might be causing the lack of intimacy and romance in your relationship. Or you can see a therapist or counsellor on your own in an effort to bring more intimacy and romance into your relationship. Therapists and counsellors can provide you with tools and techniques to help you reignite the spark even if your partner doesn’t want to attend sessions with you.

7. Work on yourself: It's important to work on yourself and your own personal growth. This will help to increase your self-confidence and self-esteem, which can have a positive impact on your relationship. When you feel good about yourself, you're more likely to be positive and open in your relationship.



In conclusion, rekindling a relationship when intimacy and romance has faded is possible, but it requires effort and commitment from both partners. Open and honest communication, quality time together, physical affection, thoughtful gestures, and patience and understanding are all important factors in reigniting the spark in your relationship. By working together and being committed to the process, you can rebuild the intimacy and romance in your relationship and strengthen your connection with your partner.


So, take this Valentine’s Day as an invitation to inject more intimacy and romance into your relationship. You may be pleasantly rewarded!



If you would like to improve your romantic relationship and you are not sure how, book in a confidential call and we can discuss your situation and some possible strategies to try.


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