It can be hard to find time to foster intimacy in your relationship at the best of times, but throw in work Christmas parties, social gatherings, family obligations and the mad scramble to catch up with everyone you’ve ever known before the end of the year, and what you have is a recipe for a no-sex month. Even if you weren’t too exhausted to even contemplate a cuddle after you fall into bed, there’s just not enough hours in the day. And you could find yourself suddenly out of sync and missing each other when your partner eventually returns home from their own various holiday commitments.
Work Christmas parties can be extra challenging, as suddenly out-of-hours socialisation suddenly feels mandatory. And nothing puts a dampener on intimacy like a visit to crazy uncle Bob and his ‘interesting’ new wife.
So, what is the key to fostering intimacy during these crazy times?
1. Learn to say no
If you want to foster intimacy with your partner, then they need to be your priority. It’s that simple. So when you’re facing an overload of holiday activities and invitations, it’s okay to say no to some of them. Especially if you know it’s going to stress your relationship or cut into your intimate time. Perhaps it’s that invitation from with an unreliable acquaintance, or a family member who you know is going to make one or both of you feel uncomfortable. Or maybe it’s a person you haven’t seen all year, who all of a sudden much catch up before the year is out. Whoever it is, you are absolutely allowed to say no to them. Trust me, you’re better off focusing on the people who build you up – like your partner – than being fodder in the gossip mill for their next last-minute Christmas catch up.
It’s okay to prioritise yourself and your relationship, and say no to certain events. As an added bonus, this will also free up some time for your relationship and let you dedicate time to being intimate with each other.
2. Plan your time together to foster intimacy
Spontaneity is great when it happens, but if you want to foster intimacy, you need to make time and space for it. And each other. Even more so in these times of crazy social whirling. It’s all too easy to make plans with everyone else and forget about the one person who means the most to you, and the one you actually want to spend time with more than anyone. And dragging them along to the catchup with your second cousin twice removed doesn’t count.
Make sure you make time for each other every day if possible, even if it’s just a morning cup of coffee and a chat before you head off to work, or a phone call or text chat before bed. Ideally, make time for one or two meals together during the week, and at least one date on the weekend, even if it has to be a morning walk before you rush off to your next social event. If you’re able to make time for each other in the midst of all the holiday social pressures, you’ll feel closer together and more connected to your partner at the other end, and you won’t suddenly feel like you’re falling asleep next to a stranger at the end of the night.
3. Talk with your partner about your plans
You need to talk with your partner. On a very basic level, it ensures you can prioritise each other and spend time deepening your relationship, rather than double booking and passing like ships in the night. With all the competing plans and commitments that come with two people having different jobs, friends and families, communication is key at this time to foster intimacy. Otherwise between their plans and your plans, there will be no plans for the two of you.
A good strategy is to sit down together at the start of the week and talk about what invitations you’ve both received. Then you can create a plan for some intimate time without everyone else around. Remember, you want to make sure you have time when you’ll have energy to focus on each other. Realistically, other social engagements need to fit around your needs as a couple, not the other way around. Making plans together is the cornerstone of any intimate relationship, so if you can do that at the busiest time of year, you’re already winning.
4. Know your boundaries
Work parties can be an amazing, lavish time of free food and alcohol, but if it’s strictly employees only, it could be a super late night that will overrun into your date night and ability to foster intimacy your partner. And if you don’t talk about it beforehand, it’s the sort of thing that can lead to jealousy if expectations and needs are gone unsaid.
Setting boundaries and expectations is healthy, and as long as you’re both on the same page, you’ll know what you’re both going to enjoy when you’re together – or apart. Practicing saying what you want in a relationship is part of being vulnerable with each other, which in turn will help foster intimacy.
And if you have an open relationship, you might even find that next special regular guest star hiding in the corner for you to enjoy together.
5. Foster intimacy with Christmas themed fun
Christmas is a great time to indulge in some fantasies and role-play. You could be Santa’s naughty elf, or a little girl who wants to sit on Santa’s knee, or even a reindeer that needs to be ridden. Hard. You could give your partner the Christmas present of yourself, a sexual act they’ve always wanted to do, or a new set of restraints for some kinky pleasure. Maybe you want to try a little outdoor action, a quickie at a family gathering, or in the bathroom at at Christmas party.
There is also a plethora of red and green themed lingerie that appears at this time for all your Christmas fantasies. And black is always a classic for those sultry temptresses out there! Pick your favourites together, and then you can think about what they are wearing underneath their clothes all day. You could even step it up a notch with a remote controlled panty vibe or vibrating penis ring that your partner can control while you’re sitting at the family dinner table.
You could also buy a Christmas treat for yourself, like the couples vibe you’ve had your eye on online all year. Or just one for you. Go ahead- you deserve it for getting through the year. And it’s Christmas.
6. Share a secret rendezvous
Ever fantasise about having sex in your parents bed? Or getting almost caught in the act? Now is the time to live out these fantasies! Nothing brings people together quite like a secret, and taking a few risks can be great for fostering as sense of intimacy. Just don’t go too far and make sure you’ve got a plan if you do get discovered. At the very least, lock the door while the rest of the family is busy drinking and being merry in the living room. Maybe it’s the first time your partner has met the family and seen the house where you grew up. Give them a tour of your childhood conquests, ending in the bedroom with a new one of your own. See how quiet you can be. Or not.
Getting to know someone’s past through the places they feel nostalgia for is a great way to get to know someone better, as well as have a little fun along the way.
7. Do nothing
That’s right- plan some time to do nothing. Really nothing. Together.
Relaxation time where you can both chill and unwind doing whatever way you want is great for fostering intimacy. Watch something on Netflix, give each other sensual massages, or sleep. Whatever it is that you like to do as a couple to relax and take time out from the rest of the world. As an added bonus, making time for nothing will mean you’re not using your planned couple time to unwind and rest, which will make the dates you do spend together something that you can really enjoy.
If you use these seven tips for fostering intimacy, not only during the holiday Christmas time, but all year round, I truly believe it will help you build a stronger relationship with your partner. As busy as December is, you can never start too soon, so why not start now? And then make it a New Year’s resolution to follow it through for the whole year? By this time next year, it’ll be a habit, and you’ll have a strong, intimate relationship other people will wish they had.
Whatever you’re up to this year, I wish you all happy holidays and best wishes for an intimate holiday season.