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The Comfort and Joy of Intimacy

Putting your relationship at the top on your holiday to-do list

By Shela Dean

The holidays. There’s so much to do! Meal planning, shopping, decorating, shopping, making up the guest room or making travel plans, shopping . . . and the list goes on. Add to that the stress of dealing with “issues” involving extended family.

In this run-yourself-ragged season, it’s easy to back-burner your sweetie and your relationship. You see, we tend to view our spouse as one more person and our relationship as one more thing to take care of, which makes it easy to push them to the bottom of the list. Then, we feel resentful, lose emotional connection, and end up with even more stress — at an already stressful time when we most need a solid emotional connection to comfort, ground, and sustain us.

Daily intimacy rituals will help you sustain the emotional connection between you and your partner — during the holidays and every day. These rituals don’t have to be complicated or take lots of time. Just find a couple that work for you, and then do them daily. For example:

  • Wake up 15 minutes earlier and spend that time cuddling.
  • Before turning out the lights at night, share with each other the best part of your day.
  • Spend 20 minutes having morning coffee or evening wine together.
  • Turn your good-bye peck into a 20-second kiss.
  • Make your hello hug a 60-second embrace.
  • Cook, fold laundry, or wrap gifts together, and talk with each other as you do.
  • Take an evening walk or watch a romantic-comedy together.

A morning cuddle or coffee break will help you start the day in a good mood and with a get-stuff-done attitude. A sexy goodbye kiss or cozy tête-à- tête will help you smile instead of snap at a slow sales clerk. A good laugh will keep your sense of humor amidst the holiday mayhem.

Maintaining your emotional connection with your spouse will help you survive the holidays with your sanity and your relationship intact. And it will make this season of giving the time of joyful intimacy it should be.

Click here to read Shela’s article “Gifts that Say Happy Holidays to Us.”Shela Dean


Shela Dean is a relationship coach, speak, and the author of Frequent Foreplay Miles: Your Ticket to Total Intimacy and ReDate Your Mate: 4 Steps to Falling in Love All Over Again.


Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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