Every positive thing you do in your relationship is foreplay.


We often confuse intimacy and sex as one and the same thing, but they are very different things and are very much intertwined and dependent on each other for couples to experience a fulfilling relationship.

Intimacy is that feeling of being close or connected to our partners, where we feel supported, valued, important, heard, a priority, can trust and so much more. Without these factors being evident in your relationship, there will be very little sex or at least good sex and rather more functional (mechanical) sex taking place.

So how do couples manage to build a great sex life?

Well according to world renowned expert John Gottman and the myriad of research done on this topic, it’s not rocket science. There are 13 simple steps couples need to have in their relationship in order to have an amazing sex life:


  1. They say “I love you” every day and really mean it – you can feel when this is said with meaning vs just a passing comment.
  2. They kiss one another passionately for no reason – kissing does not always have to lead to sex.
  3. They give surprise romantic gifts – it’s not the size of the price tag rather the though and intention that went into finding the gift
  4. They know what turns their partners on and off erotically – it’s easy to get caught up in the same old routine which can be down right boring. Variety is the spice of life
  5. They are physically affectionate, even in public – acknowledging and lifting your partner up in front of others builds them and your relationship whereas many break each other down in front of others.
  6. They keep playing and having fun together – life happens and we get stuck in our daily grind whereas we should be making time for fun as that creates memories and shared experiences which is relationship glue.
  7. They cuddle – again cuddling does not have to lead to sex. Cuddling gives us a sense of feeling safe, secure, supported, loved, cared for.
  8. They make sex a priority, not the last item of a long to-do list – when sex becomes a chore it’s a big problem but it will only become a priority if intimacy is being experienced.
  9. They stay good friends – just because you are argue and disagree doesn’t mean you have to be nasty to one another, you’re still committed to each other and the relationship
  10. They can talk comfortably about their sex life – both your likes and dislikes, what turns you on/off and what your fantasies are to understand each other’s needs and boundaries
  11. They have weekly dates – if you do not make time for your relationship, over time you are not going to have a relationship. Spending quality time together builds the connection i.e. intimacy
  12. They take romantic vacations – it’s important to have those little getaways without the kids/dogs/friends etc. Mini honeymoon getaways help to build the connection.
  13. They are mindful about turning towards each other vs away from each other – they’ve learnt the importance of talking to each other and sharing their hopes, fears, needs, disappointments etc rather than turning towards others as it just creates distance.

If you want to learn more about what it takes to build a relationship then don’t miss out on the last Building Relationships Workshop for 2018. It’s taking place on Sat 24 Nov 13:30-17:00. It’s applicable to couples and singles and is filled with practical insights and tools that you can start implementing straight away. For more info or to book your seat, click here.


Paula Quinsee: Tedx speaker and author of Embracing Conflict. Certified Imago Relationship Therapy Educator and Facilitator, NLP Life Coach and PDA Analyst and Coach. As a Relationship Expert, she teaches individuals and companies tools and skills to immediately and positively enhance the quality of their personal and organisational relationships.

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