Staying in Love

Elsbeth - PhotoSustaining intimacy and fulfillment in a romantic relationship can be challenging.  Often couples find themselves lacking true connection with each other as the daily routine of their lives take over.

Here are a few essential “Do’s” and “Don’ts” to create a long lasting, meaningful relationship.


  • Breathe to calm the unending chatter in your mind

All of us have some sort of constant commentary running in our heads.  This chatter keeps us from fully being in the present moment – the place where true intimacy arises.  When we can drop out of our “story,” i.e. our mind chatter, we can be present with our partner and see the other for who she/he really is.

Relax and breathe deeply into your belly for 4 counts and discover how mindful awareness of your breathing can silence the unending chatter in your mind and be the key to health, vitality, and inner peace.

  • Listen fully, unconditionally, and lovingly

How many times do we think we are listening just to find out we haven’t heard a thing?  Too often, when someone is speaking to us, instead of listening to the other we are thinking about what we will say when it is our turn.  Perhaps when our partner is communicating something that is challenging for us to hear we get defensive or angry and miss what our beloved is actually trying to tell us.

To create intimacy, we must practice truly listening to our partner by dropping out of our mind chatter and being present.  This opens the door to authentic communication and deeper understanding.   Our partner feels heard and in turn connectedness and openness grows.

  • Gaze into each others’ eyes

Making eye contact is an act of intimacy.  Taking time each day to truly look at the other person will create and sustain connection.

Looking into each others’ left eye (corresponding to the right brain hemisphere) will give you access to being fully present with your partner and deeply connected to each others’ soul.

  • Practice

Creating intimacy doesn’t just happen overnight and it is not something that is ever “finished.”  Just like exercising, one must have a regular regimen in order to “stay in shape.”  Here are some practices that you can do to as part of your intimacy routine:

  • Touch each others’ heart through hand-on-heart connection.  By touching your partner’s heart center with your hand and synchronizing your breathing you feel a sense of soothing and a state of calm.
  • Kiss often to awaken the endorphins.  Practices that involve kissing, especially the upper lip, make the body release chemicals that heighten your sense of well-being and pleasure.
  • Spoon to rejuvenate and reconnect after a hard day.  Spooning allows you to let go of interfering tension and harmonizes your mood.
  • Create fun and laughter

Laughter and orgasm originate from the same physiological center in your body.  Both initiate the release of endorphins, which promotes a sense of well-being and mood elevation.  Make practices, such as expressive dance or poetic improvisation, part of your daily routine to set free your creative energies and experience joy.


  • Take the other for granted

When we have been in a relationship for awhile it becomes easy to think that we “know” the other person, forgetting that, just like us, our partner is always changing and evolving.  Taking the other for granted can lead to the common trappings of “he/she always does that” or “there he/she goes again,” preventing us from seeing who our partner really is in the present moment.

Taking time everyday to find something to be grateful for about our partner can help prevent us going down the path of unconsciousness.  Tuning into the breath and cultivating conscious listening allows us to step out of our preconceived notions and into intimacy with our beloved.

  • React or interrupt while listening

Communication is key to a fulfilling relationship.  In order to create an atmosphere of trust and support, we must learn to listen outside of our own emotional triggers and defenses.  This is not to say we have to agree with everything our partner says or that we are totally free of our own reactions.  Rather, we first listen to what the other is saying, then process our own emotions and share our point of view.

When we create a safe space where we can be fully honest and open with the other, deeper intimacy arises.

  • Suppress emotions or hold feelings in

Just like interrupting when the other speaks can create distance between partners, NOT communicating can also create walls.  Sometimes when we have a difficult emotion come up or we need to share something that will be hard for our partner to hear, we resort to avoiding the conversation all together.  However, by not being open or honest with our beloved, true intimacy cannot arise.

“Holding space” for (i.e. being present with) our own emotions and the emotions of our beloved, even when those emotions are difficult, will lead us through those difficult conversations and into new levels of connection.

  • Say “there’s no time”

Like every new habit, finding time to add intimacy practices to your daily routine can be quite challenging.  If you find yourself wondering “when am I going to fit this in?” choose to take an honest look at your schedule and perhaps reevaluate your priorities.  Maybe you can watch 30 minutes of television instead of 1 hour in the evening time.  Maybe you can take 5 minutes before bed to eye gaze or wake up 10 minutes early to spoon.

Once you begin to experience the new level of connectedness that result from these practices you will look forward to doing them!

  • Confuse intimacy with sex

While sex is an intimate act, it does not foster true intimacy if done unconsciously.  Intimacy arises in every moment that we are present and connected with our beloved. Esther Perel, a psychotherapist and colleagues of ours, sums it up wonderfully when she says, “Foreplay is not something you do 5 minutes before the real thing.  Foreplay starts at the end of the previous orgasm.”

Get your 10 FREE PRACTICES: Creating Intimacy & Love now by going to TantraNova and opting in on the home page.

Elsbeth Meuth and Freddy Zental Weaver are the authors of Sexual Enlightenment: How to Create Lasting Fulfillment in Life, Love and Intimacy. They have assisted more than ten thousand couples and singles in rekindling and expanding their love and relationships over the past decade.

Founders and directors of the TantraNova© Institute in Chicago, they are internationally renowned workshop leaders, relationship and intimacy coaches, and certified Tantra Yoga teachers. Producers of the bestselling DVD Series Creating Intimacy & Love, they have also been featured on Showtime’s documentary series Sexual Healing and the Emmy Award-winning NBC show Starting Over.

Their retreats and workshops have been acclaimed throughout the USA, North America, and Australia. Several times a year, the couple leads programs at Esalen in Big Sur, California, and at Kripalu, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, where they are on the faculty. Elsbeth and Freddy Zental also lead couples’ retreats for CEOs and their spouses through the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and have received the highest recognition for their work.

Elsbeth and Freddy Zental are beloveds—life and business partners—residing in Chicago.

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