relationships - dating - love - intimacy - health
The way you think about your relationships, the skills and attitudes you bring to them and the time and effort you put in can make all the difference. People are social creatures and relationships matter to us. We enjoy them, we cry over them and we're curious about how to get our relationships to be the way we want them. How well your relationships work can have a big impact on how satisfied you feel with life. Stimulating, resilient, satisfying relationships with partners, friends and family rank high on many people's wish list for a happy life.
It's all too easy to take our relationships for granted and let moments of intimacy between you and your partner fall by the wayside.
This exercise can help you bring back the fun and romance.

The asker
You and your partner should take it in turns, on alternate days, to be the asker.

When it's your turn, think of something you'd like from your partner during that day. The request should be specific, realistic and achievable. Avoid vague requests like "Be affectionate" or "Be nice to me." Choose instead things like "Kiss me goodbye" or "Take the dog out for me." (For further more ideas, see below.)

When you ask, you need to make it clear it's that day's intimacy request.

The aim of the exercise is to build intimacy, so keep your requests small and specific. Asking for things you know your partner won't want to do is likely to make you feel further apart, not closer together.

The giver
As the person being asked, you have the right to say no to any intimacy request. In this case, the asker can't have another request that day and has to wait until it's their turn again.

Because both partners are able to say no, it's unlikely that a reasonable request will be turned down as the giver knows they may be jeopardising their request the next day.

Possible requests

* Let's go for a walk.
* Bring me a cup of tea in bed.
* Give me a hug.
* Buy me flowers.
* Say you love me.
* Give me a massage or a foot rub.
* Talk to me about your day.
* Do a household chore.
* Phone me during the day.
* Let's watch TV or a film together.
* Send me a text message.
* Meet me online during the day.

If you keep the exercise going, you'll find that in a few weeks it becomes easier to ask for what you want, and receiving requests feels more natural. If it's working well, you might decide to drop the formality of alternate days and build intimacy requests into your relationship routine.

Further help
If completing this exercise leaves you feeling uncomfortable or you have concerns about your relationship, try talking it through with your partner or a trusted friend. Alternatively, you might want to consider seeing a relationship counsellor.