The nurse’s guide to romance


Tips for connecting with your partner

People in helping professions, whether they’re nurses, therapists or others, often end up feeling burned out when it comes to taking care of other people.

  • Partners can help out a lot by stepping up and doing some caretaking themselves. Giving a shoulder rub or listening to work stories can really help build connection.
  • Another useful tip is to spend a few minutes in a deep hug. I’m not talking about a quick peck on the cheek. I mean standing right up against each other in a full-body hug. Hold each other and breathe for a couple of minutes. It’s an amazing way to sync up with each other. By sharing physical touch and pheromones, you can start to reconnect with each other. If it’s easier or more effective to do it after you’ve had a chance to decompress, that’s fine, too. You don’t need to rush into it. But don’t neglect it, either. It’s really easy to drift apart if you don’t take regular steps to come back together.
  • You can also set time aside for sex dates. When you have it on the calendar, it can be easier to make sure you save some energy for each other. While some people resist planning for sex, I think that the idea that spontaneous sex is better is one of the biggest barriers to happy relationships. After all, if you wanted to cook a special meal, you’d plan for it instead of trying to throw something together with whatever you have in the kitchen. Set the scene with candles, sexy music, romantic lighting or even a picnic in bed. Make it something special and remember that the goal is to connect with each other. Plus, if you have kids, you can arrange for them to be somewhere else.
  • It’s also helpful to rethink what “sex” means. A lot of people get caught up in the idea that sex only counts if it’s intercourse. But if one partner isn’t in the mood for that, you can get really stuck. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with oral sex, sexual massage or even mutual masturbation. If it leaves you feeling good, what’s the big deal? When you let go of a specific idea of what it means to have sex, you can open up your options and make it easier when you come home tired or wired. For example, if you’re too wiped out to be really active, do something that feels good and lets you lie back and relax (as long as your partner is on board with that). You may even find that it helps you get your mojo back—but don’t get too wrapped up in making that happen or you could sabotage it.

What to do when “it” just isn’t in the cards…


Scrubs caption contest! – July 19, 2010

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