Hundreds of couples have come to see me to discuss their differences in desire. What plagues these couples, and perhaps you as well, is that these differences, although not a problem if you know how to handle them, is what often drives one partner into Intimacy Limbo Land as a result. It’s a detrimental place that you don’t want to be part of your relationship. In this post, I’ll let you know what this Intimacy Limbo Land is, how your partner, or you, can end up in Intimacy Limbo Land, and how you can make sure that this place is avoided.
What is Intimacy Limbo Land?
Intimacy Limbo Land is a place where sexual intimacy in your relationship is forgotten or ignored. It happens when your relationship doesn't have the essential ingredients of being available and reliable and engaged in intimacy, the ARE discussed in a previous post. Often this happens to the higher desire partner and means your partner has no idea when sexual intimacy is accessible to him. It’s kind of like telling a friend “Sure, let’s get dinner sometime!”, and sometimes is so vague and not set in the calendar so the likelihood that it happens is basically never. Having similar uncertainty and not having reliability around the sexual connection in your relationship then puts a lot of pressure and anxiety on the relationship.
When in Intimacy Limbo Land, as a result of rejection or there being no reach out on your end for sexual intimacy, your partner feels anxiety and uncertainty about when they get to be close to you. His internal thoughts when in this Intimacy Limbo Land may be something similar to “Well when are we going to be sexual? Tomorrow? Next week? Next month? Next year?… Never?!” Then anxiety raises. He might also start to worry about how you view him and have thoughts like, “Does she love me? Value me? Want me? Find me attractive?!” Not a fun place to be in.
How You End Up In Intimacy Limbo Land
This unpredictable and unreliable availability of sexual intimacy within the relationship often starts to happen after the honeymoon phase of the relationship, which is when sexual intimacy is often very frequent and easy to access because spontaneous desire is more alive. After this phase of the relationship, many couples then go on autopilot. This means you are not taking intentional action to access the intimate side of your relationship. You are also not recognizing that your dominant desire is likely responsive desire and so you aren’t taking action to help access your desire.
So here you are with your relationship on autopilot mode and what happens is the higher desire partner starts knocking on the lower desire partner’s sexual door to say “Hello, are you there? Do you want to be sexually intimate?”. The reach out but then a rejection happens if you’re not ready for sexual intimacy. Your partner is then rejected, pushed out into the Intimacy Limbo Land and unsure when sexual intimacy is going to happen. They sometimes try to keep reaching out in hopes that if they knock on your door you will answer at some point. Sometimes this happens so much but with so much rejection that a partner may have stopped knocking. The lack of sexual intimacy is what becomes more available and reliable and they, along with the sexual intimacy in your relationship, is in long-term Intimacy Limbo Land. Totally not where you want to happen in your relationship.
How to Avoid Intimacy Limbo Land
The first step to avoiding anyone ending up into Intimacy Limbo Land is to shift your mindset around intimacy in your relationship. You need to shift away from expecting that sexual intimacy should just happen and that you should be “in the mood” like the flip of the switch. This is autopilot mode, or the passive intimacy approach to sexual intimacy in your relationship. Instead embrace the Intentional Intimacy mindset, where you are doing active intentional actions toward the goal of a secure and strong intimate relationship, which allows for passionate intimacy and a love that lasts.
What are you doing once you embrace this Intentional Intimacy mindset? Well, you are doing consistent sexual intimacy date nights, I suggest weekly, where you are planning to be sexually intimate with your partner. This helps to create the essential pieces of availability and reliability of sexual intimacy in your relationship. You are also attending to your responsive desire by making sure you are transitioning into that sexually intimate time with awareness and preparation so you are being fully engaged.
And you are also not doing obligation sex just to keep up consistency. Instead, you are using a rain check when needed to make sure that you are not sending your partner into Intimacy Limbo Land if it’s a “no” for you that night like some astronaut floating out in outer space. You negotiate a different sexual activity since you know that there is no expectation to ride up the pressure escalator of sex. Or you may raincheck to the next day to give yourself some more time to transition your mind and body into more open headspace for more engagement when being sexually intimate. This helps your partner know that you have not forgotten about them, which would be Intimacy Limbo Land, but rather that you just need to honor where you were at and it’s a “no” right now.
By embracing the Intentional mindset you are being an active participant in your relationship and helping guide it to where you want it to go, which is not only what your relationship deserves but needs. If you are reading this I’m guessing that you want things to not be stressful and frustrating but rather fun, easy, and connected. If you need some help building in the right foundation and having the right tools to have a strong intimate relationship that doesn’t enter into the Intimacy Limbo Land make sure to check out my Couples Guide to Intentional Intimacy or contact me for a free discovery call to discuss my online coaching packages to give you more personalized support.