Is he that into you?
With a lack of time and universal pressure, we wonder how one stays intimate while dating, being in a live-in relationship and marriage, in the city that never sleeps. The Guide delved deeper to find a few answers by quizzing three city couples on their deepest, darkest issues about intimacy with their partners
With the constant rush that all of us are in to get to work, the to come back home, to eat and even breathe; hardly a surprise that all of us like things that are short and sweet. “But darling, how about a quickie?” Ahem, ahem...choking over our very own words we feel cornered in our foot-and-mouth moment.
So, coming to the topic of realtionships, one question that often riddles the mind is “are we there yet?” What is that ‘there’ anyhow? And really, how much time does it take to reach ‘there’? So does intimacy come in the beginning or somewhere along the way? Counsellor Dr Ameeta Sanghavi Shah puts forth a larger picture to lighten things up, “The society is in shift. Women’s expectations have increased as opposed to the men’s.”
Dr YA Matcheswalla, relationship expert aptly summarises — “Shifts in our general views about what makes life worth living have also contributed to a new demand for intimacy for many generations. The answer lies in a productive life of work and service in which the reward of happiness would be ours, in Heaven. That belief has broken down. People want happiness here and now. And they want it most in their intimate relationships.”
26-year-old Nita Patel who has just gotten married to Shrey Mehta (for five months) fears how things could go stale. She fears the same day-in and day-out monotony and wonders what if she loses interest in Shrey or vice versa. Also his habit of being messy while doing the lion’s share of running the house irks her to no end.
Shrey, who runs his family's jewellery business, feels that dropping Nita—a teacher—off at 7 am suffices as a romantic gesture. He hardly believes in expressing his affection in the public realm. When they wish to visit malls in the evening, she feels compelled to ask her mother-in-law or sister-in-law. Although, they are in their honeymoon phase, Nita is already jittery, “Being a teacher, I wake up at six, so sex becomes an issue. We only do it once in two weeks.”
Shrey, signs off by saying that in a joint family, we cannot indulge in any PDA. Also, “once one is together for some time, intimacy levels do tend to go down.”
Forget headache, the moment 28-year old Aditya Vaid returns from work, he sees his live-in partner Anjali Kapoor already snoring away. Aditya is a Casting Director and suffers from an erratic lifestyle that hardly lets him be off the phone or embarrassingly even know if Anjali is around or not. Thirty-year old Anjali runs her own architecture firm but feels constantly bogged down when she has to even pick up his socks.
Aditya rues about how he feels pressured when sometimes he can’t get it up. He forbids any kind of discussion and avoids it if it is likely to occur. Also at the start of their relationship, he was unsure about expressing himself with a no-holds-barred approach.
Even during physical intimacy, Aditya can’t understand why women have to be aroused into the mood and not simply, switch. Although they completely understand each other, they worry about family acceptance as soon as marriage is brought into the equation.
23-year old Sharanya Rao, a media professional, opinionates, “Intimacy is being emotionally more available. It is just not physical but also not nonsensical chat 24/7.” But boyfriend Dhananjay Joshi, of eight years, only sees her through flitting glimpses in the local train as they travel together to their neighbouring work places in the morning. The 23-year olds meet one or two Sundays in the month.
Sharing a strong emotional equation, their physical expression is reduced to once in a month. Dhananjay—a businessman—adds, “Her work surroundings mean she is always with good-looking people. It makes me insecure. I have been too possessive from the beginning.” He adds, “Family plays a huge role, it’s all about how you have been brought up. I am not allowed night-outs and even she cannot stay out late.” Sharanya confesses to her ultimate fear that just being 23 — “I am scared about what if the relationship goes too bland.”
<< Counsellor Speak: Dr Anjali Chhabria>>
For Nita >
Household duties: Give him small tasks to do which would help you in finishing your chores and also make him realise the work that goes into making sure a place is neat. Nagging cannot be the answer, it would only make him resent having to listen to you.
MONOTONOUS RELATIONSHIP: If you feel this is happening, have an honest discussion with him and try to find something you both enjoy to stimulate new discussions.
Express yourself: Try expressing your love in a few more ways like helping her out with some chores or just surprising her with movie tickets, etc. Show her that you are still interested in her and haven’t forgotten about her needs. Go out of your way sometimes to provide her with something she wants.
For Anjali >
He doesn’t know when you are home: Text him to let him know that you’ve reached home.
CONSTANTLY ON THE PHONE: He can elect a time for half an hour/hour where he keeps phone on silent/switches it off.
FAMILY ACCEPTANCE: This will take time, but accept the situation and keep living your lives. Sometimes, the only solution is to stand by each other.
For Aditya >
Cant get it up: Things like stress or exhaustion can cause Erectile Dysfunction. Rather than feeling ashamed about it, make the most of it and continue foreplay.
SHE IS NOT IN THE MOOD: Real life is not like porn! It needs to be built up, which is why more time should be spent on foreplay.
Insecurity: Make him comfortable by bringing him along sometimes when you are out with your male friends so he can see for himself that his position is not threatened in any way.
If the relationship gets too bland: Let him know that you would like to try something new, go ahead and explore together.
Insecure: It comes down to the fact that even though she is surrounded by good looking people, she choses to be with you. Being possessive is alright, but it shouldn’t be to the point that she must stop her activities due to your mistrust. Understand that with her profession, she has no choice but to mingle with these people. She is not doing it as a way of seeking someone other than you.
> Studies show that men who kiss their wives before leaving for work live 5 years longer and average a higher income than those who don’t.
> China holds the distinction of having the world’s oldest sex manuals, published nearly 5,000 years ago.
> The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time television were: Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
> The Ramses brand condom is named after the great Phaoroh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.
Doc Is Right
Emotional, and physical are the obvious kinds of intimacy. The other types such as intellectual, spiritual, aesthetic and play intimacy are where you enjoy ideas and art; recreate and relate to belief systems together. The tricky intimacies are where solving crises, arguments and raising kids come into focus.
-- Dr YA Matcheswalla, Relationship expert