Reviving Romance: Navigating menopause and rediscovering intimacy this Valentine’s Day
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s natural to feel a bit of pressure when it comes to relationships. The changes our bodies go through and shifting priorities can add stress.
If you’re experiencing a dip in libido or your partner isn’t quite on the same page, fret not. There are ways to bring back the romance into your relationship:
Remember, it’s not solely about sex! Menopause can take a toll on libido, so it’s crucial to adapt both your body and mind. Don’t burden yourself unnecessarily. If sex isn’t on the table, that’s perfectly fine. There are numerous ways to be intimate, romantic, and sensual. Some couples rediscover the magic in frequent kisses, while others reintroduce missed romantic gestures. Just be open and honest with your partner.
Embrace confidence. No one expects you to resemble your twenty-something self. Weight gain during menopause, especially around the middle, is normal. Instead of being hard on yourself, make simple lifestyle changes. Being more active and making adjustments to your diet can foster a more positive self-image. Embrace this evolved version of yourself, and your partner will likely follow suit.
Abandon self-criticism: Menopause often brings about changes not just in our bodies but also in how we perceive ourselves. Take the time to appreciate and love the person you’ve become. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, recognising that this is a transformative period. Embracing self-love can significantly contribute to your overall well-being and positively impact your relationship. Remember, the more you cherish yourself, the more capacity you have to share love with your partner.
Start communicating: Communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. In the midst of life’s changes, it’s essential to reconnect on a deeper level through open and honest communication. Take the opportunity to get back to the basics of flirting and expressing your desires. Share your thoughts, feelings, and suggestions to try something new with your partner. Reviving the art of flirting can inject a sense of excitement and playfulness into your relationship. By fostering a strong communication foundation, you and your partner can navigate the challenges of menopause together, ensuring a more fulfilling and enduring connection.
Stay prepared. As oestrogen levels decline, vaginal dryness may become an issue. While it may not be the sexiest symptom, it’s entirely normal. There’s a plethora of products designed for women, such as vaginal moisturisers used regularly to maintain moisture. For intimacy, consider using a lubricant, available from your doctor, local chemist, or online from YesYesYes, Sylk, or Replens. Don’t be shy about seeking help – ask your pharmacist about purchasing Gina over the counter or consult your doctor for a prescription of Vagifem, a low-dose vaginal estrogen.
Get practising. If it’s been a while (let’s be honest, menopause may make you hot, but not necessarily for sex), consider warming up before getting intimate with your partner. Follow the advice of sex therapist SuziGodson.com, who recommends getting to know yourself so your partner can discover what truly works for you. Find ways to be intimate, sensual, or romantic without feeling pressured to perform or please your partner – it should work for both of you.
Have fun. However, you choose to spend Valentine’s Day, enjoy it. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself or your partner. Valentine’s Day is all about love and a bit of fun!