Expat Couples – 5 tips to improve Love & Intimacy

5 tips to improve Love & Intimacy


Nobody can deny that there are a lot of challenges when moving abroad as a couple or as a family. It´s a big decision that takes courage to make and to then follow through. Whether it´s for a new job, a job transfer, wanting a new life, for family issues or for whatever reason, the difficulties are the same. This can be a lot of weight on a couple´s relationship and can easily cause conflict. Two individuals are undergoing a big change and simultaneously undergoing a change as a couple. That is a lot to handle at the same time. Therefore, in this article I will talk to you about some of the possible difficulties you may be facing, some of the most important points about your relationship´s ¨status or condition¨ in case you are considering moving, and I will give you 5 important tips to improve love and intimacy between you right now.

Some of the many difficulties you may be facing are summarised here:

  • Leaving your family and support system in general behind
  • Leaving your job behind
  • Difficulty finding a job at the new place you move to
  • Language barriers
  • Cultural barriers
  • Difficulty integrating
  • Difficulty creating a social circle
  • Children having a hard time adapting at first etc.

The ideal is to have a very strong base as a couple before undergoing a big change like moving to another country.

Moving should be a mutual choice, even if it’s for one of the member’s job, otherwise it will always be a reason to blame the other, for example saying, “I moved here for You”.

If this is your case and it’s causing you troubles I’d advise you to try couple’s therapy as it can be a possibility to put all the cards on the table, listen to one another in a safe environment, and try to heal your wounds and be stronger together.

OR, if you’re close to separating and you don’t see a future with each other, therapy can help you separate more peacefully, with more agreements, less arguing, hopefully avoiding court, and thus making it A LOT easier on yourselves and especially your children.

The need for intimacy is fundamental and it is much more important than holding onto our cultural system of beliefs and values.

Whether you are moving as a couple or as a couple with kids, you are a family. If you only have each other, you are each other’s family.

You are each other’s home. 

There are many ways these difficulties can be addressed. I’m going to focus more on Intimacy and give you 5 important tips to use as a couple.

Expat Couples - 5 tips to improve Love & Intimacy 1

5 Tips:

1. Communication, Communication, Communication!!

I cannot stress this enough. If there’s no communication, it is almost certain things will go wrong. Talk about what’s happening with you and check in with your partner too. Moving to another country and starting a life somewhere new is hard! You’re bound to feel stressed, frustrated, lonely, sad etc. It’s ok, you are allowed to feel whatever you’re feeling.

But talk about it, share it with your partner, let them know what’s going on with you. If you see your partner going through a hard time ask them what’s happening, how can you help? If your partner is the one that upset you, tell them. However, when I say communicate, I don’t mean scream at each other, I mean speak kindly and openly to each other. Use “I” statements. For example:

"I feel anger towards you. I need you to be more sensitive towards me. For example, you could..." (Be specific with what you need from them!)

And then you can ask questions like:

"How can I help you when you're feeling bad?"
"Is there something in the way I behave that hurts you?"
"What do you suggest could solve this situation?"

2. Be a team don’t be enemies

Don’t go into the "I am right; you are wrong" dynamic. Let it go and share how the situation makes you feel, always with the intention to give space for your partner to open up as well.

Be a team, explore the city together! If it’s new for both of you, look for new places around to go see, local restaurants to try, new experiences! If one of you is from the city you live in, make suggestions on what to do and what to try. Share these experiences together.

3. Intimacy = Happiness

Make sure you make time for each other. Difficulties become a bit less challenging. If you have kids, they’re more likely to adapt better if they see you happy, and you’re more prone to handle them if you’re in a good place.

Give a good morning kiss to each other every day.

Hug regularly.

Spend time together, whether that’s watching a movie, going for a walk, having sex etc. Make time for that daily kiss, make time for the couple every week. If you have children, make time as a family. But always make some time for you as a couple alone too. Being parents does not mean you are no longer a couple.


4. Create a Social circle

Be mindful that it puts pressure on your relationship when your partner becomes your primary social outlet. It’s normal at first since you probably won’t know anyone. But try to meet some people, try to divide your sources of attention and friendship. You can do this by:

Starting a new hobby and meeting people there.

Meeting other parents from your children’s school.

Looking for meet up groups, whether that’s to practice the language or to do an activity, such as a cycling route in the city or in the mountains.

5. Spice things up!

The best way to maintain your intimacy at its highest is by spicing up your sex life a little, or a lot! Whatever suits you best.

You can:

Send each other sexy pictures, maybe when they’re at work, which gives it a cheekier touch!

Surprise each other with new lingerie or new silky boxers. Whether you buy it for yourself or you buy it for your partner!

Try sexting.

New positions in bed. Etc.

Nobody can deny that International families face a lot of challenges. However, there are ways around it, and if you feel like you can’t do it alone, ask me for help!

Daphne Christofides

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