Alexandra Stockwell Discusses Rebuilding Intimacy

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Intimacy Coach and Marriage Expert Alexandra Stockwell Discusses Rebuilding Intimacy in a Relationship

Chloë Hylkema

Written by: Chloë Hylkema

Chloë Hylkema

Chloë Hylkema loves using her writing skills to tell stories that matter. Her time as an English student at Emory University molded her into a detailed writer with a knack for the relatable. Chloë is familiar with what it means to date in the modern age, and she endeavors to write material that is both truthful and helpful. She has previously worked as lead campaign writer for an animal advocacy group and now brings her passion for engaging and actionable content to

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Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Discuss This! Discuss This!

The Short Version: When it comes to relationships, keeping the flame of intimacy alive involves more than closeness and affection. Dr. Alexandra Stockwell, a Rolling Stones, USA Today, and Fox News Intimacy Coach and Marriage Expert, believes true intimacy evolves from deliberate effort and mutual understanding. In an exclusive interview, Dr. Stockwell unveils her insights on how couples can rekindle and reignite their intimacy and romance to create a deeper bond.

Some of the most common advice people hear about relationships is that you have to compromise. And if you want to have a great relationship or marriage, conventional wisdom suggests that compromise is the key to success. While compromising on some things may hold importance in certain areas, that may not be the answer to a successful relationship. 

Some experts say that compromising in a relationship doesn’t allow you to be true to yourself and can withhold the authenticity of who you are. Compromise can slowly chip away at our individuality, leaving us unsure of what we truly want. 

Intimacy coach and marriage expert Dr. Alexandra Stockwell shared her knowledge on why this common advice is flawed and the truth behind creating a deeper bond with your partner and rekindling intimacy.  

Dr. Stockwell, the Intimacy Doctor, has worked as a physician and intimate marriage expert for over two decades. Featured in InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Business Insider, and Shape, she’s helped hundreds of men and women infuse pleasure and purpose into every aspect of their lives. 

Applying these principles to her own 28-year marriage, she teaches clients how to cultivate energy and joy in their union — from the everyday tasks of managing a household to creating blissful experiences in the bedroom.

In her book, “Uncompromising Intimacy,” Dr. Stockwell discusses how couples can break free from old patterns, communicate effectively, and build a relationship that align with their goals. 

“And by uncompromising, I don’t mean that you always get exactly what you want — that you can be rigid and demanding,” Stockwell said. “Not at all. But rather, where compromise is withholding. Uncompromising intimacy is really about learning to share the truth of who we are.” 

She also discussed the importance of being honest about who you truly are in the relationship. “Feeling cherished and respected is learning how to be more authentic,” Dr. Stockwell said. “To be honest about who we are and what we want and don’t have.”

Revealing What’s Real Inside Yourself

Rebuilding intimacy in relationships often involves reevaluating the role of compromise. While compromise is traditionally viewed as an essential piece of the puzzle, it can sometimes suppress individual desires. 

This suppression can lead to dissatisfaction, a diminished self-identity, and not knowing what we want. Understanding and adjusting the dynamics of compromise can help couples deepen their intimate connection. 

This awareness can prevent the loss of individual identity, ensuring each partner feels valued and understood, which is fundamental to rebuilding intimacy.

“One of the biggest ways this shows up,” Dr. Stockwell said, “is if you ask a woman what she wants if she’s been in a relationship that looks good from the outside, things are happy, things are copacetic.” But in actuality, “She doesn’t really know what she wants anymore,” she continued, “because she’s not used to thinking about it. That’s an example of compromise.” 

dr. alexandra stockwell
Dr. Stockwell helped us explore how family dynamics can impact intimacy.

Dr. Stockwell gives an example of something seemingly small that has a significant impact on the individual. “Let’s say it’s a heteronormative couple with a few kids, and the husband and the kids all love Italian food,” Stockwell says. “While the wife certainly enjoys Italian food, she craves Thai food, and she loves Thai food.” 

She continued, “But whenever they go out, they get Italian because they love pizza and, you know, the husband’s happy.” This is symptomatic of what happens in relationships, Dr. Stockwell said. The wife may never voice her preference for Thai food because she set aside her desires to accommodate her family. 

“She never even mentioned that she wants Thai food. She forgets it herself,” Stockwell notes. 

The woman in this example may find herself feeling disconnected from what she truly wants, not in just trivial choices but in the significant parts of her life. This disconnection often extends beyond personal preference into emotional needs and aspirations. 

While her relationship may appear acceptable on the surface, it lacks depth and fulfillment. This illustrates a typical relationship pattern, showing how easy it is for someone in a relationship to compromise their desires. 

Your preference is overlooked and forgotten by everyone, including yourself. It’s often at the cost of your happiness and fulfillment. So what can you do about this? 

Discovering True Intimacy With Self & Others

Achieving uncompromising intimacy starts with self-awareness. Dr. Stockwell explains, “You have to become more self-aware. If you’re not and don’t know what it is that you want, there’s no way to create uncompromising intimacy.” 

Understanding your own needs and desires is crucial for building a fulfilling connection in your relationship.

Many individuals fall into a routine of complacency within their relationships, especially when things are “good enough.” Dr. Stockwell points out that people often only ask themselves what they really want out of a relationship when things get bad. 

true intimacy
Intimacy with another person requires security and intimacy with the self.

The challenge, then, is not only to identify these desires but also to communicate them in a way that is not necessarily about instigating change, she points out, but about revealing your true self.

Stockwell shares her six key qualities of communication to build uncompromising intimacy, “Cultivate curiosity, vulnerability, kindness, choosing happiness, taking responsibility, and being growth-oriented. Those are really the elements.” She said, “It’s not so much about making a change. It’s about being able to share the real you.” 

These six qualities are essential for deepening communication, emotional connection, and strengthening intimacy.

Rather than changing the behavior, Stockwell shares that it’s more about being vulnerable and sharing what’s real in a way that both people feel seen, respected, and appreciated. 

By embracing these elements, we can express our needs and desires in a way that strengthens communication and understanding within relationships.

Cultivating Emotional Connection

Dr. Alexandra Stockwell’s course on desires ($11) teaches how to identify what you want, how to feel worthy to receive it, and how to ask for what you want. 

“Among women who know what they want,” Stockwell says, “they did not focus on asking for it in a way that inspired someone to actually give it to them. It’s much more of a demanding and sometimes punishing communication.” 

Life can get overwhelming, especially when you’re managing a household, kids, and a career, and it’s easy to get caught up in “managing” your partner, she said. This creates resentment in our spouse and inadvertently affects the relationship.

Identifying your desires requires taking some time to get to the bottom of what you want. Asking questions is the first step in determining your wants and aspirations in everything from your career to your intimacy with a partner. 

Ask yourself how you want to be touched, spoken to, and feel loved. How do you want to have sex initiated? What response do you look for when you share a problem with your spouse? 

Exploring and defining your emotional needs and relationship dynamics can help improve your partner’s understanding so each of you feels fulfilled.

hidden in every complaint is a desire
Complaints can show us where we may need more attention or care from our partner.

“Being able to ask these questions when things are good, or good enough, is one of the most powerful moves with one of the best impacts,” says Stockwell. For many people, it takes the backburner until there’s a crisis.

Understanding and addressing the hidden desires within our complaints can be a transformative approach to improving our relationships. “Hidden in every complaint is a desire,” Dr. Stockwell said. When someone complains about their partner being on the phone when they’re in the middle of a conversation, the underlying desire is not necessarily just about the phone use. 

“That’s a great complaint that you may be able to identify very easily,” she says, “but then the desire is that they pay more attention.” She suggests making a list of complaints and extracting each to uncover and identify your true desires. This exercise helps clarify what you seek in your relationship and partner, helping you create a deeper emotional connection.

Learning how to have a great relationship is a learnable skill, according to Stockwell. These are the prerequisites to having great intimacy in long-lasting relationships. 

“About 80% of the time, when people focus on these dynamics, the relationship in the bedroom heats right up,” Stockwell says. “Because when things feel really good in the day-to-day emotional intimacy, that really is the best lubricant for great sex.”