Ah, the back rub. In your love relationship, a back rub can be a welcome tension reliever at the end of a long stressful day. It can also be a prelude to lovemaking or other intimate connecting. But, unfortunately, a back rub can also backfire and end up causing pain, discomfort or even distance between you two. This is probably not what the back rub giver or recipient had in mind!

There are ways to avoid the pitfalls of a back rub that's not the right fit for what either person wants. And there are also ways to share back rubs so that the potential for passion and connection are enhanced.

We've all heard about the power of touch. Whether it's a gentle caress, a firm and supportive contact, or a more sensual stroking, physical touch can most definitely be a means of connecting for a couple. But perhaps one person is quite ticklish, has difficulties receiving or giving, feels angry, or even undeserving of the loving touch that's being offered. Any or all of these can stand in the way of a back rub having the effects that may have been intended.

Cheryl and Scott have had their share of relationship troubles, but in the past 6 months they've taken positive steps and their relationship is turning around. Creating more time to connect has been key to this relationship transformation. They now set aside regular time each week where they focus only on each other having fun, being intimate, or just hanging out together. Scott often offers to give Cheryl a back rub during these times. While the idea of a back rub is pleasing to Cheryl, she just doesn't enjoy the way that Scott gives them. She doesn't want to hurt his feelings so she sometimes endures the experience or makes a different suggestion.

As you can see in this scenario-- and possibly in your own life-- a back rub isn't simply a back rub. While you don't have to be a trained massage therapist to give a connecting, pleasurable back rub, it is important that you be mindful and present as you give (and receive) one.

Find out what you each like.
First and foremost, take some time before each back rub to check in with your partner and find out what kind of back rub he or she wants at this time. Cheryl usually likes a firm and rather vigorous back rub and she finds that Scott almost always gives her light and more sensual touches. She doesn't mind the sensual touches but what she really craves is that stronger touch-- even if they do end up making love afterwards.

Don't assume that your partner wants the kind of back rub that you want. And don't be afraid to gently let him or her know what you'd like. We promise you that when you two communicate about what you desire at this moment before the back rubs, the whole exchange will be more satisfying and connecting. Keep in mind, that what your love wants may change depending on his or her mood.

Be adventurous and experiment with various lotions, oils and techniques with the back rubs that you give and receive. You can add to your skill by taking a massage class. In fact, this can help bolster your confidence and ensure that the back rubs you give are safe for you and your partner. Some yoga studios offer couples massage workshops that in and of themselves can be intimate and connecting experiences.

Again, once you know what your love would like in the back rub, get creative. After Cheryl and Scott shared with one another what kind of back rubs they each wanted, they found that they were each able to personalize the back rubs. Scott watched a dvd on how to give a great back rub and tried out some firmer touches with Cheryl. As a result, she found her back and shoulders looser and in that more relaxed state she could more fully open to the moment. Scott's new-found ability pleasantly surprised her!

Stay in the moment.
By all means, stay present as you give or receive a back rub. If you like, create an intimate environment with candles, music and a comfortably warm surface. Make sure that if you have children, they are in bed or otherwise taken care of. Consider turning off your phones and absolutely be sure to switch off the television and computer! Your attention needs to be on you partner and in this moment.

Try to set aside any plans you have for what this back rub might mean or lead to. Allow yourself to enjoy the intimate connecting with your partner for what it is. If lovemaking develops as a result and it's what you both want, that's wonderful. But you can also share passion solely by giving and receiving loving touches in the form of a back rub.

There are so many ways to say “I love you” and to receive the love of your partner. Why not infuse your deep feelings into a back rub? When given mindfully and with presence, you both are likely to say “AHHHH.”

Author's Bio: 

Susie and Otto Collins help people create more connected, loving relationships and are the authors of a new program Stop Talking on Eggshells. For a free report on how to reverse what you don’t like in your relationships, visit Relationship Reverse Report