Intimacy is the key to a happy and healthy long term relationship. Relationship intimacy requires a strong physical and emotional connection. When a relationship lacks intimacy, it can be difficult to maintain. If a level of connection is lacking, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and resentment. When you feel emotionally intimate with your partner, it increases your overall well-being. If you notice the intimate connection with your partner isn’t what you want it to be, read on for 10 ways to increase the level of intimacy in your relationship.
1. Try Something New
A daily routine can help you feel safe and comfortable. You know what to expect and what is going to happen next. In a relationship, this can provide a level of security. However, trying something new and unexpected can help reignite the spark that can keep your relationship interesting. Stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something new can be invigorating. It doesn’t really matter what it is that you do. You can learn something together, try an activity that is new to both of you, or try something in the bedroom you haven’t tried before. When you do something new and different together the excitement generated by the experience can create stimulation and connection that can help you feel closer to each other.
Reminisce about the good times you’ve shared together. When you discuss a fun experience you had together, or something funny you witnessed, it helps transport you back to that time as you recall the emotions surrounding the event. When you reminisce about pleasurable experiences you had, you recapture some of the positive feelings related to those experiences. If you are trying to increase your couple intimacy, you want to focus on the good memories and what it was like then. Reminiscing about the positive experiences helps keep the focus on what is going right in your relationship which can deepen your couple intimacy.
3. Touch More
Physical contact helps you stay connected to your partner. Touch is the first of the senses to develop and is an essential component of healthy development. Affectionate physical touch has a number of health benefits as well. The health benefits include a decrease in blood pressure and an increase in the bonding hormone, oxytocin. This occurs for the person being touched as well as the one doing the touching. So reach out and touch your partner. Hold hands when taking a walk, caress their leg while sitting together, and linger when you give them a hug. Spend more time touching each other to increase your level of intimacy.
4. Schedule Sex
Make sex a priority again. As unromantic as it might seem, life can get in the way of your sexual connection if it’s not on the schedule. When you crawl into bed after a long day, sometimes the only thing on your mind is sleep. It is easier to go without sex when you aren’t in the habit of doing it. However, if it is part of the scheduled routine, the intimate connection that you receive through sexual intimacy will remain an important part of your relationship. Scheduled sex provides the opportunity to build the anticipation and engage the biggest erogenous zone, the brain. You can send text messages leading up to the sex date describing what you want to do and how sexy you find your partner. It also gives you a chance to prepare for alone time where the focus can be on each other. When you engage in regularly planned sexual intimacy, you are more likely to be open to more spontaneous sexual encounters as well.
5. Stay Connected
Stay connected with your partner throughout the day. Text each other, leave little notes for your partner, and let them know how your day is going. Check in with each other once a day and look into each other’s eyes. Understand how your partner spends their day and share your experiences as well. Spend time together in the evenings. Discuss things besides the kids, chores, and schedules. When you feel a strong connection with your partner, your level of intimacy will improve.
6. Show Appreciation
Saying please and thank you can go a long way towards helping your partner feel appreciated. When you feel that your partner appreciates you, it is easier to do the daily chores that help your household run more smoothly. Be specific and sincere with your praise. Compliment your partner freely. Let them know what you love about them. Simple acts of kindness and words of praise can help you both feel more valued by the other. Feeling that your partner appreciates you helps strengthen your couple bond.
7. Go On A Date
Go on a date outside of your home with your partner. Make the time to be with your partner in a different environment where the focus can be on each other. When you are at home, there can be a lot of distractions from kids, work, or chores. Without all of the outside interference, you can focus on enjoying each other and having fun together. Going on dates together helps keep the focus on your connection as a couple.
8. Be Vulnerable
You need to be vulnerable with your partner in order to feel accepted and understood. Being vulnerable can be uncomfortable, especially at first. Share your feelings, your worries, your fears, your excitement, your concerns, and your dreams with your partner. Make an effort to have those uncomfortable conversations that you often try to avoid. Let your partner know when you are feeling hurt or insecure in your relationship. Your intimacy with your partner will increase when you believe you can be vulnerable with your partner.
9. Have A Life Outside Of Your Relationship
Although your relationship needs to be a priority if you want to increase your intimacy, honoring your individual needs will make you a better partner. When you deny your individual needs, or rely only on your partner to gratify them, you are setting your relationship up for failure. If you are fulfilled in other areas of your life, you will have more to give to your relationship. Spend time with friends and engage in hobbies and activities that you feel passionate about. When you have something in your life that excites and nourishes you outside of your relationship, you can share your enthusiasm with your partner which can help you grow closer.
10. Support Your Partner
Be there for your partner when they need you. If they ask you for help, let them know what you can and cannot do to help. Let them know that you are there. Be a good listener. Use basic communication skills and repeat back what you hear them say so they feel heard. Put down your phone, limit other distractions and give your partner your undivided attention. Cheer your partner on and be dependable. When your partner feels like you are there for them and they can count on you, it can strengthen your couple connection.
A strong couple connection exists when emotional and physical intimacy is a priority. If the above tips are not effective, or if there are other relational issues that interfere with intimacy, couples counseling can help. Improving your relationship intimacy is worth it as it can improve your connection and your overall individual well-being as well.