Intimacy instills safety and connection within a relationship, and without it, you’re at risk of feeling unsafe and distant from your partner. Intimacy is not just about the physical component we most commonly hear about; intimacy is also emotional.
Building intimacy doesn’t have to involve grand gestures, try these five subtle ways to build intimacy in your relationship:
Caring about each other is one thing, but you also build intimacy by showing that you care. Affection can be physical, like a kiss between lovers or a hug between a parent and child, but it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes affection is in the unspoken ways you show up for each other, like when your friend spends their day off helping you move simply because they care.
Try Something New
This might be as simple as trying out a new restaurant together, signing up for a salsa dance or cooking class you’re both interested in, or exploring a new part of the city. Or, you might find that there’s a new hobby you both want to get involved in. In any of these cases, taking the plunge together can give you a new way to connect and a source of exciting shared memories.
What if you are part of a mismatched couple, where you crave a deeper level of communicative openness than your partner ever will? Comfort levels with verbal sharing typically do increase with practice in an emotionally safe context, so work at becoming a non-judgmental listener.
Have Deeply Emotional Conversations
If you’re feeling distant from your partner, and even if you’re not, try taking some time to talk the next time you find yourselves relaxing on the couch or finally stumbling into bed. You may find that frank discussions about things you went through, your thoughts and dreams, will help you and your partner grow closer and get to know each other even better.
Visiting a new place together can shake up your relationship and give you a new sense of closeness. A vacation together is the most obvious way to do this, but if a big trip isn’t in the cards right now, there are still lots of other ways you can gain the benefits of a change of scenery. Try thinking of your own town or city the way a tourist might. You can even try this in your own home—rearranging a room together, or spending the day in the backyard when you usually sit on the couch, can be an unexpected way to make your relationship feel a bit fresher.
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