Many couples will tell you that intimacy is right up there with communication as one of the most important qualities of a happy relationship – and they’re not just talking about sex! Intimacy in a relationship creates a sense of trust and healthy, open, honest communication between partners.
There are incredible benefits of physical intimacy, including increased relationship satisfaction, deeper emotional connection and lowered stress.
Without a doubt, intimacy in a relationship is the key to having a happy and lasting connection. So, what should you do if you’re not feeling warm and fuzzy toward your partner lately? Here are 12 tips to improve intimacy in your relationship.
1. Talk about your feelings
One of the biggest factors in building deep intimacy in a relationship is being able to communicate with your partner. Talk about your passions, your childhood, and how your day went. Share your lives, thoughts, and feelings.
Communication is also about learning to listen to your partner, without interruption, and showing them that you care just as much about their feelings as you do about your own.
Don’t forget to express gratitude to each other on a regular basis, as it is an important factor in relationship satisfaction.
2. Learn how to solve problems
In order to have great communication and intimacy, you must learn to solve relationship problems maturely and respectfully.
You can do this by refusing to use arguments as an excuse for being cruel, disrespectful, or purposely hurtful to your partner. Instead, view fights as a chance to solve a problem together as partners.
3. Flirt with your eyes
Making eye contact with your partner is a sure-fire way to improve your connection. Studies show that using eye-contact as a form of flirtation with your partner creates a sense of self-awareness and heightens intimacy.
4. Make a fun list
One great way to boost intimacy in a relationship is by making a couples “fun list” together. Examples include:
- Go on a double date
- Have a wine tasting for two
- Visit each other’s favorite places
- Go stargazing
- Cook an exotic dinner together
- Plan a romantic weekend getaway
- Recreate your first date
- Have a champagne picnic in the park
- Get a couple’s massage
- Go on a scavenger hunt
Not only is this a great way to plan out your romantic date, but it will give you something to look forward to.
5. Build trust
In order to have true intimacy in a relationship, you must be able to show your vulnerability to each other. This is easier to do when you have trust.
You can build trust with your partner by living up to your word, being reliable, and showing them that you value their partnership.
6. Laugh together
Is laughter really the best medicine? Yes! A study of 20,934 participants found that those who laughed on a daily basis were less likely to develop heart disease.
Laughter is good for creating emotional intimacy and it can even improve your sex life. The research conducted by the University of North Carolina shows that couples who laugh together feel more satisfied and supported in their relationship. They are also more likely to stay together than couples who rarely share a laugh.
7. Turn your phone off
Cell phone addiction is real, and with 1 in 10 couples admitting to checking their phones during lovemaking, it’s no wonder that smart devices are creating problems in romantic relationships.
What’s more, research from Baylor University reveals that 46% of survey participants felt they were being “phubbed” – or ignored by their partner in favor of their phones.
So try to have phone-free time while you are with your significant other. Disconnect from social media and give your partner your undivided attention.
One way to deepen intimacy in your relationship is by taking up a new hobby together. Shared activities allow you to spend quality time with your partner and increase relationship satisfaction.
Take advantage of this and learn a new dance, instrument, or a language. Make fitness your shared hobby or do something outrageous like skydiving together to strengthen your bond.
9. Make your partner a priority
You can show your partner they are a priority in your life by putting them first when it is appropriate to do so. You may also turn off the television or shut down your computer when you are spending time together to show them that you are more interested in what they have to say than what’s going on in the media around you.
10. Stay curious about each other
Do you think you know everything about your partner? You might be surprised at how much they still have to tell if you ask the right questions. Harvard studies show that staying curious about your partner will help keep your relationship strong and healthy.
Even if you’ve been together for many years, I encourage you to use open-ended questions to explore the deeper levels of intimacy.
11. Practice the art of forgiveness
In any long-term relationship, there is going to be a time when your partner drives you crazy. Whether they forgot to put their dishes in the dishwasher, left their smelly socks in the middle of the room, or have done something more serious that hurt your feelings, it’s always best to practice forgiveness.
Working through relationship hurdles and learning to put them behind you will go a long way in strengthening the intimacy you share.
12. Spend quality time together
You can deepen your relationship by having regular date nights. You can make the dates as fun, adventurous, sexy, or romantic as you like. Couples who regularly spend quality time together are more likely to maintain a long-term relationship or marriage and improve their sex life.
Intimacy is an important aspect of any lasting connection. Practice these steps and strengthen the bond with your partner in order to maintain a happy and healthy relationship.