Ways to Build Intimacy in Relationships
Discover the many meanings of intimacy
What do you associate the term, “intimacy” with? Do you picture a candlelit dinner, an impassioned embrace, or a long walk on the beach? Intimacy is so much more than a purely physical or romantic moment. It’s a hard-earned mental, emotional, and physical connection with a partner.
You can be intimate over an ordered-in pizza and movie, a quick kiss goodbye, or silent car rides. It’s most often found in the little moments of comfort and closeness, so it’s important that you don’t put too much pressure on finding intimacy in grand gestures. Instead, look for it in small activities and find ways to work it into your day-to-day in order to enjoy a stronger relationship.
Talk about your physical connection
However, a big aspect of intimacy is, in fact, physical connection: hugging, holding hands, kissing, sex, and simple spatial closeness. It’s crucial that you both feel comfortable and fulfilled in this aspect of your intimate partnership in order to build your sense of intimacy in the relationship.
Be honest and open with your partner: the more you talk about desires or issues you’re having in the bedroom, the easier it will be to address them and enjoy the moment. If you keep thinking of new things you want to try, don’t hide them from your partner. Open communication is key to feeling close with your significant other and it can allow them to better understand your needs.
Ask for help where you need it
It’s also important to keep in mind that experiencing difficulty with physical intimacy is normal, especially for older couples. For example, about half of all men experience erectile dysfunction, and nearly a fifth of women face vaginal dryness. Don’t let these get in your way of physical intimacy; have a simple conversation with your doctor to learn about easy remedies. They can connect you with treatments ranging from an erectile dysfunction medication that improves male performance to a gentle personal lubricant that can make intercourse more comfortable for women.
If your interruptions are more mental, consider meeting with a therapist or discussing different ways to approach sex with your partner. There are several ways to be physically intimate that avoid traditional sex, it often just takes some creativity and understanding from a partner.
If you and your partner are having issues feeling emotionally intimate, consider seeking out a couple’s therapist or a marriage counselor. A professional, unbiased party can help open lines of dialogue in a relationship, pinpoint areas in need of attention, and flesh out issues that might be preventing emotional closeness.
Find common connections
It’s also important to find ways to build intimacy in other ways. Connecting with your partner about similar interests is a great way to foster closeness and rediscover your common passions. Whether that means trying out something new to both of you, or investing time in each other’s hobbies, finding these common connections will help you develop more emotional intimacy.
It could also be beneficial to use creative ways to learn more about your partner. Often, couples who are together for years begin to feel that their relationship, or even their partner, has become repetitive and uninteresting. Instead of settling into a comfortable routine with your significant other, challenge them (and yourself) with new activities or thought-provoking conversations. Consider using some interesting questions to guide your dialogue to give you some new, intimate insight into your partner and allow you to feel emotionally closer to them.
If your relationship is lacking intimacy, consider some of these ways to find closeness and rebuild passion between you and your partner.
Staying connected with David Joel Miller
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