If you’ve been in a long-term relationship it’s common for couples to retreat into a pattern of distance and disconnection. Wanna know what goes first? Intimacy. The reason is simple, as time goes on, life responsibilities take priority. You are more concerned about your career, your kids and yourself to worry about someone who pledged their life to be by yourself. And while it’s true that your partner may not be going anywhere, you can be a much better wife, husband, parent or general human being when you are in a happy home where you feel connected and supported. For that, you need intimacy.
I know what you are thinking and no… it’s more than that. True intimacy is the sense of fully knowing another person loving them as they truly are. It’s a deep honesty that requires you to be your most vulnerable self and connect with your partner both in and out of bed. Intimacy is a way to deepen your bond with your partner, and emotional intimacy can be the key to that. Here are 7 ways to boost intimacy in your relationship:
Remember when you were dating and you made that super long drive to see your partner, surprise them or just spend endless hours with them? Too many of us put forth the effort before we tie the knot and not enough after. It’s okay to be inconvenienced. In fact, it’s preferred. When your spouse comes home from work – greet them at the door. Put down the laptop and come from the other room. Give them a hug and a kiss and welcome them into your home. Build a home of thoughtful behavior that embodies hugs and kisses and displays of affection. So many of us grew up watching our parents fight and never watching them make up. Go out of your way to go the extra mile.
There’s something surprising spicy about cooking with your hands. Find a recipe in a fun cookbook (no salads!) and get to work creating something from scratch. Don’t be afraid to get messy with your hands! It’s always a good idea to try to bake something sweet so that you have a reward at the end!
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You lose nothing by being kind and giving praise. Instead of reminding your partner of the things that they didn’t do or forgot about, praise them for the things they did do – even if they were supposed to. You asked your partner to bring you water? Thank them kindly. Was dinner picked up? Tell them how great it was that they did that. To be clear – this is not just to get them to do more things for you! Rather it’s to replace the constant complaining (that we all do) with a level of conversation that allows you both to lower your barriers and trust each other because you know kindness is on the other side.
Set 20 Minutes Aside
You may be thinking, 20 minutes? We spend hours together! BUT this is different. The intentional time that you take out to be together is a way for you to reconnect. Set 20 minutes aside whether during dinner or before you go to bed to chat with each other with no other distractions. No TV, no kids, no phone. Ask each other about the most challenging part of their day or what you are looking forward to tomorrow. Take a sincere and genuine interest in each other’s lives.
Once you’ve been with your partner for a while it can seem like you know everything there is to know about each other. I’ve been with Sahir for almost 13 years and can tell you that this simply isn’t true. (See what I did there 😉 Use this guide to find 42 questions to ask your partner, that work -even after being together for a while!
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There is nothing better than a professional massage, except the unexpected ones at home. Putting your partner’s feet up on the couch and giving them an unexpected foot rub is a little thing that you can do that can move miles for your intimacy. Create a space of connection, touch and healing. FYI Head massages? Also amazing.
Do Something New Together
Join a Bocce Ball league or go to Axe Throwing class. Doing something unusual and outside of your norm will remind you of the fun activities that you can do together aside from your daily mandatory tasks. You can take a pottery class, go to a sporting event or train for a 5k together – just do something you are both utterly inexperienced at.
When you are constantly on the go, it can seem like even if you see your partner every day you aren’t really connecting with them. Intimacy is something that needs to be actively worked on, similar to other pillars of relationships like, communication and trust. We can sometimes get caught up in the problems and forget about what brought us together in the first place. Try these little ways to boost intimacy!