The surge of a new romance is exciting and stimulating. You’re going on dates, experiencing new activities, and meeting new people. Everything is effortless and energizing.
However, as the connection develops, things become more complex. Those first sensations naturally fade, date nights become less regular, and misunderstandings occur.
When this happens, you may feel disoriented. After all, we are not taught how to deal with the nuances of a relationship in school.
When the initial adrenaline wears off, you may begin to question how you can continue to become closer to your spouse. One method is to increase the intimacy in your relationship.
When you hear the word “intimacy,” you might immediately think of sex. Intimacy is the feeling of closeness and connection with another person.
Intimacy can exist without sex, just as sex can exist without intimacy. And there are several sorts of intimacy. In a relationship, closeness is how you develop your feelings for someone.
After the initial flame fades, intimacy serves as the glue that holds partnerships together. In a relationship, intimacy is a connection that develops with time. It is that secure haven in which you may be vulnerable and open.
It is being understood, letting down your defenses, and being welcomed.
Maintaining and expanding closeness requires effort, intention, and time. Making it a priority will undoubtedly benefit you and your significant other.
Use the following themes to increase your relationship’s intimacy. If you put them to use, it will have a beneficial effect on your life.
#1 – The Importance of Intimacy in Relationships
Although deepening closeness is difficult and time-consuming, the effort will improve the quality of your relationship and your life.
Intimacy is essential because it serves as the glue that holds a relationship together during difficult times. Intimacy creates a comfortable environment for honesty and transparency. It provides opportunity for you and your spouse to learn from and grow from each other.
Intimacy can satisfy your basic human desire to be understood. Intimacy creates a secure zone where you can feel heard, appreciated, and appreciated by your spouse.
As you become closer to your partner, four sorts of intimacy might emerge.
The following are the various types of intimacy in relationships:
Emotional intimacy fosters connection and trust. It’s the safe space you establish for each other to disclose your deepest ideas and feelings.
Knowing how your partner’s mind works is an example of intellectual closeness. Thoughts, ideas, and viewpoints Accepting different points of view.
Touch and physical closeness help to build physical intimacy.
Doing activities with your spouse fosters experiential intimacy.
A really healthy relationship incorporates all four levels of closeness.
You may discover that you and your partner have distinct intimacy styles as you get closer.
What kinds of closeness matter the most to you? What kinds of intimacy are essential to you? Your intimacy language would be that type of intimacy style.
While you will very certainly use all of the intimacy styles in your relationship, bear in mind which intimacy language your partner speaks.
What You Need to Build Intimacy
These are the key components for developing intimacy:
Compassion is defined as unconditional love and empathy. It is accepting that you and your partner are two humans doing your best.
Both spouses are confident that they can go to the other. Both spouses believe that the other’s love is unconditional.
That higher level of closeness is built on honesty. You can confide in your lover and believe that they will still love you completely.
Intimacy grows organically as you get more comfortable sharing things with your partner.
Physical affection can help you create the closeness that comes from intimacy. Hugs, kisses, and cuddles are all examples of affection.
- Mutual Accountability
Building closeness will need effort, commitment, and accountability from both parties. On other days, one spouse will have to carry more responsibilities than the other. Overall, there should be a mutual commitment to become closer.
All of your efforts to cultivate intimacy will be rewarded. You will feel more connected to your lover than ever before.
#2 – The 9 Difficulties in Developing Intimacy
Intimacy necessitates love, attention, and consideration. It can be irrigated like a plant, but in order for it to grow, both partners must water it. Tango requires two people.
It appears that getting to know each other and developing intimacy will be simple. However, humans are not without flaws. Obstacles and hurdles will appear on the route to intimacy.
Some men have difficulty developing intimacy because they are afraid of losing their feeling of independence. Some women, on the other hand, may struggle with intimacy because they are preoccupied with repairing their relationship rather than accepting their partner.
Obstacles like that can appear and obstruct actual intimacy. When you encounter difficulties, remember why you began the relationship in the first place.
Remembering why you love your partner will keep you going while you conquer these barriers to intimacy.
Avoid or remove the following impediments.
- Getting Stuck in a Rut
Everything in your relationship may become ordinary at some time. You find yourself going to the same places, having the same conversations, and doing the same weekend activities. Getting stuck in that habit might lead to a loss of intimacy with your partner. Surprise your lover with a new date location, or choose a new pastime to pursue together.
- Constructing Barriers
You may have a propensity to shut down and stop speaking with your partner during an argument. If this occurs, take a step back, take a break, and return to the conversation later. Let your partner know calmly that you need a break from the topic. Take a 20-minute or 30-minute break. Re-examine your conversation with your companion.
- Intimacy Phobia
A subconscious dread of intimacy can keep you from being more intimate with your partner. You may struggle to communicate your own needs or have a tendency to sabotage partnerships you enter. Determine the source of your fear. Are you afraid about getting hurt? Set limits in order to feel comfortable. Communicate your emotions.
- Insufficient Time
You may find yourself putting other things ahead of your relationship. If you’re short on time, consider what’s been put above the relationship. Schedule regular date nights and check-in times with your partner.
True closeness cannot be created in a relationship if there are secrets or dishonesty. Dishonesty may manifest as a dread of the closeness and vulnerability that honesty brings. If this describes you, remember that honesty will bring you closer to your relationship. Be honest about your emotions. Make a safe space for both of you to express difficult realities.
Aggression in a relationship may show a lack of respect. Being harsh, critical, or dismissive is a red flag that should be regarded seriously. Create an appreciating culture. Make an effort to show your lover how much you value them.
- Uncertainty or Lack of Trust
Couples may struggle to trust because of something that happened in the past or something their partner has done. It is critical to resolve any loss of trust because closeness is impossible to achieve without it.
Sometimes we try to influence what happens in the relationship or how our spouse feels subconsciously. This can be a barrier to intimacy. To feel deep closeness, we must let up of our drive to control.
Perhaps you want to avoid an unpleasant conversation or a problem that needs to be addressed. This will be an impediment to closeness.
You may have noticed that these hurdles are quite human! They will appear spontaneously. Make an effort to be aware of them and remove them from your relationship.
When you remove these barriers and practice the exercises in this guide, you will be able to feel the love and joy that true, deep intimacy may provide.
#3 – The Effect of Self-Intimacy on Relationships
Begin with your relationship with yourself if you want to develop a truly healthy, personal relationship.
When you have a strong relationship with yourself, you can trust yourself more, empathize with your spouse more easily, and communicate your needs more effectively.
When you understand your wants and needs, you may collaborate with your spouse to develop a set of common rules for your relationship. Things are ignored when one or both spouses do not know what they require. And this is where resentment enters the picture.
When we have an unhealthy relationship with ourselves, we may project our desires onto our partner. This creates barriers to connection, such as attempting to influence or dominate our spouse. It can also lead to false expectations and disappointment when such expectations are not satisfied.
You don’t project fantasies or unrealistic expectations on your lover when you have a healthy relationship with yourself.
A good relationship with yourself entails feeling emotions without allowing them to govern your behavior. This will help you make better judgments and understand your relationship.
Low self-esteem can lead to an unhealthy relationship with yourself. When you have poor self-esteem, you rely on your partner in various ways to feel joyful. While it is acceptable for our relationship to be a source of happiness for us, we should not rely on that source.
The idea is to develop your own sense of self-worth so that you can make yourself happy.
Schedule time to spend with yourself in the same way that you do with your partner.
To enhance your relationship with yourself, try the following tips:
- Make your Routine and the Activities you Enjoy a Priority
What did you like before you got into the relationship? What aspects of your daily routine are the most crucial to your pleasure and well-being?
- Schedule a Weekly Date with Yourself
Consider the date with yourself as a strategy to maintain the health of your relationship with your partner.
- Concentrate on What you Can Manage
Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to control an outcome that we forget to let things happen. To improve your happiness and relationship with yourself, learn to focus on what you can manage.
- Advocate for Yourself
Make an effort to speak up for yourself and communicate your needs to your partner and others.
- Accept Responsibility
Accept responsibility if you cause harm to another person or make a mistake. That candor will demonstrate your sense of pride and excellent intentions. When you accept responsibility for your actions, you might learn more about yourself and your mistakes. Become inquisitive: “What does this scenario bring out in me?” Try not to berate yourself. But consider what you could have done or said differently.
- Check in with Yourself
Maintain a regular check-in with yourself. Have you been feeling resentful lately? What makes you think that? Do you feel content lately? Why?
#4 – Developing Intimacy and Trust
Build trust as the cornerstone for intimacy in your relationship. With trust, you know you can rely on your partner for assistance. You have faith in your partner’s unconditional love.
Trust is formed without the use of projections, expectations, or attempts to influence the other person.
Being dependable and showing up to the relationship as a colleague helps to build trust.
You can also use David Richo’s Five A’s of Love to help you create trust in your relationship.
Create Trust with the Five A’s of Love
These Five A’s of Love can assist you in developing trust, closeness, and long-term love. Include them in your routine and give them to your relationship on a daily basis.
Connect and pay attention to your spouse.
Accept your mate as they are rather than attempting to change or judge them.
Create an appreciation culture as an alternative to violence or resentment.
Give your mate unconditional love.
Let rid of any desire to exert control over your companion. Allow your mate some space.
Check in with your companion. Are you practicing the Five A’s of Love in your relationship?
Other Ways to Increase Trust
Building trust is a necessary step toward greater closeness. Being dependable and consistently showing up builds trust.
Here are some additional strategies to foster trust:
- Keep promises. Be dependable. Demonstrate to your spouse that they can rely on your word.
- Help your loved one. This will demonstrate to your partner that they can count on you for assistance.
- Look for yourself first, but never at the expense of your partner or others. This will demonstrate to your partner that you are not their obligation, but rather their partner.
- Respect one another’s boundaries. We have limits that demonstrate to others how we want to be treated. Avoiding crossing established lines demonstrates both compassion and respect.
- Listen without passing judgment. This will establish a safe zone in the relationship.
What to Do When Trust Is Compromised
You may reach a point in the relationship where trust is shattered. This can occur when one partner shuts down the other, breaches a promise, or becomes untrustworthy. It can also occur when one person deceives, lies, or even cheats on the other.
Trust is a necessary component of intimacy. If trust is broken, it must be repaired. Both partners must commit to reestablishing trust in the relationship.
Rebuilding trust requires effort on both sides.
Here’s where to begin if trust has been broken:
- Begin by looking within. This self-reflection will be unpleasant, but it is necessary.
- What caused this problem? Why did you hide something from your partner if you did? Why did you cheat on your partner
- Where is the issue? What is the source of the problem?
- Be absolutely truthful with your partner. To develop trust and closeness with a relationship, one must be open and honest with them. Share what you discovered about yourself and your requirements during the self-reflection process with them.
- Sincerely apologize. If you betrayed the trust, demonstrate that you understand what went wrong, admit that you wounded your spouse, and pledge not to repeat the conduct. Maintain your word.
- Be understanding of how your partner feels. When trust is broken, it must be repaired. Be gentle and understanding. Maintain space for your partner and their emotions.
- Resolution. Talking through a resolve can provide both of you with clear goals for the future.
- What does each partner require?
- What are the next steps in the resolution process? Individual or couple’s counseling, for example, could be the next step. Alternatively, a dedication to changing behavior.
- Is there anything that was overlooked?
- Restore trust. It might be tough to rebuild trust once a partner has broken it. Instead than relying on a history of deeds to develop trust, learn how to rely on your partner’s word.
- Another strategy to foster closeness and trust is to demonstrate a “willingness to work out difficulties” (for example, how comfortable do you feel discussing what is missing in the relationship as well as what is fulfilling in the relationship?)
- Be patient with the process because it takes time to rebuild trust.
#5 – Emotional Intimacy
Emotional closeness is the sense of safety and security you have with your partner. It’s formed via candid, in-depth discussions about feelings, difficulties, and needs.
Some people struggle to develop emotional intimacy. It appears simple at first to discuss your fears and dreams. However, as people draw closer and closer, it becomes more difficult to keep your walls up. Allowing someone in also allows them to see more of you, your worries and dreams.
Getting closer to someone, on the other hand, helps us fulfill our innate want to feel connected and enhances our well-being. It is fantastic to be able to openly communicate with your partner.
Here are some tips for increasing emotional connection in your relationship:
- Practice naming your emotions. As you learn to name your emotions, you may discover that you lack the necessary terminology.
- Happy: Curious, respected, confident, playful, loving, thankful
- Surprised: Amazed, excited, shocked, dismayed, eager
- Bad: Stressed, indifferent, pressured, unfocused, busy, embarrassed
- Fearful: Insecure, scared, rejected, worthless
- Angry: frustrated, disappointed, jealous, annoyed, furious, skeptical
- Sad: Lonely, hurt, vulnerable, isolated, powerless, fragile
- Confirm your partner’s feelings. To create a secure space for each other to share, listen openly and affirm your partner’s sentiments.
- Be curious. Pose open-ended inquiries. When your partner reveals something upsetting with you, ask questions to help you digest the situation.
- Listen with compassion. Distance will be created in any interaction if someone does not feel heard. Take a moment to hear, listen, and comprehend what your partner is feeling. Nod to demonstrate to your partner that you are engaged and present.
- Share. Always keep sharing what you’re going through and how you’re feeling.
Emotional intimacy is built on mutual trust, curiosity, and participation. Be curious about your partner and willing to open up to them. You’ll both benefit from increased sentiments of intimacy.
#6 – Intellectual Intimacy
While addressing feelings and desires fosters emotional closeness, exchanging viewpoints fosters intellectual intimacy.
Knowing how your partner’s mind works is an example of intellectual closeness. It involves listening to your partner’s ideas, thoughts, and opinions. You develop intellectual intimacy by delving into issues such as culture, politics, and lifestyle choices.
You are aware of the beliefs and values that influence your partner’s decisions.
Intellectually, you do not have to agree on everything. However, there must be some level of mutual regard. Even if you disagree with your partner, you accept and appreciate their point of view.
Tips for increasing intellectual intimacy:
- Listen to comprehend. Recognize the source of your partner’s opinions. Consider how their upbringing or experiences may have shaped their opinions. Allow yourself to be wrong.
- Talk about something you’ve lately read. Discuss your key insights from the reading and solicit feedback from your partner. Investigate several concepts together.
- Be courteous when disagreeing with your partner. Consider different points of view and ideas.
- Talk about your lifestyle choices with your partner. This could also refer to spiritual intimacy.
- What are your life objectives?
- Do you wish to start a family?
- What are your thoughts on marriage?
- What is your life’s mission?
- Practice acceptance. Always accept your partner’s beliefs and points of view.
Remember that acceptance is the foundation of intimacy. It is acceptable to disagree with your partner; but, you must be willing to accept each person for who they are.
Following the stages outlined above will assist you in developing intellectual intimacy and mutual respect.
#7 – Building Physical Intimacy
Physical affection, such as hugs, cuddles, and caressing, brings you closer to your partner.
You can have intimacy without sex, just as you can have sex without intimacy. Be curious about how touching can bring you and your partner closer together.
Being touched feels good, but there are additional health benefits!
Other health benefits of physical intimacy include:
- Lower cortisol levels
- Strengthen your immune system
- Makes you live longer.
- It keeps you happy.
- Increased oxytocin levels (a soothing hormone)
- Less isolation
- Reduce blood pressure
To increase physical intimacy, try the following exercises:
- Eye-gazing. Spend some time looking into your partner’s eyes. This is a tantric workout that will help you grow closer.
- Gently touch your partner. Touch your partner on the shoulder with your hand. Find methods to touch your partner and physically show them that you care.
- Make eye contact. Hold hands with your partner while drinking coffee or going for a walk.
- Arrange for sex. It may feel weird to schedule time for physical intimacy, but doing so demonstrates that you value your physical relationship with your partner.
- Cuddle. Simply cuddle with your partner at the conclusion of a long day.
- Massage one another. Giving the other massages can be a pleasant and bonding experience for you both.
In addition to making you feel good, regular physical intimacy strengthens your immune system, helps you live longer, and keeps you happier.
And you can achieve physical connection through means other than sex. It is about the physical proximity between you and your partner.
#8 – Experiential Intimacy
Doing shared activities with your partner fosters experiential intimacy. It’s about expanding your memory bank, making inside jokes, and spending time together.
You may rekindle the spark you felt at the start of your relationship by doing something new together.
The main difficulty in developing experiential intimacy is finding quality time to share with your partner.
Experiential closeness can be developed through simple acts such as participating in activities together. Change up your routine and try something new with your partner!
Ideas for creating shared experiences with your partner include:
- Solve a puzzle together.
- Read the same book.
- Go on a walk or hike.
- Exercise together.
- Travel somewhere new.
- Try a different restaurant.
- Cook a new dish.
- Take a painting class.
- Watch a movie.
- Sit in the garden.
- Go bicycling.
Show your partner that they are important to you by carrying out these activities without the use of technology. Put your phones away or create “no-phone” zones in your home.
Make time and effort to try something new with your partner.
#9 – Building Intimacy Beyond Conflict
Have you ever seen an argument between you and your partner devolve into two monologues in which both of you are speaking but neither of you is listening?
It is simple to develop intimacy and fall in love. It may not feel as natural to know how to keep the love alive.When things get tough, it’s easy to either give up on the relationship or settle because you love your partner.
Keep in mind that conflicts are unavoidable. What you can control is how you handle conflict. Instead of settling when things get tough, use your disputes to better understand each other, learn, and develop.
When you understand how to create connection beyond conflict, you’ll realize that the content of conflicts isn’t the most significant factor. You’ll see that what matters behind the material is:
- The manner in which you respond.
- What are your triggers/patterns?
- What you do to resolve the conflict.
- Respond truthfully and openly!
- The relationship is more vital than the need to be correct.
- Listening can be a sign of affection.
What You Can Learn About Conflict Communication
The Gottman Institute employs the concept of The Four Horsemen to characterize communication methods that forecast the end of a relationship.
Discuss The Four Horsemen with your partner to strengthen your bond. Discuss how these communication patterns have manifested themselves for you in the past or in the present.
Consider any disagreements you’ve had with your partner or others. What is your standard response?
Disagreements are an inevitable aspect of any relationship. You may find yourself replying to an argument in one of the four ways listed below.
Use the following tactics to help you control your emotions, learn more about your partner, and create trust in your relationship:
Criticism manifests itself as an attack on your partner’s character. Express a strong desire. Use a “I” statement to express how you feel and what you require to feel better.
Criticism from a position of superiority is referred to as contempt. It is a level above criticism and the most accurate predictor of divorce. Contempt manifests itself as comments that make one partner appear superior to the other. Create a “culture of gratitude.” Make it a habit to communicate your devotion, gratitude, and admiration for your partner.
Defensiveness is defined as the reversal or deflection of blame. Defensiveness stems from a need to defend oneself, but it has the ability to intensify the disagreement. Accept responsibility. Even if you just accept responsibility for a portion of the problem, you may acknowledge your involvement and work toward a resolution.
When one partner entirely withdraws from the dialogue, this is referred to as stonewalling. Take a breather. According to research, couples who take a 30-minute break during an argument return to the subject in a more fruitful manner. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, request at least 20 minutes to remove yourself from the talk and cool down.
Your approach to resolving arguments with your partner has the potential to salvage your relationship. Remind yourself why you started the relationship in the first place at the end of the conversation. It was most likely because you and your partner wanted to help each other flourish.
Inquire with your partner about how you may assist them. You are not always going to agree. However, you and your partner can both learn how to handle your uncomfortable sensations during a quarrel.
#10 – 5 Exercises to Build Intimacy
Building intimacy in your relationship also necessitates training. Some of these activities may seem monotonous at first, but try not to be discouraged.
Use the following actions to increase closeness in your relationship and better understand your partner:
1) Try Out Something New Together
When you do something new together, you rekindle the spark you had at the start of your relationship. Change things up and try something new and fascinating.
- Attend a cooking class
- Take a new hike somewhere new
- Plan a staycation
- Take a walk nearby and point out new things you see
- Prepare a picnic
- Exercise together
2) Ask Questions
Sharing personal information with your partner can aid in the development of intimacy. Set up some time for you and your partner to sit down and ask each other these questions in order to strengthen your bond.
- How do you think you’ve changed in the last five years?
- How do you intend to grow in the next five years?
- What are three qualities about yourself that you admire?
- What is something you’ve always wanted to accomplish but haven’t gotten around to doing? So why not?
- Describe one of the happiest days of your life.
- What has been one of your most embarrassing moments?
- What is your favorite childhood memory?
- Which modest romantic gestures do you want to see more of?
- Which is the ideal job that you have in mind?
- What qualities do you look for in a friend?
- What do you require to be happy and fulfilled?
- How does your sexuality influence your intimacy and bring you closer together?
3) Discover Your Partner’s Love Language
Gary Chapman identified five different ways in which humans give and receive love. Learn each other’s love language to strengthen your bond with your partner. You can learn how to communicate with your partner in his or her love language this way.
Words of Affirmation
Do you or your partner express your love verbally? If this is the case, the most effective way to communicate would be to acknowledge your partner with pleasant words, compliments, and words of appreciation.
Spending meaningful time together means the most to someone who has a love language of quality time. The greatest method to communicate in this situation is to offer your partner your complete attention, demonstrate that you are listening, and engage in activities together.
Acts of Service
Partners who use acts of service as their love language feel that deeds speak louder than words. Serve your partner by picking up some of their tasks when they are busy, preparing your partner breakfast, or giving your partner a massage.
Giving and Receiving Gifts
People who have the gift love language get love through providing and receiving meaningful presents. Pay attention to what your partner values and locate a present that reflects their values to communicate this love language.
When touch is a person’s love language, they experience love through physical actions such as holding hands, snuggling, and kissing. Touch your partner while they are speaking, greet them with a hug, or invite them to cuddle to express this love language.
4) Check-in Weekly
Set some time to check in with your partner. Prepare to be forthright and honest! Instead of getting defensive, tell your partner how criticism makes you feel (for example, maybe you feel humiliated when they discuss what’s missing in the relationship).
- How are you doing?
- What is missing from the relationship?
- How can I help you grow?
These exercises will always help you reignite the flame, no matter how long you and your partner have been together.
5) Practice Intimacy in Your Daily Life
Over time, small actions add up and compound.
Consider the following small actions as deposits into your relationship’s “intimacy bank”:
- Pay attention to your partner’s cues. Take note when your partner approaches you. This could manifest itself in simple ways, such as a grin or a suggestion. Connect with your partner by turning towards them.
- Show and tell your partner how much you value them. Tell your partner how much you appreciate them to develop an appreciation culture!
- “Thank you for your help with the dishes.”
- “It means a lot to me that you pay attention.”
- “I appreciate how helpful you are.”
- Express appreciation to your partner using their love language.
- Compliment their appearance or remark, “I love you.”
- Give each other a massage.
- Make time for a nice activity together.
- Surprising your partner with a meaningful gift, like as a flower you picked up on your way home from work, is a good idea.
- Perform some of their household tasks.
- Pay attention to the details. Intimacy does not always have to be time-consuming or difficult! Even minor details can help you become closer to your partner.
- Inquire about your partner’s day.
- Be playful, and perform one act of kindness for your partner every day.
Although incorporating these items into your daily routine may feel odd or tedious at first, the extra work you do each day will help bring you and your partner closer together.
Building intimacy with your partner can help you rekindle the spark you felt at the start of your relationship. Couples that have purposefully developed on all four levels of closeness are the happiest.
The most crucial approach to nurture your relationship is through intimacy. At the end of the day, a happy relationship does not happen by accident or without effort.
Make time to discuss the various levels of intimacy with your partner and what they mean to you. A successful relationship will include all levels of intimacy, but you can focus your efforts on your partner’s preferred level of closeness.
You will grow and thrive together if you create a truly close relationship.