So what exactly is intimacy? In this context, intimacy is a close familiarity and rapport between two people. Being intimate with someone does not necessarily mean getting physical. It is about being emotionally close to your partner and being able to let your guard down, no matter the situation.
Intimacy is also about accepting the other person’s feelings, respecting their opinions, and the constant act of forging strong emotional experiences together.
The importance of intimacy in love
It is true that couples who have been together for a long time tend to be more intimate with each other than those in newly forged relationships. This is because being intimate with someone takes time, patience and effort.
Sometimes, intimacy just builds up without any planning whatsoever. It’s not just about sharing one’s hopes and dreams. It is also about the little awkward things like farting in front of each other, sharing tales of your painful past with each other, experiencing embarrassing moments together and many more.
Be it a tedious long distance relationship, married life with the person of your dreams, or a fresh start with someone new, intimacy transcends all levels and types of relationships. It plays an important and irreplaceable role in determining whether things are going to work out in the long run. [Read: 14 most common reasons why relationships fail often]
12 ways to keep intimacy alive in a relationship
Many people underestimate the importance of intimacy and instead, prefer to focus on the materialistic and physical part of the relationship. Although these aspects are relatively important, they are not as essential as intimacy and the strong bond that it brings.
If you feel a little lost and do not know where to start, here are some simple things that you can do to keep your relationship’s level of intimacy at its optimum.
#1 Be generous. This does not mean buying your partner beautiful things and splurging on expensive meals. It refers to being generous when you give yourself away. Be generous when you share your time and feelings with your partner. Do not bother with mind games that involve who is going to say sorry first, who should pick up the phone to ask the other on a date first and so on.
Remember that being in a relationship with someone is all about give and take, so do not bother keeping score when it comes to the bad things. Although being generous is very important, always remember to keep a sense of individuality when you are in a relationship. The biggest no-no is giving yourself away completely and waking up one morning realizing that you do not know who you are anymore. [Read: 12 sure signs you’re being selfish in your relationship]
#2 Have fun together. Couples that share leisure activities enjoy more love and less conflict than those who do not. By engaging in mutually enjoyable activities, you will feel more connected to your partner, thus forging a more intimate relationship.
The best way to build intimacy is to have fun together. Whether it is heading for laser tag with a group of friends, or planning a romantic rooftop picnic for two, spending time together will undoubtedly keep the spark of intimacy alive, be it in a new or long term relationship. [Read: 10 easy steps to reignite the spark in love instantly!]
#3 Experience new things together. Another way to build a strong bond of intimacy with your lover is to indulge in new and exciting things together. It could be taking a vacation somewhere neither of you has ever been to, signing up for a cooking class, or spending the afternoon rollerblading together for the first time.
By experiencing new things together, both of you are laying the foundation in your bid to build a greater sense of connectivity and intimacy with each other. Not just that, your triumphs and failures while attempting these new activities will add to the wealth of memories that the two of you are amassing together.
#4 Prove your love. Nothing is more intimate than proving to your partner that you love them. You can pen a love letter and leave it in you man’s shirt pocket for him to find later, plan a romantic night out for your lady love at her favorite oyster and champagne bar, or just tell your partner “I Love You” and speak from the heart. No matter what you do, your partner will appreciate the time and effort that you put into proving your affection and love. [Read: 25 really romantic ideas to make your lover melt]
#5 Communicate freely. Try not to keep any secrets from each other if you can. Sure, a little white lie here and there never hurt anyone, but it is always best to be honest with the person you care about. If you think he made a bad decision investing in that particular block of shares, then tell him what you think. If you think it is not her place to badmouth her colleague, then tell her so.
Sure, the truth may hurt and spark a minor disagreement, but at the end of the day, your partner will thank you for being honest. Being able to communicate freely with one another is one of the fundamentals when it comes to keeping intimacy alive in a relationship.
#6 Touch often. Although intimacy is not all about being physical with one another, it certainly does not hurt to indulge often. Touching one another gives emotional intimacy the chance to be turned into something physical and real because sometimes, feelings and words are just not enough.
Whether it is a mind blowing romp between the sheets, holding hands at the mall, or a sweet kiss and hug before heading off to work, touch your loved one often and make sure you mean every fondle, caress, hug and kiss that you bestow upon them. [Read: 16 non sexual touches to feel connected and loved in a relationship]
#7 Show appreciation. Another way to keep intimacy alive in a relationship is to always take the time to show appreciation to your partner. This may sound simple enough, but many people tend to overlook this important aspect. Everyone loves being appreciated, most of all by the people who matter.
Whether you verbalize it by saying, “Thank you for all that you have done, my love”, or treat your partner to a home cooked meal, show that you appreciate your lover. Even better, take a few seconds every day to look your partner in the eye, thank them and tell them how much you love them. [Read: 13 very romantic dinner date ideas for two]
#8 Allocate date nights. Keep the spark alive by keeping the excitement alive. This is especially true if you are saddled with kids, or if both of you have busy careers and not much time for each other. Allocate date night at least once a week and make an effort to focus all of your attention and strength on your partner.
Have fun with each other and relish each other’s company as much as you can. Whether it is trying the new sushi joint down the street, or heading for cocktails in the city, ensure that you set aside time to do something meaningful and fun together. [Read: The top 50 romantic date ideas to wow your lover]
#9 Do what pleases your partner. If you want to keep the intimacy alive, then you are going to have to speak your partner’s love language. Even if you are not a fan of sushi, plan a date at a Japanese restaurant because you know he loves it. Another way is to not let your apathy for current affairs stop you from getting two tickets to a TED talk in your city if you know your partner will enjoy it.
You should make the effort to indulge in activities that your lover enjoys, no matter how dull it may seem to you. Who knows? You may just realize that what they enjoy doing is not so tedious, after all.
#10 Be supportive. Intimacy means being on par with your partner emotionally. Hence, you should be supportive of your partner no matter what. Be it through sickness, financial difficulties, starting a new business, a death of someone important, or even something trivial like needing a ride to work, do all that you can to be supportive of your partner no matter the situation.
#11 Lessen stress. When you have less stress and worries in your life, you will undoubtedly have more space in your mind, heart and schedule for your partner to build intimacy. Research has shown that stress management should be something to consider if you want to improve sexual and emotional intimacy with your partner. Be it cutting back on your work hours, forgoing high pressure projects, or cutting out toxic or destructive people from your life, do all that you can to lessen the stress in your life for the benefit of your relationship. [Read: The right way to keep love and intimacy alive in romance]
#12 Go to bed together. The simplest way to keep intimacy alive in a relationship is also the most overlooked. In today’s fast paced world where people have bizarre work schedules, children, projects and other activities going on, many couples find themselves going to bed at different times. This leads to a disconnect between both partners, resulting in less intimacy. [Read: 12 things happy couples talk about and feel closer]
Bedtime should be a shared ritual of intimacy between two lovers as it reduces stress and tension. If both of you cannot sync your schedules to go to bed at the same time, the very least that you can do is to hug, snuggle or put to rest any tension between the two of you leftover from the day. A simple, “I’m sorry, my love, have a goodnight” should suffice and will reaffirm your partner that you care about them.
[Read: The 12 real signs of true love in a relationship]
It’s the small things in love that keep intimacy alive in a relationship. So if you find yourself feeling disconnected or distant from your partner, just indulge in these 12 easy ways. You’ll enjoy yourself, bond better and feel more in happy love in no time.
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