Unless you’re one of the few lucky couples in the world, it’s likely that you’ve found yourself in a romantic slump at some time or another. Let’s face it, life happens.
We get busy, we get comfortable, we get stuck in our respective roles, we become complacent, and we get a little bored.
Before you start evaluating whether your relationship can find a little spark, perhaps you should consider how to add a little intimacy.
Webster’s College Dictionary (2010) gives several definitions of intimacy.
- the state of being intimate
- a close, familiar, and affectionate personal relationship
- a close association with or deep understanding of a place, subject, etc.
- an act or expression serving as a token of familiarity or affection
- a sexual liberty
- privacy – especially as suitable to the telling of a secret
Looking over these definitions, it all seems pretty clear how they describe our relationships. While the word intimacy leads many to think about sex, intimacy clearly isn’t all about sex or sometimes even related to sex at all. My favorite definition is “a close association with or deep understanding of a place, subject, etc.” When we develop a close association with or a deep understanding of the people we love, it is truly intimate.
If you are looking for ways to increase the intimacy in your relationship, consider the following tips.
- Pay attention and be present.
Distractions are everywhere. Between television and social media, it’s amazing we can pay attention to anything at all. When your significant other is speaking, it is of the utmost importance to try your best to give your undivided attention. Even if you think you’re really good at checking Facebook or watching TV and engaging in conversation, part of your attention is elsewhere. Too much multi-tasking when conversations are important can be damaging to a relationship as it may leave one partner feeling less important.
- Be emotionally available.
A vast majority of extramarital affairs begin in the heart, not in the bed. As human beings we have the desire to be emotionally connected to others. It is important to be emotionally available to your significant other. Share your emotions, your thoughts and feelings with your partner and be willing to hear theirs. This creates a very strong emotional bond for both. It’s nice to know you can confide in your partner and that the action will be reciprocated.
- Be supportive.
It is a terrible feeling not to be supported, especially by your partner. As partners, you should strive to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders. Praise your partner when they do something great. Give them feedback and advice when they face decisions. Encourage them when they are struggling. Support them when they are weak. Boost their self-confidence when they make small achievements or even fail. We all need support, and should be able to find it in our intimate relationships.
- Find common interests.
What better way to bond and develop closeness than to be able to bond over common interests? If you don’t know or can’t remember, strike up a conversation about things you both enjoy and see what you have in common. If you find that you don’t have many common interests, try new activities together. By spending this time together to discover and explore new activities, you will develop a new sense of closeness and intimacy.
- Make time for laughter.
Life happens and we sometimes become so busy and involved in business, we forget to take a moment to take a break. When is the last time you and your spouse sat down and had a really good laugh? Laughter is a natural physical uplift. Try it and see how good you feel afterward. You’ll be amazed to find that a little bit of laughter goes a long way.
Don’t give up on intimacy in your relationship. Take time today and reconnect with your spouse. It’s something you will both appreciate and won’t regret.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 26 Aug 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
White, D. (2013). 5 Keys to a More Intimate Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/08/27/5-keys-to-a-more-intimate-relationship/