The level of intimacy between two people is at the very heart of a relationship. The more connected we feel to our partner, the stronger our relationship. Intimacy is what sets our romantic partnership apart from all other relationships. It isn’t just about the physical aspect of the relationship, but it also encompasses the emotional connection and attachment we have with our partner.
Relationships evolve over time as the newness of the relationship becomes replaced with familiarity. Many people mistakenly believe that the passion is lost once the newness is gone, but that is not the case if both people continue to grow individually and remain completely engaged in the relationship together. For a relationship to truly thrive, real intimacy must be the very cornerstone on which it is based.
Let’s look at a few ways that we can create or strengthen the intimacy in our relationship.
The Little Things – It’s the seemingly little things that add up and really matter in a relationship. Paying attention to your partner and making the extra effort to do small things that you know will mean a lot to your partner. Don’t necessarily give your partner what you want, rather take some time to consider the things that mean the most to your partner. It can be very simple like bringing your partner a cup of coffee in the morning or taking the children for a while to let your partner do something he/she enjoys. Giving these little things to your partner lets your partner know that you truly see him/her and that you care about his/her experience.
Eye Contact – Eye contact is so basic and yet, we can get so immersed in the day to day that we forget this fundamental practice and begin to literally lead parallel lives. We cannot have intimacy without eye contact. Eye contact is essential and can be so intense that it has led people to describe it as having a window into another’s soul. Make it a point to slow down and look at your partner when you are speaking to one another.
Physical Touch – It is important to have physical contact with our partner because it keeps us connected to one another. Even holding hands and a long embrace at the end of the day go a long way in staying connected. If you feel resistant toward physical contact with your partner, that is an indication that something might be off emotionally in the relationship and in need of attention. Otherwise, make it a habit to touch your partner on a regular basis. Skin to skin contact is important in making us feel connected, so make that a priority.
Real Conversation – At the beginning of a relationship, conversation is plentiful as we try to get to know one another. After a while, it can fade a bit, particularly if we are not tending to our own individuality. The busier we get, the more we may put real conversation on back burner making us feel increasingly disconnected from our partner. Make a point to have at least a few minutes of real conversation with your partner each day. No distractions! Sustain eye contact and simply listen. You’ll be surprised how much more connected you feel with your partner.
These are all very simple practices to incorporate into your daily life with your partner. If you believe that you don’t have the time, make the time. Your partnership needs to be a priority if it is going to do well over time. If you find that you are feeling averse to doing these things, that may be an indication of a deeper problem within the relationship. In order to have real intimacy in a relationship, we must want to be close and feel safe enough to be vulnerable and transparent. If we have a true connection to our partner and real intimacy between us, we are fortunate enough to get to experience one of the greatest gifts life has to offer.
Want to learn more about a healthy relationship? Check out my course Healthy Relationships 101
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XO – Avery Neal