Is your relationship feeling a little ‘blah’ these days? Do you feel like you’re at a standstill, that you’re struggling to connect, or that you haven’t been intimate in forever?
These can all be common signs that you’re experiencing a lack of intimacy – and we aren’t just talking about sex!
Intimacy is important for a healthy relationship. It’s what makes you feel secure, sexy, deepens your marital friendship. Lacking this emotional or physical connection can create relationship problems and encourage resentment in your marriage.
If you’re feeling underwhelmed with your love life, don’t fret. By boosting physical intimacy and trying new things in and outside the bedroom, you can turn your frown upside down. Here are 10 tips to improve physical & emotional intimacy in your relationship.
1. Communicate Regularly
A study published by the Journal of Marriage and Family found that couples’ communication often predicts marital satisfaction. The easier it is for a couple to communicate openly and honestly with one another, the stronger and happier their relationship will be.
You should feel free to communicate with your partner about anything such as your sex life, goals, stresses, and more. When you communicate as a couple you:
· Get to know one another on a deeper level
· Learn how to problem-solve
· Discover triggers
· Deepen trust
· Continue to grow as a couple
2. Take Up Hobbies Together
Spending time together doing things that aren’t necessarily romantic is another great way to boost marital intimacy and friendship. Research suggests that couples who share hobbies and goals are happier than those who do not. This makes sense since we are naturally drawn to people who share the same thoughts and interests as we do.
3. Be Kind to One Another
When it comes to boosting intimacy, sometimes doing the littlest things have the biggest impact. Look for ways to make your spouse’s day a little brighter. Here are some great examples of everyday kindness:
· Compliment them
· Clean the house
· Write them a love letter/e-mail/text
· Say something encouraging
· Keep a positive attitude – it’s contagious!
· Let them sleep in. Better yet, bring them breakfast in bed!
· Greet them with a hug when they come home from work
· Make them laugh
Furthermore, be polit! Why does it seem like manners are the first thing to go out the window once you get serious with someone? Show kindness to your partner by always being courteous and expressing appreciation for the little things they do for you.
4. Ask Questions
Whether you’ve been with your spouse for twenty days or twenty years, there is always something new to learn!
Harvard University published a study which suggests that couples are happier when they stay curious about one another.
Harvard Medical School associate professor of psychiatry Richard Schwartz, quoted in the study, says that continuing to ask questions (instead of assuming you already know the answers) to your partner will keep the love alive in your relationship.
5. Schedule Tech-Free Time
Passing the time watching funny YouTube videos or streaming the latest show are great ways to sit back and relax with your sweetheart, but too much tech-time can actually harm your relationship.
When your partner spends too much time on their phone it can make you feel ignored, uninteresting, or create resentment in the relationship. Research also suggests that being phone snubbed is a major risk factor for depression and undermines relationship satisfaction.
Do yourself and your spouse a favor and cool it with the phones every once and a while. Turn your devices on silent and spend some uninterrupted time connecting emotionally and physically.
6. Focus on the Good
When you focus on the negative things in your life, or more specifically in your partner, it can cause you to withdraw from them on an emotional or physical level.
One way you can improve intimacy is by focusing on the good in your spouse. How do they make you feel? Are they attentive to you between the sheets? Do they do sweet or romantic things for you? Can they always make you laugh, even when you’re feeling low?
Focusing on your spouse’s positive qualities can drastically improve your relationship and your outlook.
7. Fill your Relationship with Safety
One way to improve physical & emotional intimacy with your partner is by fostering a safe and happy relationship. You can boost trust in your relationship by:
· Remaining faithful to your spouse (both physically and emotionally)
· Being empathetic
· Putting your spouse’s needs before your own
· Following through with your word
· Being accountable
· Learning how to communicate when things go wrong
· Apologizing when you are in the wrong
· Practicing the art of humility
· Not doing anything you wouldn’t want your partner doing
Trust is an important aspect of any marriage. It’s what helps partners feel secure, relaxed, and respected. By practicing the tips above, you’ll be building a safer, more intimate relationship with your spouse.
8. Look for New Ways to Be Available
Emotional intimacy comes from getting to know your partner and feeling completely comfortable being open with one another. A big way to improve physical & emotional intimacy is by looking for new ways to be available to your partner.
Your spouse needs your time, undivided attention, and sexual energy to feel loved and connected to you. You can show your spouse that you are available to them by looking for new activities to share, making date night a weekly priority, and striving to live a more mindful life.
9. Make time for Physical Intimacy
There is no doubt that sex is the most emotional and physical form of intimacy you can share with your partner. The release of the oxytocin hormone has been proven to promote bonding between partners. It also reduces stress, elevates your mood, and heightens emotional intimacy in couples.
Make time for sexual intimacy regularly – even if you have to schedule it into your calendar!
10. Have Empathy for your Spouse
Empathy is the innate ability to understand and enter into someone else’s feelings. When you empathize with your partner you have an emotional connection to how or why they feel a certain way. This connection will strengthen your relationship tenfold.
If you aren’t naturally inclined to be empathetic, don’t worry. You can re-train your brain to be considerate of your partner’s feelings. The next time they are telling you a story or explaining something to you, strive to put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would feel in their situation. Doing so will deepen intimacy and improve your overall happiness.
Don’t put your relationship on the back burner. When you take the time to nurture your relationship you will see endless benefits to your emotional connection, sex life, and overall relationship satisfaction. With these 10 simple tips, you can improve physical & emotional intimacy with your partner.