When you see, read, or hear the word “intimacy,” what goes through your mind?
Does your mind jump to images of passion, naked bodies, and romantic candles? Or how about moments of passion when you think no one is looking? A touch on your partner’s leg under the table during dinner? A stolen kiss just before the elevator doors open?
That’s all good and well. And yes, sex is a kind of physical intimacy. But it is only one type of intimacy.
To have a healthy relationship where you feel connected with your partner (and in more ways than just in between the bedsheets), you should work on increasing the other kinds of intimacy too.
Here’s exactly how you can do that, but first, let me briefly chat about intimacy, the benefits of an intimacy boost, and the types of intimacy.
What Is Intimacy?
When I think about intimacy, I think of “connection” and “closeness.” When I feel connected and close to my husband, I feel safe to be vulnerable and to share. I feel like I belong.
While many people think that intimacy equates sex, intimacy goes beyond the bedroom and physical touch.
Being physically intimate with your partner is important, but working on the other kinds of intimacy with your loved one will let you feel connected and close in a holistic way, and this has many benefits for your romantic relationship.
There are 6 main types of intimacy:
Why Is Building Intimacy Essential in Your Relationship?
Increasing all the types of intimacy is essential to have and benefit from a healthy and balanced relationship.
Fostering intimacy in your relationship with your partner:
12 Ways to Increase Intimacy With Your Partner
Intimacy is one of the building blocks to have a successful relationship with your soulmate.
Here are ways to help you increase the emotional, physical, intellectual, experiential, and spiritual intimacy between you and your partner:
1. Be Vulnerable
In other words, get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.
Honestly sharing your feelings, fears, and worries is scary but so worthwhile when you do have those kinds of conversations with your loved one. When you share and your partner accepts you, makes your feelings feel validated, and listens to you – all without judgment – you’ll feel closer to each other.
And the more you share, the easier it becomes to be vulnerable and let your partner see your good, bad, and ugly.
2. Be Supportive
When you support your partner and they support you, you are strengthening your connection (aka intimacy) as a couple.
To support your loved one, make sure there aren’t any distractions so you can focus on them. Listen when they share something. Use good communication skills so your partner knows they are being heard and seen. Be dependable, and show up when they need you.
3. Affirm Your Love and Appreciation
It’s rare that a couple has the same love language, so find out what your partner’s love language is. Show your partner how much you love, value, and appreciate them by expressing your love in the love language they will understand.
There are 5 languages of love:
If your partner’s love language is words of affirmation, then meet their love language by saying “I love you,” “I value you,” “I appreciate what you do for me every day,” and “You matter to me.” Your partner will feel loved when you are verbal in how much you love them.
4. Get More Physical
I don’t mean sex.
There are other ways you let touch express how you feel about your partner and increase your physical intimacy.
You can snuggle in bed or on the couch, you can touch your partner’s leg or arm while you have dinner, you can play footsie, and you can hug your partner before they leave for work.
5. Prioritize Sex
When life gets busy, it’s difficult to have time and energy to make love to your partner (and not have it be a quickie).
So schedule time where you and soulmate can have sex. Ensure there’s enough time for romance, and foreplay, and time to cuddle afterward.
6. Make Eye Contact
How often do you look your partner right in the eye when you talk to them? Or do you have whole conversations without so much as a glance at your loved one?
Making and keeping eye contact with your partner is intimate; it shows that you are interested and engaged in what they are saying.
7. Be Spiritual Together
If you are religious and belong to a religious organization such as a church, then you and your partner can foster your spiritual intimacy by attending church together, praying together, and talking about your love and belief in your Creator.
If you are more spiritual, you and your loved one can embark on a spiritual journey where you do self-work, meditate, and share experiences that are awe-inspiring.
8. Share During Deep Conversations
When you share your views on the universe and the meaning of life with your partner (and they with you), you increase your intellectual intimacy as a couple. The caveat here is to listen without judgment and accept that your loved one doesn’t have to share your worldview.
While there are many benefits to having deep conversations as a couple, it isn’t easy to open up. When you do open up and feel seen and accepted, you’ll feel closer to your partner. And when you do the same for them (listen and accept), they’ll feel more connected to you. (#win-win)
9. Talk About Controversial Topics
Chatting about controversial topics, especially where you and your partner sit on opposite sides of the fence, can increase your connection as you express your thoughts logically and even philosophically.
Experiential and Creative Intimacy
10. Go for Cooking Classes
When you and your loved one sign up for an activity together, like cooking classes, you share an experience with each other and you get to be creative together too.
You can talk about your experience after the class or even the next day when you make dinner together. Sometimes, something funny happens in the cooking class, resulting in inside jokes you and your loved one can giggle about. You’ll feel more connected, which increases your intimacy.
11. Explore a New Destination
Traveling and seeing new places also forms a bond between you and your loved one.
Anyone who’s ever traveled knows that the whole trip isn’t just champagne and roses. There are challenges like transportation mishaps, missing luggage, and the language barrier that crop up.
But when you and your partner go through this experience together, you increase your experiential intimacy.
12. Get a Pet
Getting a bunny, dog, or beardie also gives you and your loved one an opportunity to increase your shared experiential intimacy.
From getting your house ready for the new addition to choosing your beloved fur-animal, you and your partner will have something to bond over. And once the pet is yours and home with you, there will be countless opportunities for adventures, challenges, and fun times with Rufus, Ms Cottontail, or Dragon the beardie.
Final Thoughts on Intimacy in Your Relationship
Creating opportunities to build your emotional, spiritual, physical, experiential, and creative intimacy as a couple fosters a stronger bond. You feel more in tune with your partner as they see you, hear you, and keep space for you.
So continue to work on your relationship by increasing intimacy.