For most of us, the word intimate conjures up romantic images of candlelit dinners, slow dancing, and long passionate kisses. Romantic gestures are certainly a dominant theme of intimacy, but there is more. Intimacy in the real world is the result of expressing our feelings, our personal secrets, and our deepest truths to each other. It arises when we feel cared about, accepted, and loved for our own sake, warts and all.
Here are a few ways to nurture intimacy in your relationship :
- Prioritise your relationship – Don’t take one another for granted. You get busy and distracted with your own stuff and can neglect to tune in to the needs of your partner. Don’t view the relationship as a given, something that’s juts a byproduct of your connection to this other person.
- Create a couple bubble – A couple bubble reinforces the goal of prioritising your relationship by thinking in terms of “we”rather than “me”. This is hard for most couples because it required viewing yourself as part of the team first, above your independent needs and habits.
- Have daily connection time – The most important element of this connection time is that you are fully present for each other. This means you aren’t looking at your phone, doing a task, or watching television. You are fully focused on each other.
- Communicate with kindness – Make it a goal in your relationship to be kind in all of your communication. Being kind doesn’t mean you have to agree with each other or even loving during a challenging moment.
- Embrace Vulnerability – Make it a goal to be completely open, vulnerable, and real with each other. But more importantly, make it a goal to always treat one another’s vulnerabilities with tender loving care.
- Plan for fun together – Your relationship should be a place of peace and respite from the tribulations of family life. In fact, your relationship should provide an outlet for enjoying life to the fullest.
- Learn and support your love languages – Gary Chapman assorts that each of us has a primary love language that is expressed in the way we should love to others. But by showing our own love language to our partner, we are revealing our deepest needs within the relationship.
- Maintain a satisfying sex life – Women need to feel secure and comfortable with their partner in order to be willing to try new things and be sexually adventurous. Men need more visual stimulation and variety than women do.
- Support one another’s goals – Both of you need to feel that the most important person in your life, your spouse or partner, supports and admires your goals and wants to celebrate your achievements/
- Have a yearly review – Your marriage or committed relationship will continue to grow and evolve over time. You and your partner will change and have different needs as the years go by.