First of all, what is intimacy? Intimacy can be a bit of a buzzword when it comes to relationship advice. What do you think of when you hear the word intimate?
Sex, most likely. I know that’s where my mind goes, and that’s not a bad thing. However, intimacy is much more than sex. It’s an intense familiarity with someone. A close and trusting connection.
Intimacy is physical, emotional, intellectual, experiential, and spiritual. Check out this article to read more about the different kinds of intimacy.
So how do you improve your intimacy in a relationship in ways other than sex?
We found some tips from around the web (and maybe a little from reality television) to give you a jump start on increasing all the different types of intimacy between you and your partner.
The Eye Gazing Experiment —
Set a timer for 2 – 3 minutes and simply look into each other’s eyes without speaking. It might feel uncomfortable at first and there are sure to be a couple of giggles, but press on and see what sort of emotions bubble up. Notice how you feel as you study your partner’s eyes and they study yours. Staring into someone’s eyes for a prolonged period of time has proven to increase the feeling of mutual love and trust.
The “Heart-to-Heart” Hug -
Similar to the Eye Gazing Experiment, try embracing your partner for 3 minutes without speaking. It can be however you want, but make sure that you feel very close to each other. Heart-to-heart even. As you hold each other, notice how you are feeling. What emotions rise to the surface? When was the last time you felt so close to someone? Does it bring back any good memories of significant embraces? Read our past blog about physical touch, and remember even if physical touch isn’t your top love language it’s still very important to do it!
The Makeout Session (hold the sex)-
It’s very common for couples to kiss less and less as time goes on. Sex may not decrease, but the innocent movie makeout sessions can become far less frequent. Kisses can become just a peck on the lips before heading out the door, and not much more. But there are reasons we kiss! It’s arousing, it’s intimate, it releases endorphins and dopamine, and it’s fun! So try this one out — set another time (we love timing things. It sets a benchmark!) for 5 minutes and kiss your partner like you were in the backseat of a 1997 Toyota Camry. Try this challenge without the expectation of it leading to sex.
Take your relationship Pulse -
Toucan’s Pulse quiz is a great way to get a snapshot of your relationship right now. Take your Pulse as individuals and then have a conversation about your combined results. Where are you excelling? In what areas do you seem to be struggling right now? Share openly with your partner about how you feel the relationship is going. Celebrate the highs and work together on the lows. Vulnerability is a sure-fire way to increase intimacy in your relationship.
We hope that you at least one of these ways to increase your intimacy, and we hope you have fun with it. Loving your partner should be fun!
Toucan Together’s Loving Module gets beyond the cliches about love. Learn to speak each other’s Love Languages ®; explore how your experiences growing up influence the ways you give and receive love; and understand any barriers you may have. Part 2 helps create a conversation around intimacy, romance and passion to help you grow a thriving sex life.