When you meet the love of your life, you want everything in your relationship to go smoothly. One way you can do this is by creating a deep intimate connection with your spouse.
Successful intimacy in a relationship goes beyond having a healthy sex life. Intimacy in a relationship is a multi-faceted aspect of a happy marriage. It involves your emotional connection, your physical affection, and of course, communication.
If your marriage is lacking in emotional or physical intimacy, don’t lose hope. There are many things you can do to reignite the passion you once felt for your spouse. Here are 8 ways to improve intimacy in a relationship.
Focus on the Good
When you get into a new relationship it often feels like your spouse can do no wrong. All of your interactions feel magical. You get butterflies when you’re together. However, the longer we’re with the same partner, the easier it is to see their negative qualities.
One of our biggest tips to improve intimacy in a relationship is to look for the good. Many couples find it helpful to make a pen and paper list of all of their spouse’s positive qualities.
Studies show that showing gratitude is one of the highest factors in relationship satisfaction. Being appreciative of your spouse also predicted greater intimacy, commitment, and goal pursuits.
Make Plans Together
One way you can deepen your connection to your spouse is by making plans together. One example of this is planning a trip together.
Traveling can really help deepen your relationship with your partner, especially if you are going abroad or traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language. This forces you and your spouse to rely on each other and practice positive cooperation.
Planning on starting a family, buying a house together, or pursuing a new career are also big life changes that deepen the emotional intimacy you share with your partner.
Take Up a Hobby Together
One sure-fire way to deepen intimacy with your partner is to take up a hobby together. Some fun ideas include:
- Learn a new language
- Go to the gym together
- Take up photography
- Attend dance lessons
- Pick up instruments together
- Play a sport or cooperative game together
Research shows that shared activities promote marital satisfaction. Learning something new together also brings a level of excitement and cooperation into your relationship which can benefit your communication skills down the road.
Have a Regular Date Night
Date night is a great way to liven up your relationship and boost intimacy. Studies show that going out with your partner once or more times a month will improve marital friendship, sex life, lessen marital boredom, and help prevent divorce.
Spend More Time Talking
If you want a happy, healthy marriage, you and your spouse must practice the art of communication.
Having monthly marriage “check-ins” can be a great opportunity for couples to come together and talk about the relationship. Tell your partner things you love about your marriage and express appreciation for the little things they do for you. Positive speech boosts self-esteem and love for one another.
A marriage check-in is also a great time to, politely, bring up anything about your relationship that needs a little work. For example, saying something like: “I love spending time with you, but I noticed we missed both of our scheduled date nights last month. Let’s agree to get back on track this month” can spur on positive relationship behavior.
Getting your issues out in the open can promote healthy communication and prevent misunderstandings and resentment from growing.
Have Deep Conversations
One way you can improve intimacy in a relationship is by opening yourself up to be vulnerable with your partner.
Ask each other get-to-know-you questions, even if you’ve been together for many years. Doing so can give you a new insight into your partner.
Asking a question like “Where do you see yourself in five years?” may sound like a cheesy ‘interview question’, but the reason open-ended questions are so effective is that they create effortless conversation. Knowing what your partner wants out of life and your relationship will help you connect on a deeper level.
Do the Little Things
When you first met your spouse, you were on your best behavior. You were so crazy about them that you would do anything to make them smile. But over time, these simple intimacies fall away and you are less likely to be romantic with one another.
You can boost the intimacy in your relationship by doing more of the little things, such as:
- Say good morning
- Make coffee for your spouse
- Help out around the house
- Open doors for your partner
- Look for little ways to make their lives easier, such as brushing off their snowy car or making a nice breakfast
- Check in with sweet texts throughout the day
- Bring flowers/surprise gifts or trinkets
- Say I love you before you go to work for the day
Focus on Physical Intimacy
Sex isn’t everything in a relationship, but it does play a huge role in intimacy in a relationship. By nature, it is one of the most intimate things you can do as a couple. Not only is this a fun and pleasurable activity, but a healthy sex life has been proven to heighten emotional intimacy and reduce stress.
Research also indicates that couples who have a healthy sex life are more likely to say “I love you” to one another than couples who aren’t regularly intimate.
There is no doubt that physical intimacy can help strengthen a couple’s connection. However, sex isn’t the only form of physical intimacy that is beneficial.
Studies reveal that the oxytocin released during physical contact such as holding hands, hugging, or kissing are also strongly related to partner satisfaction.
Improving intimacy in a relationship is one of the best things you can do for your marriage. You can do this by focusing on physical intimacy, looking for the good in your spouse, and working on your communication. Doing so will create positive outcomes in all aspects of your relationship.
Article Contributed By Rachael Pace
She is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.