Intimacy in a partner relationship or marriage suffers from our hectic lifestyles, regardless whether it is just the two of you or running kids around as well. Where do you find time to strengthen love in between work, business meetings, running kids around and family events? This works both ways, one in a relationship is exhausted or both are, and the closeness you once had, seems to dissipate. On date night the plans fly out the door, to binge-watch Netflix.
These are all very normal stages of life, however, remember what it was like when you were dating! How did you want to know everything about each other? How you hung onto each other’s words? How did you love touching each other?
We are not unrealistic people; we know it is not possible to recreate that exact feeling. After all, you have been with this same person for so long and the mystery pretty much gone (we thank or don’t thank, especially, bathroom habits).
1. Treat your partner with kindness
Always be kind instead of being critical with your partner. Across all interaction, from practical to personal, express yourself with kindness and that includes during heated moments. Continued generosity and being loving has a massive payoff since it fosters deeper intimacy levels and keeps love alive. Not only will your partner feel loved, but you will actually feel more in love through loving actions and kindness.
2. Reflect on what you appreciate and love about your partner
What attracted you to your partner and what qualities do you appreciate most? What do you admire and what amuses you in your partner? If you love the humour and playfulness, encourage joking around and friendly bantering. When you love the affectionate and warm personality, keep it alive by continued touch and connection. When you love the adventurous spirit, encourage and make time for new adventures and activities to enjoy together. Your partner will appreciate your ongoing interest in doing things that you know they love, and it is very likely that they will reciprocate back at you.
3. Hold hands more often
During the early stages of a relationship, you probably couldn’t keep your hands off each other. You would not walk anywhere without holding hands. Neither would you sit apart in the lounge and your hands probably on each other’s legs. Do you still place your hand on his leg when driving somewhere in the car? Physical affection lowers cortisol which is the stress hormone. At the same time are you releasing oxytocin by touching, hugging and holding hands. Studies showed that it is the same hormone that is released during an orgasm, thus should touching be high on your agenda to build intimacy.
4. Start to listen
This is something many of us are guilty off, we stopped listening to our partners! When they speak, do you pretend to listen and answer half-heartedly, or do you actually look at them? And, not in an irritated, why are you interrupting the show I am watching or doing kind of look either? When you ask a question like “how was your day”, he might respond with “fine or ok”. Instead, ask him what stood out in his day or which part of the day was the best or memorable as that will avoid a one-syllable answer. He will almost certainly reciprocate.
5. Unexpected kissing and touching
When your partner is reading, kiss the back of his neck or kiss him in the elevator. Touch his cheek in the car, straighten his tie, play with his hair when talking in bed, play footsie when sitting together or give him a shoulder or neck massage or even a full body massage will do the trick!
6. Compliments go a long way
Women think they are the only ones that appreciate and deserve compliments, but that is completely wrong. If your partner is not the type to hand out compliments, teach him! Why should you not compliment him if he doesn’t compliment you? Tell him what you admire the most about him and compliment him on your favourite physical trait. Furthermore, compliment him on what he is wearing or share a great “remember when” moment. When your partner makes a decision, express confidence in him.
Psychology tells us that when you smile, with your eyes and your lips, your mood increases. When you come from work in a bad mood, your partner had nothing to do with it. However, we tend to take out our frustrations on those closest to us. Always keep this perspective in your head. When you walk in or he walks in after a hard day, give a bright smile that includes your eyes and lips. A smile will breed a positive connection from the first moment you see each other after a day apart. Don’t just look at your partner but give him your loving smile throughout the day too. When you are feeling down and someone greets you friendly with a smile, notice how your mood lifts and you will reciprocate.
8. Just Do It!
Have sex as much as you possibly could. In any relationship, intimacy is very important and one of the first areas that suffer is sex. However, this is one of the quickest ways to rekindle and reconnect with your partner. The most positive and powerful physical experience that a couple can share is, after all, making love. This is especially true when sex results in better communication emotional fulfilment, reassurance and security.
These pointers are not exhaustive. However, couples have different routines and actions that invite intimacy. Therefore, is it essential that since you know your partner that you find what works for both of you. The takeaway message is that you are the person responsible for the level of intimacy and closeness you feel. Even though the fluttery butterfly feeling might be gone, intimacy and love can be rejuvenated. And, it is grounded on actions based on kindness, compassion and caring.