LIFESTYLE

3 Tips to Restore Intimacy in Your Relationship

The article is developed in partnership with BetterHelp.

Everyone says that intimacy is the key to a happy relationship. But, what does having intimacy even mean? For some people, the concept of intimacy is closely related to sexual activity. And while it’s true that sex can help build closeness in a relationship, there are endless ways in which a couple can be intimate – and most don’t involve intercourse. 

Put simply, intimacy is when two people are able to share their innermost thoughts and feelings with each other without worrying about feeling judged or disliked. Deep intimacy requires a high level of openness from both persons in the relationship, whether romantic or platonic. 

Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into a routine and lose that powerful connection we felt so long ago. This is particularly true for many married and long-term couples who find themselves drifting apart due to unresolved issues, cheating, unmet needs, or simply because the spark has faded away. 

So if you’re looking to increase the level of intimacy in your relationship but aren’t sure where to start, here are three easy strategies you can try. 

3 easy ways to increase intimacy in your relationship

Spend more time together

Although spending more time together sounds really simple, think about this: when was the last time you and your partner spent quality time together, without the kids or one of you scrolling on your phone all night? If it’s been a long time, you’re not alone. We live in a busy world that demands us to be constantly on the go. And while you may see your partner every day, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re really spending time together. 

Spending quality time with your partner is by far the best way to become closer to your partner. After all, if you or your partner are not physically and emotionally present, there’s no intimacy to cultivate. Some signs that you may not be spending enough time together include:

  • You’re not happy in your relationship
  • You argue frequently
  • You’re always on your phones
  • You don’t make plans together
  • You don’t know what’s going on in their lives
  • You spend more time with friends or other family members

Improve your listening skills

While we’re on the topic of spending time together, open communication – which starts with active listening – is essential for healthy relationships. Active listening happens when you’re fully present in a conversation. Unlike passive listening, which is when you think about work or go over the grocery list while the other person is talking, active listening is a skill that you need to learn and practice consistently. 

Here are some tips to become a better listener:

  • Don’t interrupt
  • Make eye contact
  • Ask questions
  • Pay attention to body language
  • Silence any electronic devices and keep them out of reach during the conversation
  • Be genuinely curious about what your partner is saying

Many couples choose to see a marriage counselor to work on their communication issues. Click here to read more about how couple’s therapy helps build intimacy and strengthens relationships. 

Learn to speak your spouse’s love language

Everyone expresses (and receives) love and affection differently. Some people, for example, feel the most loved when they’re hugging and kissing their partner. Others when they feel heard or understood. In fact, according to the concept of the “love languages,” which were outlined in Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages: The Secrets to Love That Lasts, there are five main ways that people like to receive and express love in a relationship.

Getting to know your and your partner’s love languages can bring you closer and teach you ways to understand each other more. You can take the test on the 5 Love Languages website. 

These are the five love languages that people use to show and receive love, according to Dr. Chapman:

  • Words of affirmation: if this is your love language, you enjoy it when your partner speaks kindly to you, praises you, and validates your emotions with words of encouragement.
  • Physical touch: people with this love language feel loved when their partner hugs them, holds their hand, or cuddles with them. 
  • Quality time: this love language is about spending time together. People with this love language feel most appreciated when their partner gives them their total and undivided attention. 
  • Acts of service: if this is your love language, you feel loved when your partner helps you with important or overwhelming tasks or offers to do something nice for you. 
  • Receiving gifts: as the name suggests, people with this love language feel cherished when they receive gifts. They typically treasure not the gift itself, but the fact that their partner had them on their mind and put effort into getting something for them. 

TIME BUSINESS NEWS

TBN Editor

Time Business News Editor Team