Sometimes we all seem to forget that for intimacy in a relationship to remain intact, we have to put in the work. It is innate in us to hold our lover’s hand and to shower love and affection. Lack of communication, unresolved conflicts, loss of attraction and many other such things can cause intimacy to wither. It requires physical as well as emotional support from both sides to bring intimacy back into a relationship and make it flourish.
Reviving lost intimacy in a relationship is an important and rewarding journey that requires a lot of consistent effort, understanding, and commitment from both partners.
Even the perfect relationships experience ups and downs, and these turbulences may sometimes make you feel that the intimacy between you and your partner is waning. Whether you feel disconnected from your partner or have a sexless marriage, lack of intimacy is detrimental to a healthy relationship and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Giving way for open communication, emotional vulnerability, and a willingness to explore and connect, can possibly bring back the closeness and passion that your relationship may have lost for a while.
In this detailed guide on intimacy, we will look at various strategies and tips on how to bring intimacy back into a relationship:
2. Understanding Intimacy in Relationships
What does intimacy mean in the context of a relationship? Before we delve into strategies to bring intimacy back into a relationship, it is important to know what we actually need to work on. Rebuilding connection with your partner on every level is a gradual process as intimacy goes beyond just physical affection; it also involves emotional, intellectual as well as spiritual connections between spouses.
Feeling seen, heard, and understood by your partner, creating a safe space for vulnerability, and nurturing trust and empathy are some of the common and obvious things that most people want or expect in a relationship.
Intimacy has several dimensions:
2.1. Emotional Intimacy
Both partners in a marriage or relationship need to be able to share and connect emotionally with each other. There should be no boundaries in expressing feelings or sharing your deepest thoughts, and providing emotional support should be mutual.
2.2. Physical Intimacy
This is the most obvious and apparent form of intimacy you and your partner can share. Physical connection and affection, in a nutshell, includes hugging, kissing, holding hands, and sexual intimacy. Also, physical intimacy has been linked to improved physical and mental health.
2.3. Intellectual Intimacy
The ability to share thoughts, ideas, and interests, engaging in meaningful conversations, and respecting you partner’s intellect. . Intellectual intimacy goes beyond mere surface-level discussions and can be enhanced by exploring more profound concepts with your loved one.
2.4. Spiritual Intimacy
This refers to sharing your beliefs and values with your spouse. It also involves supporting each other’s inner growth and personal development. For instance, you can engage in spiritually healthy practices like meditation, prayer, or self-reflection together, to help each other become better versions of themselves.
2.5. Recreational Intimacy:
Engaging in leisure activities and hobbies with your partner is vital in a relationship as it fosters trust and brings playfulness to a relationship. Its importance in relationships and marriages is often underestimated but, in reality, recreational intimacy plays a significant role and provides the opportunity for relaxation, fun and shared enjoyable experiences.
Let us look at some practical tips and strategies that can help bring intimacy back into your relationship:
3. Open and Honest Communication
Effective communication is the foundation of any successful relationship and is essential to create a safe and non-judgmental space where both partners can express their feelings, desires, and concerns. Being transparent in a relationship not only fosters trust and bonding but also prevents frequent misunderstanding between partners.
Honesty and open conversations pave the way for better understanding and intensifies emotional connection between partners.
Here are some tips for inculcating open communication:
3.1. Practice Active Listening:
Practice active listening by giving your partner your full attention, maintaining eye contact, and please do not interrupt when your partner is speaking or expressing his/her feelings.
3.2. Showing Empathy and Validation:
Showing empathy and validating your partner’s feelings is important and forms the basis of a healthy relationship. You should let your partner know and make them feel that their emotions are heard and understood. Constant reassurance is another form of love language that most people aren’t aware of or don’t realise sometimes. Empathy and validation can bring a magical change to your withering relationship.
3.3. Try to Use “I” Statements:
Whenever you are discussing sensitive topics with your better half, try using “I” statements to express how you feel instead of blaming or accusing your partner of making you feel that way. For example, you should say “I feel hurt when…” instead of “You always…”
3.4. Avoid Being Defensive and Take Responsibility for Your Actions:
Do not become defensive when your partner expresses their feelings or concerns. This might end up creating more trouble. Instead, remain open and receptive to their perspective. This will enable you to solve conflicts with your partner in a constructive manner.
3.5. Schedule Regular Check-Ins:
It is important for couples to set aside time for regular check-ins and discuss how each of you is feeling about the relationship . Use this time effectively to address certain problems and work together to find solutions.
4. Cultivating Emotional Intimacy
Emotional intimacy gives your relationship depth and meaning. It strengthens the connection between partners. Being vulnerable without hesitation, sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings, and providing emotional support to each other are the best ways to cultivate emotional intimacy with your better half. It requires active and consistent work from both partners to create a safe and supportive emotional space for each other in a marriage or relationship.
Here are a few tips to foster emotional intimacy between partners or spouses.
4.1. Express Appreciation Frequently:
In a relationship, it is important to constantly show gratitude and appreciation for each other. Expressing love and admiration through words as well as gestures is the key to a successful, loving long term relationship.
4.2. Share Daily Experiences with Your Partner:
You should take time to share your daily experiences, thoughts, and feelings with your partner and let him/her do the same. This will create a sense of closeness and intensify your connection with your lover.
4.3. Create Rituals of Connection:
Introduce and focus on practices that foster emotional intimacy. You could start with something as simple as sharing a meal together without distractions or dedicating time for a nightly check-in.
4.4. Practice Forgiveness:
Proceed with the relationship only if you are willing to forgive each other for mistakes they have made in the past. Unless you move forward with a clean slate, you can’t reach the height of emotional intimacy in your marriage. Holding onto grudges creates emotional distance and prevents you from seeing the good in your partner.
4.5. Show Interest & Support Each Other’s Dreams:
Partners should encourage and support each other’s goals and aspirations. Show genuine interest in each other’s dreams and share how you plan to achieve them. You could even discuss with each other innovative or alternative ways to pursue your dreams. This brings passion and motivates both individuals in a relationship.
5. Physical Affection and Intimacy
Physical touch is another powerful way to connect with your partner on a deeper level. Physical touch releases oxytocin, which is often referred to as the bonding hormone. Good sexual chemistry strengthens emotional connection between partners and creates a strong sense of security.
Here are a few tips to improve physical intimacy between partners:
5.1. Do Not Hesitate to Initiate Physical Touch:
Initiate and practice physical touch with your lover. Start with simple physical expressions of love such as hugging and holding hands. Small acts of affection can have a big impact on your relationship. With time, you can proceed with more intimate physical acts such as kissing and sex.
Do not rush as developing physical intimacy in a relationship is a gradual process. Make sure your partner feels comfortable and wants it as much as you do.
5.2. Prioritize Intimacy to Keep it Alive:
Schedule regular date nights or intimate moments together to prioritize intimacy with the love of your life. Your partner will definitely love it if you set time aside for them and give them undivided attention for a significant amount of time. Make sure you and your partner enjoy each other’s company and have a great time.
5.3. Explore Each Other’s Love Languages:
Everyone has a unique love language. To know your partner’s love language, open and honest communication is required. Therefore, it is important that you discover each other’s love languages and express love in ways that resonate with your partner.
5.4. Be Present During Intimate Moments:
Avoid distractions from phones, work, or other obligations when spending time with your partner. Spending quality time with your partner improves understanding and connection in relationships.
5.5. Explore Sexual Intimacy:
If sexual intimacy has dwindled, openly communicate with your partner about your desires and boundaries. Ask them what they prefer and would like to try out. Be willing to explore and try new things together to reignite the spark.
6. Reconnect Intellectually
Intellectual intimacy involves engaging in meaningful conversations and sharing ideas and interests with your better half. It requires partners to respect each other’s intellect as well as value each other’s opinions. Additionally, it gives partners in a relationship the opportunity to learn and evolve together.
Some tips to help people in a relationship reconnect intellectually are stated below:
6.1. Share Interests:
Find common interests or explore new hobbies together. Engaging in activities together and/or having common hobbies creates a strong sense of togetherness between partners. This, in turn, strengthens your intellectual connection with your dear one.
6.2. Discuss Meaningful Topics:
Engage in deep and meaningful conversations about life, values, goals, and aspirations. This will foster trust and credibility between you and your partner.
6.3. Read Together:
Reading is one of the best habits that people can and should inculcate. It is more fun when you have somebody to give you company. Read books or articles together and discuss your thoughts and insights.
6.4. Attend Workshops or Seminars:
Attending workshops or seminars on topics that interest both of you is another great way to cultivate intellectual intimacy. This can create opportunities for deep and productive conversations between spouses or partners.
7. Recreate Romantic Moments
In order to reignite the romance and nostalgia in your relationship, recreate romantic moments with your partner. This will keep the spark alive and contribute positively to the overall dynamics of your relationship. Don’t miss any opportunity to make your partner feel special and revitalize passion and intimacy in your relationship.
Tips to Recreate Romantic Moments are as follows:
7.1. Anniversary Celebrations:
It is a must to celebrate anniversaries and important milestones in your relationship. With thoughtful surprises and gestures, create memories with you partner on special days and occasions.
7.2. Revisit Special Places:
When was the last time you and your partner visited the place where you first met? Revisit places that hold sentimental value for both of you, such as where you had your first kiss, date or shared other significant moments. This keeps the love alive and reminds you of how long you’ve come with your loved one and how you’ve grown with each other.
7.3. Write Love Letters Throughout the Relationship:
Writing love letters is a innovative and meaningful way of expressing feelings. Whether your relationship is just a month old or you have been together for decades, keep writing heartfelt love letters to each other, expressing your feelings of appreciation and gratitude to one another.
7.4. Plan Surprise Dates:
To keep your relationship dynamic, arrange for surprise date nights or weekend getaways. This will give you and your partner a break from the regular monotonous routine and pave the way to create new memories together.
8. Prioritize Quality Time
In today’s busy world, it’s easy for couples to drift apart due to conflicting schedules and responsibilities. Prioritizing quality time together is crucial for rebuilding and retaining intimacy. The more you prioritize quality time with your partner, the healthier your relationship will get.
Tips to prioritize quality time:
8.1. Set Boundaries with Technology:
You could create or choose tech-free zones at your place or select specific times when both of you can disconnect from everything else (phones, laptops, etc) and focus solely on talking to each other.
8.2. Go on Regular Dates:
Fix a day every week and spend a date night with your partner. Remember, dates don’t have to be expensive; they just have to be meaningful and interactive. You can go out to eat or simply stay at home and watch a movie while holding hands.
8.3. Plan Weekend Getaways:
Occasional weekend getaways or vacations are other ways to spend quality time with your partner. It gives you the opportunity to stay away from everyday stressors and solely focus on each other.
9. Engage in Recreational Intimacy
Frequently engage in recreational activities with your partner to keep stress and boredom away. Recreational intimacy in couples creates shared experiences and fosters a sense of togetherness. It also nurtures the overall health of a relationship and adds spice to it.
Tips for Recreational Intimacy:
9.1. Share and Discover New Hobbies:
Discover new hobbies or interests that both you and your partner enjoy. Invest enough time on recreational activities and explore them together for the best experiences.
9.2. Workout Together:
Share fitness goals with your partner and work on them. You could go to the gym together or simply go for regular morning walks. This will boost your partner’s confidence and is a great way to stay fit and active while bonding with your loved one.
9.3. Play Games:
You can play card games, board games like chess and monopoly, video games, or enjoy outdoor sports like badminton with your partner. Playing games together is a fun and playful way to connect with the one you love.
10. Include the Element of Surprise
When everything gets too monotonous and predictable, intimacy can often begin to wane. Surprises can inject excitement and novelty into your relationship, rekindling the passion and intimacy that you may have lost with your lover for a while.
Tips for Surprising Your Partner:
10.1. Thoughtful Gestures:
When everything gets too predictable and monotonous in a relationship, intimacy may begin to wane. Surprising your partner with thoughtful gestures can help in rekindling the intimacy and passion that you may have lost with your partner for a while. These may include preparing your partner’s favorite meal, leaving love notes, or arranging for a surprise outing.
10.2. Gifts from the Heart:
Gifting is an important aspect of a relationship. Take notes on your partners likes and dislikes and apply them while choosing gifts for your dear one. Handmade gifts are also a great way to show affection as they exhibit personal effort and imagination. Giving meaningful gifts to your spouse shows that you care about and understand your partner’s preferences.
11. Support Each Other’s Dreams and Goals
Being each other’s cheerleader and supporting each other’s dreams is vital in a healthy relationship and fosters a sense of partnership and closeness.
Tips for Supporting Each Other:
11.1. Provide Active Support:
Show that you care about your partner’s dreams and aspirations and are willing to stand by their side as they pursue them. Show active support for each other’s goals and aspirations by providing encouragement and celebrating each other’s achievements. In case lacks confidence, cheer them up and motivate them.
11.2. Collaborate on Goals:
Work together as a team to achieve goals. It’s a great idea to set shared goals and create plans to achieve them. This will boost your confidence and further intensify your feelings for your partner.
Spiritual intimacy involves sharing beliefs, values, and a sense of purpose with your partner.
Some tips for enhancing spiritual intimacy are stated below:
12.1. Explore Spirituality Together:
You can start with engaging in activities that align with your and your partner’s spiritual beliefs – such as attending religious services or simply meditating together. If you’re someone who’s not so inclined towards spirituality, please be open to accepting your partner’s belief and explore it together. Remember, there’s no harm in knowing and experiencing new things with your better half.
12.2. Reflect on Your Shared Values:
Reflect on your shared values and frequently discuss with your partner about what kind of impact these values have on your relationship and life together.
13. Try to Manage Conflicts Constructively
Conflict is a natural part of any relationship, but how conflicts are managed can have a huge impact on intimacy. Learning to handle disagreements constructively can strengthen your emotional connection.
Here are a few tips that you can use to manage conflict with your partner:
13.1. Practice Active Listening:
In a relationship, it is important that both of you feel heard. Truly listen to your partner’s perspective during conflicts or arguments. Try to avoid interrupting or becoming defensive when your spouse is talking about his/her feelings.
13.2. Use “I” Statements:
Express your feelings using “I” statements to avoid blaming or accusing your partner.
13.3. Take Breaks if Needed:
Try not being overwhelmed during an argument. If you feel like you may say or do something extreme that you don’t mean to, stop talking, take a break and revisit the conversation when both of you are calmer.
13.4. Seek Compromise:
Work together to find a compromise or solution that considers both partners’ needs and perspectives.
14. Seek Professional Help if Needed
If you and your partner are struggling to reconnect and bring back intimacy, consider going for couples therapy. A professional can offer guidance and support to work through underlying issues in your relationship which will, in turn, facilitate productive communication between you and your partner.
Sometimes, the little things you do can make all the difference. Hold your partner’s hand once in a while and reassure them that you intend to be with them through thick and thin. And if you feel like you are the one losing interest, try spending more quality time with your partner. Maybe go out, have dinner together.
Or you could just Netflix and chill with your spouse. With consistent effort, dedication and commitment, you and your partner will soon start feeling rejuvenated. And you never have to think twice before seeking professional help. Prioritise your relationship and trust the healing process.