03 Jan 12 Ways to Create an Intimate Connection
1. Practice Effective Communication Skills
There are many ways to develop effective communication in your relationship. One of them is to be present with your partner, which includes temporarily setting things aside in order to give them your full attention. Put your cell phone away, take your eyes off of your computer and turn off that T.V. Active listening isn’t about you, so hear your partner out. Focusing on them includes making eye contact while they are talking to you. It’s also good to remember that they may just need to vent about something and don’t always need your advice or opinion. Being heard and feeling as though your partner is interested in what you are saying is important, so try not to think about what you want to say next and let them speak their mind. Another thing to remember is to practice empathy. Put yourself in their shoes and try to feel how they are feeling. This can help how you figure out a way to react to them and what they’re saying. How would you want someone to react to you? Reflecting back to them what you heard them say is a good way to show that you are listening. This way, if you get the message wrong they can correct you right away. Finally, practice mindfulness and focus on what is going on right now – not what happened last week or what is going to happen in the future.
2. Maintain Eye Contact
As mentioned above, eye contact shows your partner that they have your full attention. It also shows trust, respect, vulnerability, and openness, and increases the likelihood that your partner will feel understood. For these reasons, eye contact can lead to deeper intimacy between two people. Remember when you first started dating? You could hardly keep your eyes off of each other! When did that change and why?
3. Show Physical Affection
Physical affection does not have to be sexual. It can be as simple as holding hands, cuddling, hugging or kissing. These kinds of physical affection increase the amount of the love hormone “oxytocin” that our bodies produce. This is the hormone that gives us all the good feels! Instead of relying on words alone, show your partner how you feel with actions. Sometimes showing physical affection can be a meaningful way to share how you feel with your partner, rather than just a way to get your partner to have sex with you. Don’t be shy and use your touch!
4. Be Emotionally Available
It may seem like this is an easy thing to do, but many people find it difficult to share details of their lives with others, even with those closest to them. They may worry that they will be judged, or believe that their thoughts aren’t valid or valued. But when we aren’t emotionally available to our partner and don’t share intimate details with them, they may begin to feel as though they are undervalued, underappreciated, or untrustworthy. So go ahead and tell them about what’s going on at work, or with your family and friends. Let them know about your feelings, thoughts, dreams, interests and what you are passionate about. Reveal your personal wants too, like those that come from deep down where you feel most vulnerable. This will show your partner that you trust them to accept the person that you are, and should help increase that intimate connection.
5. Accept Your Partner
Becoming emotionally available to your partner has the added bonus of allowing them to become emotionally available to you. Tell your partner those embarrassing stories that you can now laugh at and share those irrational thoughts that come creeping in. We all have them! Your partner needs to feel confident that you will accept their quirks, insecurities, embarrassments, and desires, and not disregard how they feel or what they’re thinking. Be each other’s best friend, be open-minded, and talk about the things that move you.
6. Share Your Happy Feelings Too!
Tell your partner how they make you feel. What do they do that gives you all those good feelings? Why is your life better with them in it? What are you grateful for? Tell them how they are appreciated, valued and most importantly loved.
7. Be Supportive
You can show support in physical and emotional ways – sharing, listening, touching, holding each other, hugging, kissing, etc. You can give support by sharing advice, opinions, and experiences (just be careful not to tell your partner what to do!). In doing so you can give your partner necessary self-esteem boosts and build up their confidence. It is all about balance. Let your partner know what kind of support you need and how much you need it, but listen to them when they share with you about the support you give and how you can improve in order to best help them.
Trust is an important aspect of intimacy. Supporting yourself and being mindful of your feelings will give you confidence when you are with your partner and when you are alone, allowing you to trust them. Be dependable for your partner, come through on the promises you make, be honest and be open – this will allow them to trust you. Do what you say and say what you mean! When there is trust, the walls you have built will come down and the fears and worries you have will begin to fade away. Trust helps intimacy to grow and to be maintained.
Boost your mood and boost your relationship! Be silly, tease, have fun and make each other laugh. Laughing doesn’t just show that we think something is funny; it is also a way to connect with others. Have you ever caught yourself mimicking the gestures or facial expressions of someone you are talking to? Have you ever caught yourself joining in on someone else’s laughter? I bet you do it more often than you think! Laughing makes us feel good and it’s contagious, so share lots of laughs with your partner.
10. Find Common Interests and Do Them Together
What kind of interests do you and your partner have in common? Is there something you’ve been meaning to get out and do together? Why not share in more experiences together? Engaging in activities together and giving yourselves a shared history (maybe even one to laugh about!) will increase your closeness.
11. Go To Bed Together
Remember how exciting pillow talk was in the beginning of your relationship? Bring that back! Take the opportunity when you are both in bed to tell them something funny that happened to you that day or something that’s been on your mind. Give yourselves time together to unwind after a crazy day.
Couples that have a fulfilling sex life tend to feel closer to one another in other parts of their relationship. Recognize that men and women have different sexual response cycles. For men, they may want to be more intimate when they are having sex, whereas women may be more interested in sex after intimacy has increased in other areas. The more you show your partner how loved, valued, and appreciated they are, the more likely they are to want to have sex with you. Build that up throughout the day or week by sending them sexy texts, by telling them they’re beautiful and by expressing how important they are in your life. Make your partner feel desired! Let them know how much you enjoy having sex with them. Have conversations about what you would like them to do to you and what you would like to do to them. Use language like, “it feels good when…” Sex should be fun for both of you, so be silly, laugh, enjoy yourselves and try new things. Remember to stay in the moment. Concentrate on all of your senses – touch, smell, taste, sound, and sight. When you are being present it can make sex more intense. Finally, sex means something different and is different for everyone. Try not to compare your sex life to things you see or hear about from other people. Be free and enjoy your sexual experiences! If you want to try something fun, create a fantasy box and write down fantasies you have. What turns you on? What is something you find exciting? Is there a particular scene you would like to act out? After you’ve written down your idea, put it in the fantasy box. These should be fantasies you would like to try out and some that you think would just be fun talking about and not actually doing. Then, sometime when you and your partner are up for it, pull out the fantasy box and go through a couple. You never know where things might go from there!
Please feel free to get in touch with me at Bliss Therapy if you ever need, or want more information on how to enhance your sex life!
Your Bliss Sex and Relationship Specialist, Lindsay