When we hear the word “intimacy,” a lot of us immediately think of sex. It’s true that sex is an important part of a healthy relationship, but it’s not the only way that couples can be intimate. In fact, it’s a good idea to look for ways to take intimacy beyond your bedroom—sharing intimate moments with your partner brings the two of you closer together and serves as a great reminder that you care about one another.
Here are just a few ideas for bringing more intimacy to your relationship. You and your partner might find that some of these ideas work well for you, or you might come up with your own ideas for what works best—every relationship is unique, after all.
5 Ways to Be More Intimate in Your Relationship
Have coffee together in the morning. Instead of just going through a rushed morning routine and heading off to work, get up a few minutes earlier and have coffee with your partner. Take this time to talk before you focus on the responsibilities of the day.
Look for opportunities to touch. I’ve written about how sex promotes a feeling of closeness in part because it causes our bodies to release oxytocin, the “love hormone,” but sex isn’t the only thing that causes our bodies to release this chemical. Even holding hands, hugging, or kissing your partner can promote that loving feeling.
Put away your phone when you’re with your partner. Smartphones can be very useful, but they also provide easy access to endless distractions. Don’t multitask by checking your email or playing your favorite game on your phone when you’re spending time with your partner—set aside a “no electronics” time when you can truly be present around one another.
Laugh together. Laughter is a universal tool for bonding. When we laugh with our partner, we’re sharing an emotional experience together. Not only that, studies have shown that laughing boosts both your mood and your feeling of closeness to your partner.
Go to bed at the same time. Whenever possible, go to bed at the same time as your partner. This gives you more one-on-one time to talk with and be close to one another before you fall asleep, whether you have sex or not.
Do you have your own ideas for strengthening your relationship, or do you want more advice about how to increase physical and emotional intimacy with your partner? Consider talking to a Houston relationship therapist—I would be glad to help you and your partner work towards that stronger connection you’ve always wanted.