Boost intimacy without sexual contact? Yes, you can!
Of course, sex plays a very important role in a long-term relationship. However, intercourse is just one path to a loving, satisfied union. There are many other lovely ways to feel connected and close to your partner.
Take into consideration the daily discussions, rituals, and bonding moments you share with your partner on a day-to-day basis. Even non-sexual interactions such as these should be honored and cherished. After all, they are often the backbone of your relationship!
So what happens when those moments start to wane, become repetitive, or seem a little stale?
Never fear! Read and employ the following list meant to make sure you can boost emotional and physical intimacy a little more each day:
1. Start the Day with Pillow talk and a Cuddle
Before life rushes in to steal you away from each other, roll over for a bit of snuggling and face-to-face connection.
2. Establish Separation and Reunion Rituals
It’s comforting to know you are missed when you are gone and welcomed when you return. Stoke the fires between you by sending each other off warmly with a lingering kiss and a long embrace. Greet each other similarly, even add a boxed dessert or glass of wine to sweeten the moments you come together again.
3. Hold Hands to Boost Intimacy
There’s nothing like the sense of connection that comes with holding hands. When your partner reaches for you, it feels good to be seen and wanted. The sense of safety and comfort that comes from bonding through simple, non-sexual touch is invaluable.
4. Ensure that Fond Feelings Flourish
Kill the tendency to criticize and nitpick. Keep each other’s positive characteristics and attributes in the forefront of your minds. Express more positivity than negativity. Compliment and celebrate your partner. Accept each other’s flaws with grace and love.
5. Use Your Tech to Touch Base
Our screens tend to distract and divide our attention, stealing intimate moments. Take charge of your tech. Put it to work daily as a date night scheduling, love-text writing, “just called to say I love you” machine.
6. Faithfully “Turn Toward” Your Partner
Well-known relationship expert and researcher John Gottman notes that you can boost intimacy when you make every effort to turn toward your partner’s bids for attention and connection. Be good listeners, show empathy and compassion. Turning away or against your partner will result in resentment and broken connection.
7. Send Your Love through Snail Mail
Who doesn’t love a love letter? It says that your partner took time to consider your connection, write out their feelings, and send it to you the old-fashioned way. It is lovely and endearing to read and reread pages that cannot be deleted or lost if you lose your phone.
8. Go Green: Candlelight Dinners and Long Walks
Turn out the lights and save on gas several nights a week, all while building the romance and intimacy into your evenings. Make plans to slow down. Look deeply into each other’s eyes over a meal. Walk and talk afterward… hold hands too!
9. Share Your Sweetheart’s Enthusiasm
Do you and your partner have beloved hobbies or interests? Why not throw yourselves into each other’s favorite activities? Simply demonstrating that you want to understand each other’s enjoyment speaks volumes. Sharing it with them can be loads of fun.
10. Do More Life Together
It seems simple, but we often forgo intimacy in the simplest ways. Deepen affection and connection by sharing all kinds of everyday chores and activities. Run errands, get groceries, and cook meals together. Seek each other out. Enjoy each other, reminisce, make the mundane fun.
11. Don’t Hold Back on Daily Gratitude
When you show each other appreciation, you build intimacy immediately. Knowing that your partner considers you a gift strengthens the bond. You’ll want to continue pleasing each other and giving each other reasons to think highly of one another.
12. Share, Talk, Laugh, Repeat.
Communicate with curiosity, common ground, and connection as your primary goals. Practice being able to converse, have conflict, and come together again with a strong sense that you belong to each other, even through disagreement.
Work on remaining open and vulnerable. Encourage deep sharing and make time for it.
Give each other room to table issues if you need to and interject humor (but never at your partner’s expense) to maintain your connection as much as possible. Most of all, don’t let any issue drive a wedge between you. Passion and friendship will both be boosted by a willingness to come together to repair your relationship when necessary and reconnect without long delays.
Ultimately, boost intimacy in ways that make you comfortable and bring delight to each other. Relish your connection and make the most of love.
Jill Baumgarner, MA, LPC Intern, works with couples and individuals at the Relationship Counseling Center of Austin who are looking to reclaim the spark in their relationship. If you and your partner are seeking therapy to enhance intimacy—in or out of the bedroom—give Jill a call at (512) 270-4883, ext. 108, to schedule an appointment. You can also request a session online by visiting our RCC Austin Scheduling page. We hope to hear from you.