When you first meet someone new, getting to know them preoccupies a lot of your time. However, relationships that have lasted a while can become stale. You could start feeling more like your partner’s roommate than lover.
Fortunately, a little effort can restore the passion in your union. Here are seven ways to increase intimacy in your relationship.
Can asking the right questions help you fall more deeply in love with your partner? According to Mandy Len Cantron’s modern love life essay, asking your partner a series of 36 ever more probing questions creates the kind of mutual vulnerability that fosters intimacy.
The questions start somewhat innocuously. For example, one asks your partner to describe their ideal day. You should take notes — your beloved is offering you valuable clues about how to make them feel cherished and special. You’ll have a much easier time when their birthday or your anniversary arrives.
Later, you move on to deeper core value questions, such as what you would most regret not telling someone if you were to die today. Choose a time when you won’t be interrupted and are in at least a semi-private space, like a cozy corner of your favorite coffee shop, and have a long, intimate conversation. Alternatively, ask a question or two once or twice a week to reconnect and see how you’ve changed and grown.
Researchers studying what creates a romantic spark had people walk across two bridges to reach an individual of opposite sex. Those who traversed a heart stopping rope bridge suspended 200 feet over a gorge rated the individual as more attractive than those who took a leisurely stroll across a lower span. The adrenaline rush increased the feelings of attraction.
Why not pack up the car and hit the road for an impromptu getaway? Alternatively, consider doing something that gets your heart pumping on your next date night, like going indoor rock climbing.
Working toward a future goal can increase intimacy with your partner. When was the last time you discussed what you wanted your life to look like in a year or five?
Once a month, sit down with your partner to discuss your future and what you’re doing to actualize your dreams. You might find creative ways to work together to make them a reality sooner. For example, if you want to save to buy a home, you might start a side business together.
Life’s demands can come between you and your partner. So can your little ones — as much as you love them, your relationship needs adult time.
Keep date night sacred once a week with your partner. You don’t necessarily need to go out if money is tight. Put the kids to bed a little early and have a trivia night, perhaps while sharing a bottle of wine.
Everyone follows one of five principle love languages, and learning your partner’s can help you make them feel more loved. For example, if your spouse craves physical touch, you know to shower them with unexpected hugs and kisses.
You can take the quiz together on one of your date nights and share your responses. Get creative! For example, if your spouse appreciates gifts, you don’t have to max out your credit card. Bringing home their favorite snack when you stop at the grocery store shows you care.
When was the last time you and your partner held hands in public? If you haven’t done so since your earliest dates, it’s time to reclaim the habit.
Holding hands provides a sense of security, helping to quell anxiety. It also prompts your brain to produce oxytocin. This so-called “cuddle chemical” makes you feel more affectionate and has numerous health benefits, like lowering blood pressure.
Gadgets are glorious. They make remote work possible and provide healthy and amusing distractions. However, they can also come between you and your partner when you stare at your screens during dinner.
Create device-free zones in your home to increase intimacy in your relationship. For example, create a no phones at the table rule. Likewise, keep gadgets out of the bedroom. You’ll find you sleep more soundly without the blue light keeping you awake, and you’ll feel more inspired to snuggle or more without your tablet in hand.
Even the healthiest relationships can grow distant with time. If you and your partner no longer feel that spark, you can rekindle the electricity between you. Follow the seven tips above to increase intimacy in your relationship.