Finding intimacy

Intimacy requires work. Every relationship needs intimacy to thrive and survive. Physical intimacy is vital to a healthy relationship, of course, but to feel fulfilled and close to your partner, you also need to find intimacy that is mentally and emotionally satisfying.

Couple talking about feelings

Share your past

Intimacy is more than the physical aspects of a relationship; cultivating intimacy requires honesty. Open up to each other. Talk about your childhood, tell stories about your family, share memories from school; include the good and the bad. Demonstrating that you can entrust your partner with your memories will create an intimate foundation for your future.

Plan your future

You don’t need to create a spreadsheet outlining your five- and 10-year plans, but if you don’t talk about your futures together, you’re short-changing your bond. Share your dreams. If you want to have a houseful of kids or dogs, share that with your partner. If your dream is to move up the corporate ladder through a series of relocations, be open. It doesn’t matter what your goals or aspirations are. Share them with your partner to deepen your intimacy.

Focus on small gestures

Little things make a big difference. Hold hands. Smile. Make eye contact. Turn off your cell phones. Small gestures show your partner that you’re paying attention. Listen to his story — even if it’s the third time you’ve heard it. Ask each other about your day or trade thoughts on a movie or news story. Find little ways to show that you see and hear your partner every day to get closer.

Show gratitude

Taking your relationship for granted is easy, especially if you’ve been together for a long time. Show gratitude for each other every day. Thank him for unloading the dishwasher. Give an extra-long hug or romantic kiss when your guy picks you up from work. Write a tiny love letter on a sticky note and sneak it into his coat pocket. Demonstrate to each other every day that you’re grateful for one another.

Make time for sex

When a relationship is new, it seems there’s always time for sex. When you’ve been together a while, though, sex tends to get pushed aside for other worries and obligations such as work, kids and chores. Prioritize sex. It may not seem sexy, but schedule it on your calendar if you have to. In between those sessions, kiss — and not just to say goodbye or goodnight. Hold hands, hug, and put your arms around each other. Touch and feel more intimate.

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