Creating or Renewing Intimacy
February 1, 2010 · Print This Article
Intimacy is personal for every relationship. Find out what helps each of you feel or sustain closeness and affection in your relationship. Here are some hints about some areas to examine and things to try to create, enhance, or sustain intimacy. Relationship are made, they don’t just happen.
Spending Time Together
Most people who feel close to one another spend a certain amount of time alone with one another. In busy times, with the demands of children and work, some couples find that they leave their time together as the last thing on their agenda. It might be important to put some special effort into scheduling or carving out some time regularly to spend with one another without distractions.
Most couples who report intimacy find that they touch each other in little ways when they are together: holding hands, sitting close, giving hugs when greeting or parting, touching the other person’s elbow or shoulder when talking, and so on. In more private settings, there is more sexual touching. Has the touch or physical contact gone out of your relationship? Can you begin to reinstate it with simple gestures, like giving each other backrubs or holding hands while watching television? That might go a long way toward restoring or sustaining feelings of closeness.
Telling each other things that are risky to say, because you might be hurt or criticized by the other person, is a way to create or restore intimacy. Couples often share their hopes, dreams, and vulnerable feelings early on during courtship, but less so as time goes on. Many a midlife crisis was brought on by one partner feeling that he or she could no longer share deep, vulnerable feelings with their partner. Take a chance with your partner by sharing something a bit risky. It could open the door to intimacy.
Drop Judgments and Communicate Compassion and Admiration
One of the barriers to intimacy is feeling that one’s partner doesn’t like or respect you or that you are being judged. Try dropping your critical feelings about your partner and developing some compassion or understanding, or acceptance of quirks or nondestructive habits. Does he love baseball? Instead of belittling his passion, try supporting him in his interest. Does she cry at movies? Don’t scoff and tell her she is being too sentimental, but give her the message that she is okay and you admire her for crying when she sees sad things.