Smile at eachother more often, surprise them with a present or put away the phone for a few hours. Big gestures and declarations of love are very romantic, but true intimacy in a relationship is in the little things.
Intimacy is the cornerstone of a strong relationship. It’s not just the physical kind, but also the spiritual and mental kind. In the early stages of a relationship, intimacy comes naturally, but that changes. The genuine interest for the other disappears, what is there to discover about them after all those years? Lots, marriage counselor Sharon Pope says. She thinks of curiosity as an important condition for true intimacy. It doesn’t mean you need to have deep conversations night after night – who has time for that? No, creating intimacy is much more subtle. Doing the following 17 things (more often) can be helpful.
Surprise your partner
Get them a small gift, clean the house or surprise them with a night out. Not to get something done, or because it’s their birthday, but just because you can.
Let them know you're thinking of them
Even if it’s a busy day and there are thirteen more chores you have to do, a kind message only takes a few seconds.
Share what’s going on in your mind
Be open about what you’ve been through in life, what scares you, what you long for and what you look forward to.
Listen to them
Make sure you don’t get distracted when they tell you something, and really listen to them. Ask questions and try to imagine what it’s like to be in their shoes.
Everyone likes to get a compliment. It’s a way of showing them you appreciate them.
Talk about memories
Think about the nice times you’ve shared and talk about the memory with them.
Say ‘thank you’ more often
Thank them for something at least once a day. It doesn’t matter what for: whether it’s them taking out the garbage, or simply being there for you.
Allow them to be imperfect. Sometimes it’s better to compromise.
Do something for them
Clean the shower, take the empty wine bottles to the bottle bank or pick up clothes at the dry clearner’s. Help them with a chore they hate every once in a while.
Look each other in the eyes
Eyes are the mirror of the soul, use that to find out which page they are on.
Smile at them
Just stop what you’re doing when they walk into the room and smile.
Go on an adventure
It’s nice and easy to watch a TV show every night, but make sure you schedule new activities together, too. It doesn’t have to be something fancy: take time to cook, or plan a holiday together.
Give them fifteen minutes
No matter how tired you are, make sure you take at least fifteen minutes to talk about the day before you go to sleep. Especially in busy times, it can be a really powerful way to stay connected.
Deliberately turn off the phone, iPad or TV and focus on eachother.
Start a mini book club
Read the same book simultaneously and talk about it afterwards. Even better: read to eachother every night.
Plan a staycation
Block a whole weekend (really block it) and be tourist in your own city.
Go for a picknick
Fresh air and a nice meal with a loved one never hurt anyone.
Text: Joanne Wienen - Photo: Sweet Ice Cream Photography