Do feel that you and your partner are not as connected as you used to be? Does it seem like something is missing? Could it be emotional intimacy? This can happen, especially in long-term relationships. We tend to get comfortable over time, and that can make us feel that we are in a rut. On some level it feels good, and on another level it doesn’t. Don’t worry if you feel this describes your relationship. Here are some simple things you can do to increase intimacy in your relationship.
- One-Minute Hug. This may feel like an eternity. You may even laugh when your try this (that in itself increases connection). When you and your partner hug it releases oxytocin, which is your bonding hormone. Oxytocin is also found in breast milk. It makes us feel close to our partner.
- Share one thing you love or appreciate about each other daily. Perhaps you or your partner feels that you have been taken for granted. Might it be nice to hear your partner tell you he or she appreciates that you make dinner, or take the trash out? Would it be nice to hear that your partner loves that you are so caring, or beautiful, or sexy? These add deposits into our emotional bank accounts.
- Spend 10-20 minutes per day sitting on the couch and talking. No kids, TV, phone, etc. Many couples say, oh we talk. Typically this is done while doing other things. What I am talking about is giving each other your undivided attention. It is amazing how much you can talk about in that time frame. It may even feel weird the first time you do it.
- Have a date night. I recommend that couples do this weekly. At a minimum, twice a month. You need to connect as a couple. It is so easy to get caught up with kids and their schedules. Many relationships end or affairs begin, as the kids get older, because you or your partner has lost touch with each other.
- Share a fantasy with each other. This is the most intimate type of conversation you can have. Neither of you has to act out the other persons fantasy if you are not comfortable. If you are have fun. Remember, no ridiculing the other person for sharing, even if you think the idea is crazy. Your job is to make it safe for your partner to be vulnerable, and share with you.
These are some simple tips that I give to many couples in therapy. If you want to learn more ways to increase emotional intimacy in your relationship, give me a call at 713-304-6554.
Debbie Grammas, PhD