We often associate intimacy with the bedroom and physical acts of affection. It is helpful, however, to participate in intimacy foreplay before diving between the sheets. The connection that non-sexual intimacy fosters deepens connection and can enhance the physical pleasure of both partners when it’s time for sex.

Appreciate the Small Things

Day-to-day life has a way of casting a shadow over our perception of our relationships, making it easy to focus on what your partner is not doing. Try appreciating and looking for the small acts of kindness from your partner not only makes them feel appreciated, but also generates more positive feelings about your partner and encourages more of the same.

When you search your relationship for the small everyday treasures, you may find them everywhere.

Touch Your Partner Warmly

Why reserve physical touch for the bedroom? If you and your partner both have careers or children (or both!) your “together” moments can feel fleeting. Each moment with your partner is an opportunity to connect, even if it’s not a particularly special event.

Making dinner or running to the grocery store often feels like drudgery. A warm, affectionate touch to their arm or the small of their back turns daily chores into an opportunity for deeper intimacy. It also lets your partner know you are present with them. Use warm touch as a way to say, “I’m here with you.”

Look into Your Partner’s Eyes

When is the last time you looked deeply into your partner’s eyes? Twenty seconds of presence through eye contact can connect and arouse both of you. Life is busy, and eye contact is a nourishing way to greet one another. It gives you and your partner a way to support one another without having to speak a single word.

Try a fun and valuable bit of homework: Practice Diane’s Kind Eyes exercise with your lover.

If You Look for Trouble, You Will Find It

Your focus becomes your reality. If you zero in on your lover’s shortcomings, it becomes all you can see. None of us is perfect. We have good and bad days. Giving a little leeway to be human, and looking at the big picture can heal a bad attitude about your relationship.

Better yet, call or text your sweetheart to let them know you are thinking of them.

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One Comment

  1. Lisa Damian June 21, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    I would love to see more content about establishing, cultivating, supporting emotional intimacy in relationships that are not sexual or part of marriage/partnerships. Parent/children, siblings, friends, colleagues. I took in an 18 year old young man who was trying to escape a pretty toxic parenting situation with a mother whose mental illness has gone untreated for over 20+ years. Working with a therapist – and his agreement, we engaged a ‘reparenting’ effort. He struggles to feel like he is ‘connecting’ to people and so far the only way he seems to be able to have an emotional connection is through sex. He quickly merges with a new lover and she looms very large and then it falls apart but only after moving toward co-dependence. He is distraught by this. A book or set of blog entries that help young people understand basic attachment theory and the actions – inward and outward – that help slowly grow soul connection to another human being would be so helpful. Sort of a User Manual for how to grow friendships. Perhaps this already exists and I am just not aware of it. I would appreciate being directed to these resources as I work with a lot of young people who are struggling with this to some degree or another. The Sex Act does not necessarily generate emotional intimacy. And emotional intimacy is not necessarily connected to the sex act, although when they are it is so wonderful. How can we support people of all ages, sex, gender and such learn to be more available to connection and to practice the actions/habits that grow emotional intimacy?

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