When thinking about intimacy in a romantic relationship, we typically think of sex. However, maintaining a truly intimate relationship – in which you can be equally strong and vulnerable – is much more nuanced and goes way beyond having regular intercourse.
This is not to say sex isn’t relevant – for many couples, it remains a significant part of the marriage, and it’s only natural if you’re seeking ways to rekindle the passion. Still, it’s essential to realize that there are different types of intimacy – emotional, sexual, spiritual, and experiential. Only when you focus on each of them will you be able to strengthen your bond with your partner.
You definitely don’t want your efforts put into cultivating intimacy in your marriage to feel like a chore. Luckily, there are numerous ways to keep the flame alive and get excited about being around each other again; here are some things you can try:
Keep Going on Dates
One of the best pieces of advice married couples can and should heed is to keep going on dates. Just because you’re already in a committed relationship doesn’t mean you should stop making an effort to impress and woo your partner.
Besides, dates don’t have to be grand or expensive, and you don’t have to puzzle over creative ideas for each outing – you can stick to things and activities you already enjoy doing together. Whether it’s a classic dinner-and-a-movie night out on Saturday, a weekend getaway once a month, or a picnic in the park to treat yourselves to nice weather, you just need to allocate enough time for actually doing this.
Going out is an excellent way to ensure you spend quality time together – time dedicated to each other without any distractions, such as work, kids, or household chores.
Seek Out New Experiences
Doing something new and exciting together is a great way to bring some novelty and zest into a long-term relationship. It can be anything – from learning to cook a new dish or taking a dance class together to going on a trip to an exotic destination or trying out a new sex toy (including strap on dildos and anal plugs).
As for the latter, you can start by sharing your sexual fantasies and then exploring those that you both find intriguing. For instance, you can watch an erotic movie together, try mutual masturbation, or even browse realistic sex dolls. However, bear in mind that you cannot force physical intimacy in a marriage – the very concept of sex being a martial duty is archaic, to say the least.
All in all, the key is to try something that will challenge you both in different ways while still bringing you joy. It should also help you bond as you support each other through the learning process.
Nurture Open Communication
One of the pillars of any healthy relationship is open communication, which is especially true for marriages. If you want to maintain a close bond with your spouse, you need to be able to openly and honestly share your thoughts, feelings, desires, needs, and expectations.
This can sometimes be difficult, especially if you’re not used to being vulnerable in front of other people. However, it’s essential to realize that intimacy cannot exist without mutual trust, and you won’t be able to build trust with another person unless you start sharing more about yourself.
Additionally, being emotionally intimate with each other doesn’t mean you have to share everything – it’s perfectly fine (and even healthy) to have some things that are just yours. The key is to be open to the idea of sharing and to make an effort to understand your partner on a deeper level.
Be an Active Listener
Of course, being open and honest about your thoughts and feelings is only half of the equation – the other half is being an active listener for your partner.
First of all, your willingness to share more about yourself doesn’t mean your partner will automatically do the same.
On the other hand, they might feel like opening up to you if they see that you’re trying to understand them. So, make sure you’re not just waiting for your turn to speak – really try to listen to what your partner is saying and offer them your undivided attention.
The best way to practice active listening is to repeat back to your partner what they just said, but in other words – this will not only show them that you were paying attention but also help them feel heard and understood.
Express Your Feelings with Touch
Many couples forget (or simply stop) being affectionate with each other as their relationship progresses. However, physical touch is just as important for intimacy as the ability to share your thoughts – it’s a way of showing your partner that you care about them.
So, make an effort to show your partner physical affection on a regular basis, and this doesn’t necessarily mean having sex. This can be anything from cuddling to holding hands to massaging each other or simply sitting close to each other while watching TV.
Still, you need to be mindful of your partner’s needs and boundaries – don’t force them to do anything they’re not comfortable with, and always respect their personal space.
Intimacy is the basis of any marriage, and it’s something you need to work on if you want your relationship to thrive. Fortunately, there are many ways to cultivate intimacy in a marriage, and the key is finding those that work best for you and your partner.
Of course, you need to be patient – it takes time to rekindle the spark, and it’s not something that will happen overnight. Still, as long as you’re both committed to making things work, you’ll definitely be able to keep the flame alive for years to come. After all, every relationship, especially a long-term one, isn’t a one-way street.
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