Love that Lasts: Using Intimacy to Enhance Your Relationship

Using Intimacy to Enhance Your Relationship

Every couple longs for a love that lasts a lifetime. For some, this dream becomes a reality, and for others, it may come to an end. Couples will at times find the initial stages of the relationship to be full of compatibility and patience, but lose sight of these qualities further down the road. No couple is exempt from this process, though some will seemingly glide through the rough patches more easily than most. Maintaining intimacy in a relationship is not an easy task, but the benefits of continued intimacy are endless. Practicing this skill early on can form a solid foundation for your relationship. And never fear: even several years into a relationship, a couple who focuses on enhancing and increasing intimacy can achieve love that lasts.

Benefits of intimacy

The first of many benefits stemming from intimacy is closeness

Does that sound too good to be true? Couples who regularly practice becoming emotionally and physically aware of one another often report feeling a greater sense of confidence in one another and in the relationship. Closeness can be defined in two ways. The first is physical closeness; in a relationship, it is vital to maintain physical connection. This does not have to be sexual in nature to enhance the connection between two people. The second way it can be defined in is-social or emotional closeness. This kind of intentional connection enables a couple to maintain intimacy from a distance at times when physical touch or closeness is not an option. It is this second form that allows long distance relationships to be successful.

Increased intimacy means more open communication with one another

Positive and fluid communication is itself, a wonderful enhancement to any relationship or friendship. How much more confident would a person practicing assertive and active communication be in his or her relationship? If both partners are fully invested in this practice, the emotional and physical connection increases dramatically in quality. Positive and healthy communication means you are likely to be on the same page – all of the time. Contrary to popular belief, this does not necessarily mean you will always agree, simply that you are each tuned in closely to the other’s message. Rather than listening to respond, each of you listens to understand. Being on the same page allows you to set mutual goals and work together to achieve those goals. You may each have different perspectives, but these differences are what make you unique both individually and as a couple. In order for healthy, open, and fluid communication to take place, it is wise to limit the distractions that might hinder you from achieving this in your relationship. The television, cell phones, computers or tablets, video games: all of these can be culprits to disgruntled communication.. Mute the television, put down the phone, or pause the game; giving your partner your full attention can go a long way toward improving communication. Not only will your partner feel valued and important, but being intentional about your time can increase emotional intimacy and create a lasting connection. The same is true when thinking about quality time together. Rather than spending all of your time together distracted by electronics or other activities, sit on the couch or in bed together in the quiet. Talk about how the day went or about upcoming events one or both of you anticipate with excitement. Talk about your worries or frustrations, about what went right and what went wrong. Taking the time to speak to one another, to just be with one another, without any other distraction can create a sense of security within the relationship.

Using intimacy to enhance your relationship is not a skill that comes easily. Practice makes better! You and your partner will likely never achieve perfection; we are all human and act selfishly at times. However, engaging in intentional behaviors on a day-to-day basis creates a foundation of trust. How much more confident would you feel in your relationship if you knew your partner’s intentions were focused solely on you and maintaining the intimacy between you? Evaluate the ways you and your partner show one another value and appreciation. Making slight adjustments may be challenging, but can prove to be significant in creating a love that lasts.

Elizabeth McCormick is a Licensed Social Worker and mental health counselor at the University of Evansville. She has worked for several years with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families and has pursued continued education in the fields of suicide prevention and community awareness. She is an advocate for learning and has had the opportunity to teach college courses in the fields of Human Services, Sociology, and Communication Studies.

More by Elizabeth McCormick