When my therapist said to me, “Try being intimate, without being intimate,” I was a bit confused.
As I asked for clarification, my therapist explained this meant to be intimate with someone else without having sex. For me, this was a new concept because when I thought of intimacy, it went hand in hand with having sex.
Now as a therapist myself, helping others feel more comfortable with intimacy, I often ask them to practice being intimate, without being intimate.
By practising intimacy in a non-sexual way, couples have noticed an increase in their emotional intimacy and connection.
Couples can build an increase in emotional connection by expressing admiration, making appreciation statements, kissing, holding hands and giving an extended hug.
If you want to increase your emotional intimacy in your relationship, check out the suggested exercises below
1. Mix the heady concoct of music and food
Have fun together!
Cook dinner while dancing to your favorite tunes. Before you know you will find that both you and your spouse have transported to a fun and vibrant headspace, experiencing a heady rush of happy hormones.
2. Communicate in a relaxed environment
Lay in bed together when you get home from work, and talk about positive things that happened throughout your day.
3. Express thoughtfulness
Write a sexy message in lipstick on your bathroom mirror, leave a note for your spouse tucked in their shirt pocket, give your spouse a compliment.
Enjoy nature together, take a walk in a park, holding hands.
5. Practice mindfulness
Turn off the phones, sit next to each other quietly for five minutes, then talk about your experience.
When my husband and I practice being intimate, without being intimate, we find that our emotional connection is stronger and we want to be physically intimate.
If you want your relationship to stay healthy, practice building emotional and physical connection with your partner — which means, be vulnerable, live in the moment and have fun with each other.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
More by Loretta Parker