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 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.
Couples can work on increasing emotional connection by expressing admiration, making appreciation statements, kissing, holding hands, and giving an extended hug.
Emotional intimacy plays a significant role in building the connection between couples. It solves communication problems and creates the bond of an eternal union. In short, it is the best way for spouses to express their feelings of love for each other.
If you want to increase your emotional intimacy in the relationship, check out the suggested exercises below:
1. Mix the heady concoct of music and food
Have fun together!
Cook dinner together while dancing to your favorite tunes. Before you know, you will find that both you and your spouse are transported to a fun and vibrant headspace, experiencing a heady rush of happy hormones.
Choosing to talk to each other and listen to each other without judgment helps you both understand each other better, leading to better emotional intimacy.
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.
Efforts should always be two-way. Make sure you both put in thoughts and hard work into the relationship. Some of the ways in which you can be more thoughtful are:
Remembering dates in your relationship like birthdays, anniversaries, the day that marks your first hug or kiss, etc.
Standing by your partner’s side during tough times. Keep everything aside when your partner needs you.
Preparing a list of gift ideas to surprise your partner every now and then and on important days.
Doing things for your partner even if you don’t like them. For example, watching their favorite movie with them, trying their favorite cuisine, etc.
Enjoy nature together, take a walk in a park, holding hands. Taking a walk is known to make the relationship healthy. Going for dinners or movies has a specific goal, but if you both take out time to go for a walk with each other, it means dedicating the time specifically to the partner.
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.
Loretta Parker, has a passion for helping others who want to create healthy relationships. Her style of therapy is warm, engaging and straightforward. Loretta uses an approach which is client centered and provides care, education and tools to help clients with their therapy focus. Loretta maintains a private practice in Sacramento where she helps individuals, couples, families and groups discover where their relational patterns originate from and teach them relationship building skills. Loretta also helps people with trauma recovery by using Brainspotting, Mindfulness and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In 2018 and 2019 Loretta received a Style Magazine award being voted #1 for Best Mental Health Professional.