How To Increase Intimacy In Your Relationship

November 11th, 2011

We recently talked about real intimacy and the three different kinds of intimacy that are essential to a marriage (in this post). Now how do we strengthen intimacy in our relationships?

Intimacy (emotional, intellectual, and physical) needs to be cultivated and constantly worked on. It is difficult to get intimate with our partner—in any way!—if we don’t create the right atmosphere. 

There are five necessary conditions to encourage real intimacy.

1. Belief leading to commitment. There should be the feeling of true commitment in order for each person to open up completely. If either one is holding back, it doesn’t allow for true intimacy in the relationship.

2. Sufficient time and proper pace. There needs to be an opportunity to have regular, uninterrupted time and to take things slow. Time is a key component to real intimacy. If you don’t have time for your partner except a few moments here and there, how do you expect to grow closer and more unified with each other? Slow pace and time for each other leads to real intimacy.

3. Privacy and Boundaries. Couples should establish boundaries with friends of the opposite sex as well as with other family members so they can share with one another openly and build trust. Like we discussed in this post, we shouldn’t talk about private matters with people outside our relationship and violating our partner’s trust. Without trust, like commitment, there is not a chance to become unified and grow closer together.

4. Risk. No area of human life takes more risk than human intimacy. You are opening yourself up in very vulnerable ways. But as you are learning to trust one another, you also have to take risks and rely on each other.

5. Sustained Effort. This should go without saying but real intimacy is not a once in a blue moon kind of deal. It takes a lot of continual effort to show love, support, kindness, charity, service, and so much more!

Since I’ve been married, I have realized the huge differences these five conditions have on intimacy, especially sustained effort. I cannot expect my husband to share his feelings if I am not continually showing my support towards him. If I am pushing him away more than creating a safe environment for him to open up, he is not going to want to open up to me and work on our emotional intimacy. The same goes for physical intimacy and intellectual intimacy.

These five conditions also help when it comes to differences in love languages. For example, my husband’s main love language is physical touch and that is the way he usually chooses to show affection as well. However, my main love language is quality time and that is how I show affection. With the differences in our love languages, we can easily have disagreements that affect our intimacy. But when we remember to take things slow, my husband shows me the quality time I need which leads to the cuddling that he may need.

If we follow these five conditions, especially continually putting effort into our relationships, we will be able to have stronger, deeper, and more loving relationships. Our emotional, intellectual, and physical intimacy can increase in our relationships. And couldn’t we all use a little bit more connection, love, and intimacy?