Intimacy can be brought about by three simple Ts: Talk, Touch and Timeout.
Talk is one of the easiest ways to communicate intimacy in a relationship. We need to tell each other what we need in a relationship. Many psychologists recommend packaging such requests in the form of a compliment. This avoids the request coming off like a complaint, which can lead to defensive behavior, which will stifle intimacy. For instance, instead of requesting that your partner watch less television at night, you could compliment them when they take time out to help with a house project, or take an evening walk.
Another idea to communicate intimacy is to write an intimacy inventory. You might be thinking to yourself, Oh, I would never get my partner to do something like that, but you’re wrong. Everybody wants a good relationship, and if you explain that this is important to you, you might be surprised at the cooperation you receive. Begin by listing the top 10 things you’re certain you know about each other, and then the top 10 things you’re certain they know about you. Exchange lists, and an intimate conversation will usually ensue as you both attempt to correct and understand each other better.
We know that touch is a very important part of intimacy, from the beginning of life, as a mother caresses her child, up to the very end, when our loved ones caress our hand as we pass to the light. The act of a simple touch has been shown in studies to reduce anxiety, reduce high blood pressure, decrease pain and fear, inhibit loneliness, and release endorphins in the brain that not only make us feel loved, but want to give it in return. Imagine the strength of such a simple motion, and then imagine its bonding power if used once a day. This includes everything from hugging to massaging each other’s head and toes.
You might be thinking, But my partner just isn’t the touchy feely type. That’s okay, because to experience the full effects of touch, you only need one initiator. It’s not important who makes first contact. While some people may claim they aren’t keen on physical affection, science suggests that if they are human, they are capable of learning to be. When endorphins are released in the brain following touch, a pleasant euphoric feeling occurs which simulates an injection of heroin. Such incentive can sometimes promote the initiation of touch in those previously classified as non-affectionate.
Taking time out from each other in a relationship may sound like backtracking in your pursuit to intimacy, but it’s not. Taking time to foster various hobbies and activities with friends is pertinent to intimacy in couples. Couples who do everything together are no closer than couples who spend time apart, and on some occasions can get on each other’s nerves more. Even our true soul-mate has differing interests and curiosities that must be fostered in order to be happy. If we hold back our own interests to match somebody else’s, we can suffocate our soul, thus sabotaging the relationship.
Sometimes it’s also a good idea to take a timeout from sex. There are at least nine other intimacies beyond sex that are arguably the true backbone to any relationship. Sex holds a lot of anxieties for couples, which can inhibit true intimacy. This can be avoided by simply throwing out the zero to sixty marathon of penetration and orgasm, replacing it with the relaxing pleasures of cuddling, kissing and massage. If you think your partner won’t go for it, throw in some feathers, body paint and fantasy role playing, and their curiosity will get the best of them.
The real secret to intimacy is taking the time to discover your partner, while allowing yourself to be discovered!
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