A common problem in long-term relationships is the loss of intimacy, with many feeling their partner feels more like a housemate, close friend or feels the relationship has become stuck in a rut, completing mundane day to day tasks and struggling to pay the rent or mortgage.

Maintaining strong intimacy is paramount to a successful relationship, that transcends intellectual, situational or shared experiences. Whether you are in a long-term relationship or not, cultivating stronger emotional connections can assist the continuance and satisfaction within a relationship. Below are some suggestions that may assist cultivate more intimacy in your relationship and help your relationship flourish again.

Types of Intimacy
To in order to cultivate more intimacy in our relationship, first it is important to decide what type of intimacy we are attempting to enhance. The following list below to narrow your answer:

Emotional intimacy: Sharing thoughts and emotional experiences more openly.
Physical intimacy: Close physical contact involving affectionate gestures,
Intellectual intimacy: Engaging in deep discussions and appreciating one another’s perspective.
Experiential intimacy: Engaging shared in shared experiences and hobbies.
Shared Experiences: Participating in activities, hobbies and adventures together.

Practical Steps to Enhance Intimacy.

Organise Date Nights: Schedule regular dates to engage in activities you both enjoy that allow the opportunity for intimacy to happen. Suggestions include, going out to dinner, a music festival, taking a walk along the beach, going camping over the weekend and visiting town markets.

Increase Physical Touch: Hold your partner’s hand while out in public, kiss them goodbye or upon arrival when you see them, hug them while you are watching a movie on the television with them while you are at home. Go dancing together, lay on a blanket and watch the stars together, or share a dessert or favourite snack together.

Increase Emotional Availability: Create a safe environment where your partner feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and emotions openly and honestly without judgement. Practice active listening by focusing intently on your partner’s words, emotions and concerns. Reflect these back to them to show you understand and validate their feelings. Show empathy and offer comfort by being fully present in the moment, free from day-to-day distractions, while respecting their boundaries. Lastly, during conflicts use “I feel statements” to express your thoughts and feelings, rather than persecutory language.

Increase Trust: Demonstrate consistency in your words and actions, following through on promises. Always share your true thoughts and feelings, even if an issue feels uncomfortable to address, and offer your support and understanding during challenging or difficult times.

Maintaining intimacy in relationships takes constant dedication and the desire to work together. Through prioritization of one another’s needs, and addressing any other barriers to intimacy, e.g., past trauma, depression, anxiety, etc., we can strengthen the bonds in our relationship enriching the quality of our mental health and life.