Couples often mean different things when they say they want more intimacy in their relationships.  The first step to gaining a more intimate relationship is figuring out what kind of intimacy you are looking for. Intimacy refers to unity, closeness, or shared positive experience.

Emotional intimacy – a sense of shared emotions and emotional closeness

Sexual intimacy – a sense of shared sexual good times together

Spiritual intimacy – sense of shared spiritual experiences

Social intimacy – a sense of bonding through shared social experiences

       

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        It may be helpful to gain a sense of where you are at right now in your relationship and where you would ideally like to be. Situate yourselves in the room based on where you are now, and imagine the length of the room is a ten-point scale. How close are you? How much distance is between you?  Then situate yourself based on where you would like to be.  What would it take to make this a reality in your life?

Feel free to use postures or poses to help paint this picture for yourselves, such as reaching out or crossing your arms.

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        Let’s use the idea of learning how to “CLEAVE” to think of different ways you might improve your intimacy:

C – Change actions to positive

A positive interaction is any interaction that feels good.  It can be big, like a long conversation.  It can also be small, like a smile or a light touch. A negative interaction can be anything from a devaluing look to a forgotten birthday to a large emotional fight. If your goal is increased intimacy, stopping even one negative interaction per day or week will have a huge effect. Also, try to do positive things that are easier to observe and that the person likes.

L – LOVING ROMANCE

How did you show romance to each other when things were better in your relationship? Try to show romance again. It’s important to agree not to argue or fight while having a date. Pretend it’s the first date, or pretend you are newlyweds, instead.

E – Employ a CALENDAR

You can adjust the amount of intimacy, distance and coaction you experience by arranging you scheduled activities differently. Try to make changes in your calendar to meet your needs. Even just the intentional use of a calendar to schedule intimate times can help!

A – ADJUST INTIMACY ELSEWHERE

Think about different areas of your life such as friendships, work or hobbies, in which you invest your emotional energy. These are areas that you feel “close to”.  Is there any area or relationship where you can pull back energy this week in order to invest more intimacy in your relationships with your spouse?

V – VALUE YOUR PARTNER

Valuing love builds intimacy. When we feel valued, we feel closer to the individual who values us. Each spouse should look for the partner’s actions that value the spouse as well as consider how they can express value to their partner.

E – ENJOY YOURSELVES SEXUALLY

Don’t worry about being a movie star lover, but focus on serving each other sexually and communicating well.  Make intentional time for becoming a better lover. Communicate with each other while you make love. Enjoy foreplay. Guide each other physically as to what excites. If this is an area of specific concern, take the time to seek help.