“The spark’ is a phrase that gets used around romantic relationships. You might have felt ‘the spark’ at the beginning of your relationship and as a result, the early days were exhilarating for you and your partner. However, like every other flame, it will ebb and flow with the changing environment. When you think of intimacy, you may focus on physical attraction and sexual relations. However, intimacy is so much more. It encompasses the physical and sexual aspects of our relationship but must also include emotional closeness and safety.
At the beginning of your relationship, you couldn’t seem to get enough of your partner. You wanted to see them all the time, and they seemed always to be on your mind. Romance blossoms and intimacy feels effortless.
However, as time goes on, life gets in the way. Routines and the stress of everyday living make it almost impossible to sustain high levels of intimacy without concerted effort. It takes practice, time, effort and energy to keep intimacy on track.
Here are five ways to strengthen the intimacy in your relationship and keep your flame burning strongly.
1. Schedule time together regularly.
As your relationship develops, you will form a routine. However, habits can become boring, and we can start to take each other for granted. Try to shake things up by making an effort to do things that are special to both of you. These joint activities will provide a much-needed breath of fresh air in your relationship and help you discover new things about each other.
2. Take time to talk
Take time to talk about your relationship, hopes for the future and things that bother you. Not taking time out to communicate and instead of bottling up negative emotions leads to resentment. Explore the unique characteristics that make a relationship work. Working with a psychotherapist to help facilitate these conversations can make them fruitful and rewarding in strengthening your bond.
3. Be thoughtful.
Intimacy is not always about grand gestures. Writing your partner a love letter, stocking up on their favourite ice-cream or cooking dinner can make them feel incredibly loved and appreciated.
4. Make time without distractions.
It can be tough to focus on one thing in today’s digital world. Sometimes we can unconsciously pay more attention to our gadgets than to our love lives. Try, if possible, at least once a week to turn off all electrical devices, carving out time to enjoy each other without outside distractions.
5. Express gratitude.
Every night before bed express appreciation for one thing your partner did during the day, no matter how small or random. If you would like to explore ways to improve intimacy within your relationship and strengthen the bond between you and your partner, please do not hesitate to contact me.