5 Keys to Building Intimacy in a Relationship

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Couple being intimate

What is intimacy in a relationship? Many people confuse intimacy with sex or something that is purely physical. However, you can be physically intimate with someone and not have any emotional intimacy and you can be emotionally intimate with someone without being physically intimate.

Intimacy literally means “close familiarity or friendship” (yeah, we Googled it). Being intimate with your partner means experiencing a level of closeness, comfort, or understanding that results in you feeling deeply connected emotionally.

So, to that point, let’s take a deeper look into intimacy. But before we do, take a second to define intimacy in your mind or come up with a few moments in the past where you felt “intimate” with your partner. What did those moment have in common? Where did you experience those moments, what were the physical surroundings like?

Got those moments in mind? Awesome! Let’s break it all down then!

Intimacy doesn’t happen with a snap of a finger

Sure, our goal with this post is to help show you how to create intimacy within your relationship, but realize that it doesn’t just happen. You cannot just light a few candles and expect the intimacy to be overflowing. It takes time, preparation, and effort.

If your relationship is lacking as much intimacy as you would like, or you’re not used to sitting down and deciding to be more intimate, it might feel a little awkward or strange at first. This is completely normal and it’s a hurdle you must overcome together. Remember you are both working towards the same goal.

The following sections will help you see the different factors that go into building intimacy. Like anything worth pursuing, intimacy does take effort. But if you are willing to put that effort in, that emotional connection between you and your partner is one of the best feelings in the world.

Intimacy is not just sex and it’s not just being physical

We already mentioned this one, but it bears repeating. Physical interaction is a result of intimacy. If your relationship is lacking physicality, it could mean that there is lack of intimacy.

If you think back to moments you would call “intimate”, most likely there was some sort of emotional connection (whether it resulted in physical contact or not). Creating intimacy has a lot to do with intention. If you go into a scenario with only physicality on your mind, intimacy is much harder to coax.

Open yourself up to your partner emotionally. Let them know what you truly feel. Even if you do this on a regular basis, doing it while you two are alone and your only focus is each other does great things for your intimacy and relationship.

Don’t forget about the atmosphere

In order to build that emotional connection, you must focus on your partner and eliminate external distractions. Because of this, the physical setting is important.

Going to a overcrowded restaurant where you can barely hear each other does not help either. When looking to create an intimate setting with your partner, choose those that help provide the focus needed to connect with your partner.

Even the buzz or jingle of a Facebook notification on your phone can be a mood killer, so try to silence your phone during this time as well.

Intimacy requires understanding, acceptance, and trust

Intimacy at its core revolves around the idea of trust, understanding, and acceptance. Being truly intimate with someone requires you to be able to “bear your sole” and to be open and vulnerable with each other. To do that, you need to feel safe and feel like your partner accepts you for who you are. Then, that emotional connection can be created.

Did we mention your senses?

A fun way to enhance your intimate setting is by using your senses. Dimming the lights or lightening the perfect candle can do wonders. Sweetening the moment with strawberries and chocolate can be fun as well! Believe it or not, your senses play a huge role in how we experience particular scenarios.

They can also have the reverse effect. Dirty dishes and stinky garbage (that, let’s be honest, should have been taken out a few days ago), can turn the moment sour. So, when creating that moment with your partner, look for ways to enhance your senses but also look for things that may be detrimental to your senses.

Ready to put it into action?

Now that you are an intimacy master, let’s put it into action! We’ve created 5 activities that are sure to help you build intimacy. The best part? Each only takes 15 minutes!