Creating intimacy in your relationship involves more than great sex. A meaningful partnership is dependent on mutual respect, open communication, and making the other person a priority. Will that get your heart racing? Probably not, but it's important just the same.
"While sex can be a gratifying physical aspect of a relationship, most people also crave a different form of intimacy with their partners," says Jennice Vilhauer, Ph.D. "This type of intimacy is about emotional closeness and bonding." If you're trying to figure out how to be more intimate in your marriage, there are plenty of ways to do so that don't involve sex.
Read on for eight ways to reignite the spark and deepen the bond with your spouse.
Have a Heart-To-Heart Conversation
When it comes to nurturing a relationship, communication is everything. You may not have the time (or the desire) to engage in hours-long conversations like you did at the start of your relationship, but that doesn't mean you can't check in every so often. By simply asking your partner to share something about their day, you show your interest in their happiness and well-being. Setup a weekly coffee or happy hour date where you can chat and catch-up on each other's week. "It’s normal to think that once you’ve been with someone a while you know who they are, but once you stop asking questions and being curious about your partner, you start to make assumptions and are in the danger zone of taking them for granted," Vilhauer says.
Try switching off the television during dinner time and use that as an opportunity to communicate and catch-up on each other's days.
Leave a Romantic Note
Jot down a silly doodle, romantic poem, or something you love about your partner and tuck it in their pocket, desk, lunchbox, laptop case, or some other inconspicuous spot to be found later. If your S.O. leaves for work way before you even wakeup or gets home long after you've gone to bed, consider leaving them a sweet note on the bathroom mirror or the coffee machine.
Give a Thoughtful Gift
The present doesn't have to be expensive or over-the-top. The goal here is to show your spouse that they were on your mind by making a thoughtful gesture. You could swing by your partner's favorite coffee shop for some whole beans on your way home from work, or you could surprise your spouse with concert tickets to see their favorite band. Use the gift to show them you were thinking about them and care about their interests and passions.