Relationship intimacy works kind of like a ladder. You both start at the bottom, making low-cost bids for emotional intimacy.
These bids for intimacy include holding hands, touching, and sharing some softer feelings. If these bids are responded to well by your partner, you go up the ladder, toward higher-cost bids. These bids have more vulnerability attached to them, like expressions of love, commitment, bonding, and attachment.
Here’s 7 ways to increase your intimacy, and go up the ladder together:
1. Get to know something new about your partner. Ask him/her what their dream is for themselves five years from now.
2. Schedule a regular time each week to talk about how the partnership is going, almost like a “State of the Union” meeting.
3. Schedule time to do your partner’s favorite outing together.
4. Tell your partner what you sincerely like about their favorite outfit. Everyone wants to feel attractive/admired.
5. What is your partner’s favorite childhood memory? Find out the story behind this memory.
6. Find out what makes your partner feel most admired and special.
7. Watch for your partner’s bids for attention/intimacy, and make sure you acknowledge those bids as best you can.
These are all easy ways to start going up that emotional ladder. Try it out, and see how your connection becomes closer in just a short time.
The four simplest ways to manage conflicts in a way that brings you closer together, rather than splits you apart:
Arthur H. Belmont, LMFT
has over 20 years of experience working with children, teens and adults who are struggling with relational, emotional or behavioral issues.