‘The spark’ is a phrase that’s used a lot when it comes to romantic relationships. In fact, you might have felt ‘the spark’ in the beginning of your relationship, and as a result, the early days were very exciting for you and your partner. However, like every other flame, ‘the spark’ needs to be kept alive by both partners. When you think of intimacy, you probably imagine physical attraction, and sexual relations, however, intimacy is so much more than that. It encompasses both the physical and the emotional.

At the beginning of your relationship, you just can’t seem to get enough of your partner. You want to see them all the time, and they are constantly on your mind. Naturally, romance blossoms and intimacy is high and effortless.

However, as time goes on, life sort of gets in the way. Routine and the stress of everyday living makes it almost impossible to sustain high levels of intimacy without effort. It takes practice, time and effort to keep intimacy levels high in any relationship.

Here are 5 ways to strengthen the intimacy in your relationship, and keep your flame burning hot.

1. Do exciting things together- As your relationship develops, you are bound to form a routine. However, routines become boring. Shake things up by making an effort to do really exciting things together, such as climbing a mountain, going on a vacation, taking a special class together or going bungee jumping! It will provide a much-needed breath of fresh air in your relationship and help you discover new things about each other.

2. Have deep meaningful conversations– Talk about your relationship, your current lives, plans for the future and your emotional state. Try as much as possible to be vulnerable with your partner and let them see the real you. Lack of communication and bottling up negative emotions can lead to resentment. Explore the things that make your relationship work, and strengthen your commitment to each other. Having a therapist facilitate these conversations can make them really fruitful and rewarding.

3. Be thoughtful – Intimacy isn’t always about the grand gestures. Something as simple as writing your partner a love letter or stocking up on their favorite snack can make them feel incredibly loved and appreciated.

4. Make couple time- It can be really hard to focus on one thing in today’s digital world, and sometimes we unconsciously pay more attention to our gadgets than to our lovers. At least once a week, turn off all electronic devices and participate in an activity you both enjoy. You could watch a movie, cook together or massage each other. This gives you time to enjoy each other and connect on a deeper level.

5. Express gratitude- Every night, before bed, express gratitude for one thing your partner did during the day, no matter how small or random. This will help them feel loved and appreciated.

If you would like to improve your relationship and strengthen the bond between you and your partner, please book a couples counseling session with me today.

Priscilla Hurd, LPC, M.Ed.

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