Love & Relationships

How to Create Intimacy

02.20.12 Love Birds Cotton Candy Magazine

Intimacy is key in romantic relationships. Intimacy safeguards, even deepens, romantic love through the ebbs and flows of a relationship.  Many couples struggle to find a true level of connectivity and intimacy in their relationships. But for a growing, effective bond, intimacy must permeate as many levels of that relationship as possible, including mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects. All these connections are different but intersect and promote closeness.

An emotionally intimate couple is able to feel safe, share vulnerable private thoughts and moments. Both partners should feel nurtured, accepted and cared for.  Sexual or physical intimacy should provide the nurturance of mutual pleasure, openness, care, vulnerability and open communication.  So how to you can you build intimacy into your relationship?  Cotton Candy contributor and New York City therapist Irina Firstein gives us a few steps on how to create intimacy in your life.

No. 1 Never take your partner for granted.

A romantic relationship is always evolving, so be interested and curious in your partner.  Never assume you know everything there is to know about him or her.  Openly and honestly communicate which will spark interest between the two of you.

No. 2  Share vulnerable moments.

All of us experience many different feelings throughout the day. Share the good and the bad. In an intimate relationship you can express fear, doubt as well as strength and accomplishments. Express feelings of hurt, even if they involve your partner.  The two of you can build intimacy by caring for each other and responding in a ways that are not defensive, but open and inviting.

No. 3 Make your partner feel special.

Many wives and husbands become estranged because they feel they are not a priority.  Career, kids and other responsibilities may make your partner feel as if he or she is not priority.  Create feelings of care and love with every day verbal affirmations to show you care.  Extend a happy greeting when your mate comes home rather than continuing with your routine.

No. 4 Give your partner your undivided attention.

In this multitasking world we live in, focused attention is harder to give.  But look at your mate, touch him or her. Put your phone away, turn of the TV, stop the rest of the world from happening. Do it often.  And do it happily. These moments of deep, undivided attention, send a message that you are emotionally present and supportive.

No. 5 Recognize the importance of your physical relationship.

Sexuality is what makes a romantic relationship different from any other relationships in your life. It is the electricity that makes the lights turn on. Sex brings you closer and makes you feel good. Physical touch – with or without sex – makes you feel closer, reduces feelings of stress and isolation. Sexuality in a relationship needs to be put on the front burner and not relegated to the end of the list for the day. It is an aspect of your relationship that should be a priority, thought about and tended to.

Written by: Irina Firstein, LCSW

Irina Firstein is a relationship therapist in New York City. She has practiced in Midtown Manhattan for more than 20 years. She works with individuals and couples.

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