There are numerous ways to be truly intimate with someone that do not involve sex. Intimacy frequently begins in the emotions, so start by strengthening your emotional connection with one another. Be open and honest with your partner, and practise truly listening to them when they speak. You can actually feel more bonded without having sex if you want to either keep sex out of your relationship because you aren’t ready or if you want to slow down your relationship and make it more meaningful.
Building Emotional Intimacy
1. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and express your emotions. Emotional intimacy entails being open and honest about your thoughts and feelings, even when they are unpleasant. Be open to discussing your needs, hopes, and fears with your partner. While opening up can be frightening, a good partner will be supportive and strive to better understand you.
Being open about yourself can help you and your partner learn and support each other in new and deeper ways.
Tell your partner, for example, that you want to be a pastry chef or get a graduate degree.
2. Together, you can build trust. Trust issues in a relationship can lead to conflicts and insecurities, especially if you don’t feel comfortable being physically and emotionally open with your partner. Make honesty a priority in your relationship. Make an effort to say what you mean and to mean what you say. Demonstrate that you can be there for your partner while also noting that they can be there for you. Respect each other’s physical, emotional, and social boundaries.
If your partner values privacy, for example, don’t share intimate details about your relationship with people who know them. Keep something private if you agree to keep it private.
3. When your partner speaks, pay close attention. A strong partnership consists of two people who not only hear but also listen to each other. While speaking, turn toward each other. Put your phones down and turn off the television. Pay nonjudgmental attention to what your partner says and provide supportive feedback. You should also have the impression that your partner is paying attention to you. You can increase intimacy by knowing that you can say whatever is on your mind without fear of being judged.
Active listening with your partner can help you build intimacy because you know you can rely on each other to listen and understand.
4. Inquire about your personal life. Learn about your partner’s inner life. Asking questions can help each of you open up and consider what has influenced you, what motivates you, and how you relate to one another. In order to encourage intimacy and sharing, ask questions that encourage intimacy and sharing. Focus on asking open-ended questions so you can elaborate on answers and start a conversation.
Inquire, “If you could be anyone, real or fictional, who would you be and why?” and “What would you say to your younger self, if you could?” “What would you tell your younger self?”
Inquire about your relationship as well. For instance, “What do you think makes us great together?” “How can we improve our communication?” and “What is one thing you enjoy doing in our relationship?”
5. Request assistance from your partner. When you’ve had a bad day, there’s almost nothing more reassuring than having someone to lean on. It can be difficult to ask for help or even cry in front of your partner, but knowing that they are there for you is often worth the risk. Furthermore, you may discover that they are someone you can rely on to be there for you, even when things are difficult.
For example, you could say, “I had a really difficult day.” Can we discuss it?”
Being Physical without Sex
1. Take advantage of every opportunity to cuddle. Cuddling is an important way to make contact and feel close without having to undress. Reach out and wrap your arms around your partner, whether you’re watching a movie or lying in bed, to feel that physical closeness.
Take your partner’s hand in yours, wrap your arm around their waist or shoulder, and try to include more touch.
Sometimes only one person needs to initiate contact.
2. Give each other a long hug. Hugging reduces stress and strengthens your bond with your partner. Make it a habit to hug your partner when you come together and when you part ways. For example, hug your partner before leaving for work or school in the morning, and hug them again after a reunion (such as seeing each other after school or work).
Wrap your arms around your partner and don’t let go right away to give a strong hug.
If hugging does not come naturally to your partner, ask for it.
3. Take a deep breath together. Without even touching each other, breathing together can be physically and emotionally intimate. Begin by sitting across from each other, facing each other. Begin by concentrating on your breathing and breathing with your eyes closed. When you’re ready, open your eyes and observe your partner’s stomach moving in time with their breathing.
The air you breathe will eventually become the air your partner breathes. Whether or not you begin to breathe together, you should feel in sync with your partner.
After you’ve finished this exercise, it’s a great time to talk and have those in-depth conversations that seem so difficult in other situations.
4. Join your gazes. Looking each other in the eyes can be a sign of love and connection. When you and your partner lock eyes, you may feel vulnerable or even fearful. Maintain the connection by stepping outside of your feelings of embarrassment or fear and focusing on your partner. Recognize that you can feel safe and secure even if your partner sees you as you are.
Spend some time looking your partner in the eyes. Sit across from each other and look each other in the eyes. Begin with 30 seconds and gradually increase the time until you feel comfortable.
5. Kiss fervently. Bring back the passion that comes from a good kiss or makeout session if your kisses have evolved into pecks. Kissing can help to improve intimacy, particularly in long-term relationships. Couples who kiss more frequently are happier in their relationships.
Give your partner a variety of kisses. Kiss on the lips, cheek, neck, hand, and other parts of the body, for example (this will not result in sex).
6. Experiment with intimate touching. You may not want to have sex, but there are sexual activities you can do together that involve many of the same feelings and sensations as having sex. Touch each other, kiss each other’s bodies, and lick each other, for example. These actions can allow you to be intimate without having to worry about some of the negative consequences of sex.
Discuss your level of comfort with your partner. Create specific boundaries for relating in a physically intimate way if you are purposefully abstaining from sex. For example, you might be okay with kissing but not with taking your clothes off.
Having Fun While Building Intimacy
1. Together, try something new. Taking a risk requires courage, and it may reveal a new side of yourself and your partner. You might discover that you enjoy something you didn’t know you could enjoy, or that you’ve never noticed about your partner. Adding a new experience can bring you closer together and allow you to bond over the new experience.
Try a boxing class, go karting, or a dance class, for example.
Use what you’ve learned from your intimate conversations to plan activities that you and your partner will both enjoy. Alternatively, you could try something unique to each of you.
2. Make a date more exciting by injecting some adrenaline. Adrenaline can make you more attracted to your partner and increase feelings of intimacy. Try something fun and possibly even a little risky together. Try skydiving, rock climbing, or zip lining, for example.
When couples are in a high arousal state, they feel more bonded and together.
3. Try something a little frightening. While you don’t want to be scared for too long, doing something with a small fear factor can be fun to encourage you and your partner to turn toward each other. Knowing you can rely on your partner for emotional support can help you feel closer to them and more confident in their ability to support you.
For example, go to a haunted house or go on a nighttime walk together.
4. Examine old photographs together. Take a trip down memory lane, and expose a younger version of yourself to your partner. Looking at pictures of your childhood and the people who meant a lot to you is a very personal experience. When you talk about the things that mattered to you and the events and people that shaped you into who you are, you expose a lot of flaws to your partner.
Show your partner around your hometown and share childhood memories. Then, request that they do the same for you.
It can be difficult to discuss family matters, but try to answer all of their questions.
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