How to Build Intimacy

Three forms of intimacy and how to build intimacy

Intimacy outside the bedroom- It’s a whole new frontier for some people. That is kind of sad and important because intimacy outside the bedroom is what makes intimacy in the bedroom better, or there at all. Some people come in, and they complain that they aren’t having intimacy in the bedroom, but there isn’t any intimacy in their relationship, period.

I’m going to share with you three forms of intimacy and how to build intimacy.  

1. Do things together.

This may sound obvious. It’s all over social media, movies, etc…- you see a happy couple, and they’re doing something together.

People get busy. You work and your significant other works, you come home, and someone is making dinner and someone watching TV or with the kids. He’s on his phone; she’s watching a movie. And then they wonder where the intimacy is, or they think it’s okay because they’re going to have a date night. Then something happens, the babysitter can’t watch the kids, you’re too tired to go out, so the date night gets canceled. 

Doing something together doesn’t have to be sex, or it doesn’t even have to be talking, it can be anything. If you think about things that you do that you can invite your significant other to join you or can you join your significant other. Something as simple as getting ready in the morning, can you go to the bathroom and get ready at the same time? It doesn’t have to be an in-depth conversation to be intimate. It can be just hanging out together. What if your significant other is cooking, and you go in there and offer to be the taste tester or to chop up some vegetables, or sit and have a glass of wine together while she’s cooking. 

There’s a lot of different ways you can hang out together to increase intimacy. It doesn’t have to be a big production; it doesn’t have to involve a babysitter — just time hanging out together. You’ll be amazed at how much that can help out, one little change.

2. Are you an avoider of confrontation?

Most people divide themselves up into avoiders of confrontation or ones who dive head-on into a confrontation. No one likes confrontation. I’ve never had anyone come to me and say, “I like confrontation.” 

If you’re the action avoider when you sense difficulty, that is decreasing the intimacy. I know you think it’s increasing the intimacy because you’re avoiding confrontational topics or difficult topics, but it doesn’t work because you’re leaving and burying something that’s bothering you. Therefore, that serves as a symbolic wedge between you and your significant other. You may think you don’t show it, but most people in long term relationships sense that something is wrong, and that’s another wedge.

If you’re an avoider, try to step into what you think is going to be a difficult conversation. Here is a template you can use to ease that transition; you don’t have to dive right in, which may be very hard for you to do if you’ve never done it. 

Start by simply saying that you’re anxious about the conversation. You can talk about the anxiety before the difficult discussion along the lines of, “There’s this elephant in the room, and I am anxious about talking about this before I’m afraid it’s not going to go well.” If you say that, you’re preparing the other person for some difficulty or they’ll know you’re already in distress so there’s a higher chance that they’re going to try to soothe you, that they may not go off on a rant, or whatever it is you’re afraid of, because you’ve already told them this is hard for you. Use this as a way to bridge the avoidance.

3. Do you dive head-on into a confrontation?

Some people are more action-based- they describe themselves as taking action when they see something wrong they take action. So you’re either an action taker or an action avoider, in difficult discussions. The tip here is to try not to act. 

Sometimes taking action without giving thought to the timing, the purpose, the history of taking action- doesn’t go so well. If that’s your only speed, taking action, you’re missing the passivity. We have to keep in mind that there are constructive aggression and constructive passivity. Most people who are having relationship trouble tend to idealize one of these. They’re either all about taking action or constructive aggression or all constructive passivity. Ideally, we want you to be able to pull out the most appropriate one of these, given the situation.

These are simple ways to bridge the gap between you and your significant other, which teaches you how to build intimacy and increases intimacy.

Let me know how it goes! (757)340-8800.

For more topics, go to www.drldabney.com or www.lauradabney.com