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Thread: 20 ways to get intimacy back in your relationship

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    Default 20 ways to get intimacy back in your relationship

    Moments of shared intimacy not only bring us joy, they can sustain a relationship when times are tough
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    Keep asking questionsCouples therapists agree that a failure to communicate is at the root of many relationship problems. If you talk with your partner but the conversation is usually about the kids, money, or the fact the dog was sick that morning, it's time to refocus.







    Pillow talk
    There is something magical about the whispered conversations we have in bed. Lying together under the covers lends itself to intimacy. If you do nothing else, change your routine so that you spend some quality time between the sheets together, even if it's just to talk.

    That means banning the TV and the kids from the room and making sure you go to bed at the same time - if only for a few nights of the week. With emotional intimacy re-established, you're likely to find sexual intimacy improves too.
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    Give a compliment
    It's easy to criticise and complain but too much negativity will erode even the strongest of relationships. Studies show that it takes seven positive comments to balance out a negative one - so start spreading the love!

    Everyone likes to feel noticed and appreciated and an unexpected (but heartfelt) compliment can go a long way. Does he have great arms? Do you love the way she giggles? Focusing on the positive helps build rapport and create a trusting space for intimacy to grow.






    The power of touch
    Good communication isn't just about talking. A hug at the end of a hard day or a reassuring squeeze of the hand can mean so much. If you find you rarely touch your partner, it's worth getting back into the habit.

    Make a conscious effort to hold hands when you go out, whether in the street or a restaurant. If sex has been off the agenda for some time, small touches can help re-open the door to physical intimacy.
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    Remember to kiss
    Research shows that couples who kiss every day are more likely to stay together. In some ways, kissing is more intimate than sex (remember Julia Roberts and her no kissing rule in Pretty Woman?).

    Relationship therapists report that couples often stop kissing before they stop having sex. If your partner is lucky to get a peck on the cheek, surprise them with a full on smooch next time they walk through the door.





    Water sports
    Many couples find they lose some of the intimacy they once enjoyed after starting a family. In the post-pregnancy days that can be down to tiredness, adjusting to new roles or feeling less attractive. As the children grow, it can simply be a case of not having any privacy!

    If you can't keep the kids out of your bed, consider locking the door and taking a shower together each morning or take a long hot soak in the bath once they're asleep. Good clean fun or the potential to get dirty - it's up to you.
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    Try something new today
    Most relationships hit the 'stuck in a rut' stage at some point. The adrenaline-fuelled rush of those early days can feel like a lifetime ago but that doesn't mean you can't get some of the excitement back.

    Escape your daily routine and do something new: learn to salsa, book a hot air balloon ride, take an acting class together, anything that gets you out of your comfort zone. A shared new experience will bring you together - and give you something new to talk about, if nothing else!






    Scare yourself silly
    Talking of an adrenaline-fuelled rush... pick an activity that's exhilarating for your day out and you could very well get the blood pumping in your relationship too.

    When we do something scary the body releases a huge surge of adrenaline, which mimics the hormones we experience when we fall in love. A rollercoaster ride, sky diving, car racing or watching a scary movie together will leave you breathless and ready for even more excitement.
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    Get away from it all
    Even strong relationships can stagnate if you don't look for new ways to explore and enjoy each other's company. The fastest way to kick start things is to take a break from everyday life. Visit a foreign country and experience new cultures and you're likely to learn things about each other too.

    Can't afford a foreign holiday? Go camping instead. Fresh air, sunshine and getting back to nature will leave you feeling refreshed and new - plus, the kids will love it.





    Surprise one another
    Most of us accept that it's natural for a relationship to change over time (research suggests the initial excitement stage lasts for 18 months) but that's no reason to let things get stale.

    Surprise your partner with tickets to an event you know they'll love - and hide them somewhere unexpected for extra fun. If money is tight, blindfold them and drive out to a remote beauty spot for a romantic picnic. Spontaneity and surprise are natural aphrodisiacs, so who knows, you might be using that blindfold again before the end of the night
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    Rekindle old passions
    What was it that used to make you feel alive? Rekindle the passions and interests you had when you were single - only this time enjoy them together as a couple.

    Take it in turns to suggest an activity and agree beforehand that you will both make an effort to participate and be positive. It might mean you agree to see modern dance one weekend in exchange for going potholing the next. With any luck, you will rekindle the passion for each other as well as rediscovering an old hobby.






    Friends reunited
    Remember when you used to share a joke over a glass of wine, talk for hours on the phone and agree on almost everything? You were friends (as well as lovers) once, so try to remember what it was you liked about your partner in the first place.

    Retrace your steps and enjoy some much-needed fun and you'll soon be on the road to sharing a deeper intimacy together.
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    Location, location, location
    Okay, so you didn't expect the passion to last but whips, handcuffs and dressing up? You don't need to invest in a wardrobe of kinky outfits and toys (though of course, that's fine too) in order to put the spark back.

    A few small changes can make a big difference. If you always have sex at the same time and the same place, try a different location. The kitchen table or on the stairs - next time the mood takes you, go for it there and then, rather than always going up to the bedroom.





    Back to the start
    Few couples, married or not, continue the adventurous, any time, anywhere sex they enjoyed at the start. Once the sexual intimacy has gone from a relationship, it can be hard to regain it - but certainly not impossible. After all, there's a good chance your partner feels the same way about it as you.

    Take time to get to know one another again. Retrace your steps - wine and dine them, make them laugh, send them flirty messages. Don't presume you know what they like in bed either, tastes and desires can change. Ask, explore and enjoy - just take it slow.
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    Don't judge a book
    Remember the days when you read aloud to one another? There's something wonderfully intimate about reading and being read to - whether in bed, lazing on a rowboat or relaxing on a picnic blanket.

    Instead of reading different books at night, read your favourite novel to each other. If you want to spice things up, choose an erotic title or give your partner a book to read which contains things you'd like to try. This can be a great way to share your fantasies if you feel shy talking about them. You'd be amazed what you can buy on Amazon these days!








    Play with each other
    At the end of a long day sometimes you just want to slump in front of the TV. There's nothing wrong with that - but staring at a screen isn't likely to create intimacy, unless you're cuddled up watching a romantic movie!
    Choose a night of the week to turn the TV off and do something else. Chess, cards or board games can all be fun. (The kids will love it, even if they moan at first.) Of course, when they've gone to bed, you might even like to play a naughty game.
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    Have a laugh
    We've all heard how 'laughter is the best medicine' - and it's true for our relationships, as well as our health. When we laugh the body releases endorphins into the bloodstream including serotonin, nature's anti-depressant, which makes us feel good.

    Laughter also has the power to strengthen the emotional bonds between people. Tickle each other, book tickets to see a stand-up comedian or learn clowning skills for the day - anything that makes you giggle will bring you closer together.









    Pamper makes perfect
    Who doesn't like to be pampered now and then? There's more to the power of touch than you might realise. Studies show that human physical contact has the power to relieve anxiety, decrease blood pressure and strengthen the immune system.
    Touch that's given by a loving partner can be even more powerful. If your relationship is lacking sexual intimacy, take it in turns to pamper one another (wash their hair or give them a shoulder or foot rub), without any pressure to have sex. A loving touch is one of the most precious gifts you can give - and it costs nothing.
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    Date night
    It may feel contrived to schedule sex into your calendar but if you want to enjoy more intimacy in your relationship, sometimes you have to make it happen. Just as you might book a babysitter for a 'date night', arrange for family to take the kids off your hands for an evening or an afternoon.

    Even better, book a night at a hotel. Anticipation is a great aphrodisiac, and seeing a special night written into the calendar will give you both something to look forward to.








    Clear the air
    A lack of intimacy (whether emotional or physical) can often signal other problems in a relationship. If you feel anger or resentment towards your partner you will first need to take steps to resolve the situation - ignoring how you really feel to keep the status quo will only damage your relationship in the long run.
    Choose a quiet moment, speak honestly and lovingly (not when you're already angry) and be willing to take your share of the blame. It you haven't been honest with one another for years, a counsellor can help give you the support you need to work things through.

    ................
    Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

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