Intimacy is a beautiful thing. Not because it feels good -- although it most certainly does -- but because it's so incredibly rare to come by.
I feel men usually have the biggest issues with intimacy. Most of us don't have a good understanding of what it is women find intimate.
Intimacy is only intimacy when both parties feel so. Men tend to be more closed off than women and, therefore, experience intimacy on shallower levels.
Until, of course, they allow themselves to open up and make themselves more vulnerable.
That's all that intimacy is in the end… being alive together in the same place and time, hiding nothing from each other. It's letting the person you love understand you the way you understand you.
For something so deep and sincere, three words just don't cut it. Saying "I love you" isn't really all that intimate. But here are 9 things that are:
1. Make her dinner.
First of all, all men should know how to cook. You don't need to compete on "Iron Chef," but you should be able to survive without having to order takeout.
Cooking for yourself is much healthier for you; cooking for your woman is just plain sexy and, not to mention, rather intimate.
Set the table, light some candles, maybe throw on some background music. Then do what men have been doing for millennia: Feed your partner. Not literally... although that could be fun.
2. Take her stargazing.
I'll admit this one is my favorite, but mostly because I find staring at the stars to be incredibly soothing. Having someone you love with you just makes the whole experience all the more intimate.
You can lie in a field and listen to the night as you look at the stars. There's something almost magical about lying on the earth and allowing yourself to drown in the infinity that is space.
It makes you feel more grounded, more present, more understanding of how little you really are. What could be more intimate than being nothing together with the person you love most in the world?
3. Roadtrip with only a vague destination.
If you don't have a car, rent one and hit the road. It doesn't have to be a long trip, although a longer one at least once in your life is highly recommended. Roadtrips are both awesome and intimate.
Generally speaking, traveling together is always great for a loving relationship -- it allows you to both leave your comfort zones and create new ones together.
Only roadtrips, however, allow you to make countless pitstops along the way and create countless memories to accompany them.
4. Give her a key to your place and a few drawers.
This is always an intimate moment, as it's simultaneously the moment the man realizes he's considering spending his life with this woman, and the moment she realizes her man is actually in it for the long run.
The key and drawer is especially meaningful to the woman, as to her, it's not just a place for her to sleep and store a few of her things.
To her, it's realizing her man is actually willing to give without expecting in return -- that he's willing to inconvenience himself in order to accommodate her needs.
5. Protect her when she needs protecting.
To be clear, there are plenty of women who can protect themselves, just as there are plenty of men who can't.
Nevertheless, every single, straight woman in the world wants a man who is willing to protect her should the moment present itself.
Sure, she can handle herself, but she still expects you to fight for her. You are in this together and even if it takes fighting tooth and nail, the two of you will make it out together.
The moment you realize the person you love is willing to put him or herself in harm's way in order to protect you is the moment you understand the true nature of love.
6. Hold her even when she's definitely going to get you sick.
Intimacy isn't only about life's most beautiful moments. It's also about night sweats, dry heaving, runny noses, bloated faces and less-than-rosy attitudes.
Protecting your woman from harm is one thing, making sure she regains her health and overcomes illness is another. Again, it's about putting your own health, your own well-being, at risk in order to help the woman you love.
These moments are as intimate as they are because they allow us to see our partners at their worst and most vulnerable, while allowing our partners to see us at our strongest and most caring.
7. Form intimate bonds with each other's parents.
The holidays are a perfect time to get to know each other's families. They're special moments in our lives as they usually produce the most vivid of memories. The traditions we share with the people we love most are a big part of our lives.
Spending the holidays with the woman you love is saying to her you are willing to start your own traditions, together. It's saying, "I love you so much I want us to get to know each other's families."
Bring her to your home for one holiday, go to hers the next. Start your own little traditions -- it's a new life you're building, so make sure you create traditions you'll cherish.
8. Plan a future together.
You can say "I love you" all you want, but the only thing that really lets her know you love her is including her in your future plans.
The further in the future you're talking, the more she'll understand how serious you are. If you really do love each other, it'll be more intimate of a moment to her than you could possibly imagine.
She wants some sort of reassurance every so often that you still see the two of you spending your lives together.
The more serious the relationship, the more you can plan. Eventually, if all goes well, you'll be planning your wedding day.
9. Be there for her every day, for the rest of your lives.
Words are just words. People say things all the time. We make promises. Tell lies. Change our minds. People are pretty flaky for the most part.
Intimacy itself doesn't necessarily have to exist in a single moment; it isn't necessarily a grand gesture either.
The most intimate moments in life are the ones that take years and years to develop, to build, to understand.
The most intimate moment the two of you could ever share is the moment you look at the life you created together and thank your lucky stars for having somehow, in the chaos of billions of individuals, managed to have found and fallen for each other.