8 Ways To Have More Intimacy In Your Relationship, Because It's Not Always Easy

I always love hearing about my friends' partners and their relationships. I find it so neat when couples find balance with each other and one of my favorite things is discovering ways to have more intimacy in your relationship. Since no two couples are exactly the same, the ways in which people cultivate intimacy with each other can vary a ton. This means there's always a chance to learn more! It's so cool that you can always try new tactics with a partner, and there are just so many sweet ways of showing your affection for them that you don't have much to lose when it comes to getting creative.

"The thing that I love about our partnership is that we are always making an effort to celebrate each other and our relationship," says Erica, 24. "To me, it's about leaving each other sweet little gifts, love letters, or cooking a surprise dinner for them that feels like it's saying, 'there's no reason or occasion for me to do this — I just want to because I love you.'" It isn't about what you buy them or what you can do for them — it's the ways you can be vulnerable around them and show them just much you care.

For some ideas on how to build intimacy with your partner, consider the following tips.

Get creative with touch.

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I always smile when I see couples on the subway in NYC clearly tired and potentially heading home together. The cutest couples always have such a close, connected body language. A hand placed on her knee, a head on their shoulder — just a gesture of touch and connection can say a lot more than words.

Getting creative with physical touch can be about sitting closer when you're watching TV together or a gentle shoulder massage when your partner seems a little stressed. These ways of touching can make you feel more connected and intimate with each other.

Get busy in the kitchen.

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I don't mean kitchen counter sex, but like, hey — if that's where your mind went, then you should totally carpe diem!

Another way to foster intimacy with a partner is to check in and make sure you work together well at balancing responsibilities. This, in my opinion, is best demonstrated in the kitchen or with other house chores.

If your partner is stressed, consider taking care of their dishes and doing some cleaning that is on their list but not likely to get done any time soon. It can feel vulnerable to let someone do something for you in the best way. Sometimes, it's easy to get caught up in the pressure of needing to excel and do everything yourself. By doing something like cooking, cleaning, or organizing for your bae, you're sending the message that you're in this together.

Sweet little surprises.

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"The other day my partner came home from work with a tiny bouquet, a peanut butter cup, and chapstick," said Kassiani, 26. "It was so unexpected, and made me feel special that she was thinking of me and just decided to do something super sweet."

Another one of my friends recently gifted their partner this customizable succulent in a tiny bottle. You can customize the note within the small glass bottle to say anything you want. I thought that was seriously so sweet because there was no occasion for the little gift; they just wanted to show affection for their partner in a loving way.

Spice up your sex life.

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Another way to invest energy into your relationship with your partner is by spicing up your sex life. Maybe that means you send them sexy nudes to tease them about what's waiting for them later, or perhaps you dedicate an upcoming date night to some sex moves you've been wanting to try. There are a ton of sex toys that you could consider adding to the mix, like arousal enhancing lube or a couple's vibrator.

You can simultaneously have some fun, spicy sex, with the option to shift to a more passionate, affectionate experience being totally an option.

Love letters — a true classic.

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Another way of demonstrating your affection for a partner is to tell them in a unique way. Love letters are such a vulnerable tactic to tell someone how you feel. They can also be a welcome change of pace in a time when communication is extremely digital. If the idea of sitting down and writing out how you feel about your partner is intimidating, try to remember you don't have to be perfect or Shakespeare. Consider using the following prompts to help you form thoughts on what to say in the letter that you bae is sure to love.

  • I feel so special when you...
  • I love how you...
  • It's so amazing that you can achieve...
  • The things I love about you are...

At the end of the day, fostering intimacy in a relationship is like growing a garden. It takes time and care, but there's also no one right way to do it. It's awesome that you're looking into ways of showing your partner that you care, because that alone is a sign you love them.