Intimacy defines romantic relationships.
As a man, the truest connection you will ever know is with your partner. She will be the first person you tell when you get a promotion. She’s the one you confide in when times get tough. She’s the person that you trust to see the most real and most honest version of you.
But here’s the conundrum. From the moment we’re old enough to speak, we’re fed a narrative about what a man should be. We’re told to be strong, stable, and self-sufficient.
Drink too much of the Kool-Aid, and you’ll soon believe that men don’t need anybody else.
That’s a lie. We all crave human connection. A life devoid of that is sad, lonely, and isolated. Finding a partner with who you can reveal your true self is always the end game.
“The deepest need of man, then, is the need to overcome his separateness, to leave the prison of his aloneness,” write researchers, Tonya Lippert and Karen J. Prager in the Journal of the International Association for Relationship Research.
“The absolute failure to achieve this aim means insanity because the panic of complete isolation can be overcome only by such a radical withdrawal from the world outside that the feeling of separation disappears–because the world outside, from which one is separated, has disappeared,” the authors conclude.
We all deserve to avoid isolation and have high-quality romantic relationships. If you’re willing to put in the time and energy, you can make things work.
In this article, I wanted to share my expertise on intimacy and intimacy exercises that can improve your love life.
Building Intimacy Can Improve Your Romantic Relationships and Help You Feel More Connected to Your Partner
“The opposite of loneliness is not togetherness. It’s intimacy” ― Richard Bach
No matter how long you’ve been with your partner, paying attention to your intimacy is a smart move. Not only will this approach enhance your overall satisfaction levels, but research suggests that it will also help you avoid pitfalls—such as relationship distress.
“Partners tend to report high levels of relationship satisfaction when they feel intimate with each other,” states research from The Ohio State University.
However, there are two sides to every coin—and this is no different. “Conversely, a lack of intimacy is often associated with relationship distress, and is one of the common reasons couples seek therapy.”
Five Stages of Intimacy
True, honest connections don’t happen overnight. You’re not going to meet a woman in a bar and become instantly connected to her. That’s not how it works. Romantic love grows over time and takes energy on both parts. A
head of delving into the strategies you can use to build intimacy with your partner, I wanted to share the five states of intimacy with you.
When you meet her, you can’t get enough of her. You want to know everything about her—where she grew up, who her friends are, what she does in her spare time, her hopes, her dreams.
The chemicals are running high through your body. Scientific research suggests that the feeling of romantic infatuation is similar to being addicted to drugs.
You can’t wait to get your next hit. You want to spend every waking moment with her.
Chemical attraction wears off. When you strip away the hormones, you start to see her as a real human being. The rose-tinted glasses have come off and now you see her flaws.
Maybe she chews too loudly when you’re out at dinner. She moans when you want to hang out with the guys.
Whatever the reason, it’s time to knock her off that pedestal you propped her up on. She’s not perfect—not by a long shot. Then again, who on earth is?
Reality hits—you’ve seen her for what she is, warts and all. That once perfect person has disappeared and you’re left with a real, breathing, living human being. You start to turn your attention to the external world once more.
You make plans, you see other people, you start to schedule your life again. You no longer have tunnel vision. Your life is about much more than her and the relationship.
You start to reach an altogether healthier equilibrium.
Everything that goes around, comes around. Something small and inconsequential happens.
It might be the way that she dresses for dinner or the way that she drinks her morning coffee. It doesn’t matter.
What matters is that you’re instantly back in the game. She smiles at you, and you remember why you were attracted to her in the first place.
The chemicals start to bubble up inside you once again and you’re instantly back into her.
The final stage is the ultimate one: Love. This stage of intimacy often happens years into a relationship.
It’s the point when you feel secure and satisfied with your partner. You’ve been through ups and downs—you’ve weathered the storm over the years. Now you trust her 100%. You know that she has your back.
You know she will always be faithful to you.
Romantic Intimacy Fades Over Time and Could Kill Your Relationship
Nothing lasts forever.
Shackle yourself to a long-term relationship, and you’ll know this to be true. The longer you’re with your partner, the more likely it is that the intimacy will start to fade.
You’ll have less sex, touch each other less, spend less time cuddling, and even stop talking as often. It happens to the best of us.
The reason is simple: Relationships take work to maintain.
You need to work on both yourself and your relationship. I work with hundreds of men who have lost their masculine power and become a shadow version of themselves.
That lack of secure identity can destroy even the most stable of relationships.
With expert coaching and the support of a robust community, these men have the opportunity to become the strongest version of themselves.
With the right guidance, these men can start to create high-quality romantic relationships that stand the test of time.
When the shine has started to wear off your relationship, you need to take action. Ignoring the red flags and suppressing the fact that things aren’t working is a grave mistake.
Fail to tend to your intimacy and she will tire of your lack of attention. Before you know it, you come home after a long day at work to find her gone and a note on the kitchen counter.
Unless you’ve mentally checked out of the relationship, chances are you don’t want that to happen. When the passion is missing, you’ve got to step things up a notch—or three.
Think of it as an investment in your future happiness. The more work and effort you dedicate to enhancing the relationship now, the more rewards you will reap later on.
Intimacy Enhancing Strategies to Bring the Spark and Love Back into Your Romantic Relationship
Is your relationship on the rocks? Have you stopped having sex? Does she seem disinterested in everything you have to say? You’re not alone.
Many men hit stumbling blocks when it comes to their partners.
Your attention may be elsewhere. You may have had a hectic time at work lately. You may be busy with a sport. Your family may be demanding your focus.
Whatever the reason, ignoring your partner is a recipe for disaster.
In our relationship coaching program, we share no magic pill that will solve your relationship problems. I know you wish there was—we all do—but if you want to turn things around, you’re going to need to do the work.
No matter how far south your romantic relationship has gone, there’s time to salvage it.
Next up, I’m going to share some of the most powerful tried and tested strategies for building intimacy with your partner. Take the time to try these approaches for yourself.
1. Practice deep listening together to improve how you communicate
There is a direct correlation between good communication and romantic intimacy.
Research suggests that these two aspects of relationships go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. When you first met your partner, you probably spent hours on end talking and listening to each other.
During the infatuation stage of your relationship, you would have been borderline obsessed by everything she had to say.
Then, as with most romantic relationships, something changed. Fast-forward to the present day, and you two barely have a fleeting conversation.
If that scenario sounds familiar, one of the best strategies you can try is enhancing your communication skills.
Set aside an hour a week for this exercise. Think of it as your weekly debrief. You’ll need to get rid of all distractions—your smartphone, the TV, and any other devices.
You can put some music on in the background, but your focus needs to be on each other right now.
Ask each other questions: big or small. You might want to talk about their week or something deeper. While she is talking, make sure that you’re practicing conscious listening.
That means not simply waiting for her to finish speaking, but actively hearing what she has to say. When you both do this, communication becomes easier than ever.
2. Dedicate time to cuddling to increase your sexual satisfaction
When you first met her, you were at it 24/7. Now that you’ve been together for a while, you might not rip each other’s clothes off every time you’re alone in a room.
However, when you do get down to it, what you directly afterward matters. If you’re the type of man who rolls over post-sex and is quickly snoring, that damages the connection with your partner.
Cuddling releases positive hormones, leading to a stronger sense of connection and intimacy with your partner. In fact, couples who hold each other after sex report higher levels of sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction.
That means holding her close to you, caressing each other, stroking her hair, kissing—the whole damn package.
Physical intimacy is one of the easiest places to start when it comes to rebuilding your relationship. You don’t have to reserve this for after sex either.
Whenever you have some quality time alone with her, show her some appreciation by getting closer than before.
3. Learn how to be more empathetic and better understand your partner
Do you find it hard to see things from your partner’s point of view?
When she’s telling you about a work problem or some friendship drama, do you find that you switch off? In arguments, do you struggle to understand where she’s coming from?
If you’re saying ‘yes, yes, and yes’, you need to work on your empathy skills pronto.
Research suggests that developing a robust set of empathy skills can build intimacy with your partner. However, you might not know where to start.
Before you do this exercise with your other half, take a moment to collect yourself. You need to put yourself in the right mindset to start better understanding others’ emotions. Here are some approaches:
- Watch your partner’s body language
- Ask her how scenarios make her feel
- Never presume you understand her emotions
- Ask her to elaborate on conversations
- Consider how you can help her out
The truth of the matter is that empathy takes practice.
You won’t wake up one day and be superhuman.
However, if you start engaging on a deeper level with her, she will notice. The fact that you’re working toward becoming the best version of yourself will pique her interest.
Before you know it, the two of you will feel more connected and more intimate.
4. Increase your connection with some tantric eye gazing exercises
Eye gazing increases activity in the amygdala—the part of your brain that’s associated with understanding people’s emotions.
If you want to connect with your partner and empathize with her, engaging in this intimacy-based exercise is an effective move.
It doesn’t end there. Your mutual attraction will go through the roof. Research suggests that the longer you look at someone’s face, the more likely you are to feel attracted to it.
Popular in tantric philosophy, staring into your partner’s eyes may feel odd at first. Make sure that you’re alone in a place where you’re comfortable.
Choose a period of time—three minutes will work. Sit opposite your partner and look directly into their eyes. Resist the urge to laugh.
Breathe deeply and relax completely while you look at each other.
I’ll level with you. At first, you’re going to feel stupid. It’s rare that you stare at someone for any period. Don’t panic. The more you do this exercise, the more natural it will feel.
Building intimacy with your partner will help you foster a high-quality relationship that will last and last. You have to be willing to dedicate time to this task.
There’s no quick fix, and so you need to prepare yourself to work hard and give both you and your partner a fighting chance. As I’ve covered, there are many research-backed ways to enhance your intimacy.
Of course, ahead of making the connections you desire, you need to work on yourself. I work closely with a selection of men to help them foster real growth and become the high achievers they deserve to be.
Join my men’s coaching program you can reveal your inner confidence, attractiveness, and power, regardless of where you start out. Reclaiming that power and taking mastery over your outlook will have a dramatic impact on your life.
Now that you’re armed with these intimacy exercises, try incorporating them into your romantic relationship. The first step toward a better connection is making a plan. I’ve given you all of the tools that you need here—go ahead and use them to support your goals.