Intimacy means sharing. The more you share with your partner, the closer you’ll be. If you are feeling disconnected from one another, think about how much you’re sharing. When something good happens in your day, who do you tell? If you’re worried or stressed about something, who do you call? If you’re embarrassed about something you’ve said or done, who do you open up to? If you’re in a relationship and the answers to these questions are: my mum, my mates, my best friend, or my adult children, it wouldn’t be surprising if your relationship is lacking intimacy.
Couples stop sharing when they don’t feel it’s safe to do so. Perhaps they haven’t felt heard or validated when they have spoken up. Maybe their words have been thrown back at them in an argument or used to humiliate them amongst friends. It could be as simple as not spending enough time together or not caring enough about the relationship to work on staying close.
If you feel a chasm has opened up between you and your partner, try slowly building some intimacy by:
- Letting your partner be the first person to know any good news
- Not airing all your dirty laundry about your relationship to your friends
- Having secrets that only you and your partner know
- Sharing your hopes and dreams with each other, no matter how far fetched they seem
- Allowing your partner to feel safe enough to talk about something embarrassing
- Not throwing anything back at each other down the track
- Thanking your partner for letting you into their private world