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20 Ways to Boost Intimacy with Partner 

Whether it's emotional or sexual intimacy, many couples struggle with how to become closer or how stay close over a long term relationship.  To make a relationship truly special, it’s important to focus on all the ways you can deepen your  emotional and physical intimacy.   In this article, I give you 20 ways to boost intimacy with your partner.  

But first, what is intimacy? The definition of intimacy is “close familiarity or friendship” and the verb intimate means “to make known.” These definitions illustrate the essence of intimacy: a profound connection that transcends mere acquaintance and touches the core of human relationships.

boost intimacy

In order to be truly intimate with each other, there must be reciprocity, vulnerability, transparency, and dialogue. Reciprocity is the mutual exchange of feelings and actions. Relationships thrive when both parties invest equally in each other’s well-being and happiness. It’s the give-and-take that fosters a balanced and fulfilling connection.

Vulnerability is another cornerstone of intimacy. It involves opening up about one's fears, dreams, and insecurities without the fear of judgment. This level of openness allows for a deeper understanding and strengthens the emotional bonds between individuals. When we share our most authentic selves, we invite others to do the same, creating a safe space for genuine connection.

Transparency is equally vital. Being honest and open about your thoughts and feelings builds trust, which is essential for any intimate relationship. Without transparency, misunderstandings and assumptions can erode the foundation of a relationship. Clear communication ensures that both parties are on the same page, fostering a sense of security and trust.

Dialogue, or meaningful conversation, serves as the bridge that links all these components together. Open and honest communication nurtures the relationship, allowing it to grow and evolve. Dialogue is not just about speaking, but also about listening—truly hearing the other person's perspective and responding with empathy and understanding.

In summary, intimacy is a beautiful tapestry woven from reciprocity, vulnerability, transparency, and dialogue. It’s about making oneself known and being willing to explore the depths of another person’s heart and mind. Cultivating these elements can lead to deeply fulfilling and lasting relationships, whether in friendship or romance.

Take the following quiz to begin your exploration of how intimate you are in your relationship! 

Just How Intimate Are You? 

Take this quiz to find out! 

On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being most open and intimate and 1 being the least)

1. How honest am I with my partner about how I feel about the relationship?

2. How much do I spend really talking with my partner about life, the world, our relationship?

3. How vulnerable am I with my partner?

4. How much risk am I willing to take to be more open and receptive?

5. How much do I really give to or do for my partner?

6. How vulnerable, transparent and giving are we in our lovemaking?

7. How do we talk about our sex life?

If you have lots of 1, 2s and 3s you know there's room to grow!  See my tips below to boost your intimacy! 

Here are 20 Ways to Boost Intimacy with Your Partner

Remember, intimacy is made up of reciprocity, transparency, vulnerability and dialogue.  See how the following activities can expand your capacity as a couple in all of these areas.

  • Share a fear, an embarrassing moment or  a silly thing you do when no one is watching 
  • Share your favorite places to be kissed, a sexual fantasy or favorite erotic moment in a book or movie
  • Share a secret dream you’ve had if you had another life or career
  • Take turns doing something for each other (e.g. foot massage, cooking a meal, planning a special date the other person would totally love, giving each other a gift).  
  • Write on a post-it note, the bathroom mirror, a note in a lunch three things about your partner that make you smile and/or feel really great. 
  • Be more intentional about using terms of endearment like “boo” “my queen” “baby” “loverbug” “sweetheart” “mi amor” etc. 
  • Have a conversation about a particular memory growing up, your hopes for your children or how you’re feeling about your career direction. 
  • Read a political article/book together or attend a lecture or a thought provoking movie.  Talk about it over dinner or coffee/dessert. 
  • Increase honesty and vulnerability by gently telling your partner three things that bug you about him/her and ask for three things that bug them about you.  
  • Look into each other’s eyes for 5 minutes. You can take turns saying, “Being with you I notice...” or you can just smile and just be with each other for a few minutes. 
how to stay close series

This article is part of the How to Stay Close Series  

Click here to read other articles! 

20 More Ways to Boost Intimacy (continued)

  • Dance in your living room or wherever to your wedding song (or meaningful song)  
  •  Put THE picture that you most love of your partner wherever you will most see it-- not necessarily their “best” picture but the one that captures their essence; the thing you love most about them
  • Set your ringtone for your partner as your special song or their voice saying something that just cracks you up (that you wouldn’t mind all the nearby shoppers in line hearing).    
  • Spend an evening looking back on fun memories like wedding photos, vacation photos, etc. 
  • Take 20 minutes each just doing a slow naked massage/caress (Get more instructions here for the Partner Caress exercise)
  • Ask each other questions about favorite foods, books, movies, childhood memories, etc.  See John Gottman’s Lovemap cards.  
  • Share a particularly painful or difficult memory that you had with work, in childhood or school.  
  • Do something really kind for one of your your partner’s family members. 
  •  Sign up for a class or event together that would make you feel slightly uncomfortable (dance lessons, rock climbing, hiking 14er, Spanish lessons, cooking classes, etc.)
  • Write/Rewrite your wedding vows (or find your original ones if you have them) and say them aloud to each other.  

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