A romantic connection is all about building intimacy. Sex is one of the first things you may think of when the word intimacy is mentioned, but in reality, there are so many other ways to deepen the bond with your partner. Here are 11 ways to make that happen that don’t require hopping into bed:
Waiting a while to get physical Holding off on getting physical in any way with one another will allow you to get to know the other person without endorphins and hormones clouding the way. There are few things as intimate as getting to know someone without the comfort of making out or having sex. Instead, you get to see each other for who you are.
Talking on the phone Making time to call one another and to listen to how each other’s day went is a great way of building up a lasting connection. Not everyone loves to talk on the phone, but it can really help you learn about each other in between when you can be together in person. Plus, seeing the name of the person you’re crushing on come up on your phone is a total thrill.
Going on a variety of actual dates In the era of Netflix and chill, people seem to have forgotten about the beauty of going on actual dates. Taking the time to properly date one another is a lovely thing and is a great way of building up the connection. Go out to dinner, try new places, and really treat the dates as if they’re special – because they are.
Clearly communicating what you both want and need It’s easy to want to play it cool when dating, not being too vocal about your wants or needs, but who is that benefitting? Instead, if you’re both upfront about what you desire and require, you’ll be on the same page. In this way, you’ll deepen trust and understanding, which is foundational for solid intimacy.
Discussing your fears You’re both humans with issues and experiences that dictate what you’re afraid of. Often times people keep these fears to themselves when dating, but an intimate alternative is to open up to one another. You don’t have to overshare, but you can discuss what you’re afraid of so that your partner can be sensitive to where you might be triggered.
Seeing, accepting, and appreciating each other’s quirks and flaws Your partner and you are imperfect human beings. In the beginning stages, everything seems like rainbows and pixie dust, but eventually, your quirks will shine through. These are often make-or-break moments that can mean diverging from each other or deepening the connection you two have. It’s a beautiful thing when someone sees your human messiness and chooses to stay anyway.
Express your feelings for each other through writing You could either write a handwritten note or express yourself in a thought-out text. Either way, the point is to be reflective about your feelings towards your partner and to let them know. It’s a beautiful way of connecting their heart to yours by telling them exactly how you feel about them.
Having a sleepover Plopping yourself into your lover’s routine or vice versa is often wildly intimate. Sex doesn’t even need to be involved for a sleepover to deepen a connection. You see what your partner does during their evening routine and then you get to sleep pressed up against them. It’s a special kind of intimacy to do this without having sex.
Crying in front of one another It’s really vulnerable to cry in front of another person. The act of shedding tears is letting them see you at a time when your guard is down and you’re open to the world. Further, men are socialized not to cry or show emotion, so if your male partner is crying in front of you, it’s a beautiful moment of intimacy.
Cooking a meal together Crafting a meal with one another is an interesting experiment. You get to see how the other reacts if something goes wrong. You can see how flexible or inflexible they are and who steps up to take the lead in certain ways. It’s a way to deepen your connection because you two have to work as a team.
Traveling together This sort of intimacy is reserved for when your relationship is more solid because it’s an intense one and has the possibility of going horribly wrong. Travel is a special kind of experiment. You get to see all of another person–the good, bad, and weird. It could also be another make or break experience. If it works out, though, it has the opportunity to deepen your bond.