1. Pay Attention
To truly pay attention to your partner, you need to tune out everything else – for example work stress and what to make for dinner – and really listen. Look him in the eye, keep quiet while he’s talking and, when you do speak, be courteous and reassuring.
2. Show Unconditional Acceptance
Many of us enter a relationship thinking we’ll be able to get our partner to change just a little – for instance get him to cut his hair or stop wearing flip-flops – to be closer to our ideal. But this isn’t usually realistic or fair to you or your partner. What’s more, these little changes can get in the way of intimacy.
Acceptance is about encouraging another person to share their hopes, dreams, goals, feelings and personal history. Your partner needs to feel confident that you’ll accept and appreciate these thoughts and feelings – and vice versa.
3. Laugh Together
We don’t just laugh because we think something is funny – laughter is also one of the ways we bond with others. So watch that new Steve Carell movie on date night – not only will laughter boost your mood, it just might boost your bonding too.
4. Show Physical Affection
This not only feels good, it also triggers our bodies to produce more oxytocin. This hormone is known as the ‘love hormone’ because of its feel-good effect, and it also helps to promote a monogamous romantic relationship. And remember: physical affection isn’t limited to sex – holding hands and hugging also count.
5. Be Present
Did you know that talking on your cellphone while driving isn’t only dangerous to you and other road users, it can also be dangerous to your relationship? When you’re multitasking like this you’re distracted and can’t pick up on important social cues. This can result in misunderstandings and an unhappy partner. To strengthen intimacy, focus on one thing at a time.
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