Contrary to most 90’s Cosmopolitan magazines, creating lasting intimacy with a partner isn’t always as simple as planning a date night or buying sexy new underwear (although both of those activities do sound fun, I’ll admit). Intimacy in a relationship is more than being sexually compatible — it's vulnerability and trust that creates a bond and sense of togetherness. No matter how long you've been with your partner, it can be normal to go through a period of time where you’re feeling a bit “off.” Perhaps you’re not reading each other's emotional signals as well as you used to, or you’re not making enough time for just the two of you. This doesn’t mean the intimacy is gone, it’s just time to work on rebuilding it together. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, check out some of our ideas below that have been relationship-tested and approved! 


Cuddle before bed 


While it’s common to cuddle before bed, during a movie, or after sex, do you ever cuddle for the sake of cuddling itself? It’s been scientifically proven that cuddling is good for your health and can help strengthen the bond between you and your partner, so why not make it a priority? Turn on some of your favorite tunes, and curl up for a warm, cozy embrace. Use this time to talk, massage, and maybe even enjoy a nap. As you’re curled up together, your body will release all of the feel-good hormones, like oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin, leaving you feeling happy and connected. 


Share a sensual bath or shower 


Sharing a shower doesn’t have to end in shower sex — this warm, sudsy locale can be the perfect place to enjoy some private time with your partner while keeping on top of your hygiene. In the shower, you can use a loofah to scrub and rub down your partner, or lather up their hair for a refreshing wash. If you opt for a bath together, why not throw on some jazz, open a bottle of wine, and treat your tub like a mini spa getaway? This can give you the opportunity to connect with each other’s bodies in a sensual way. 


Give each other a deep massage 


This isn’t the first time we’ve suggested giving your partner a massage on this blog, and it won’t be the last! We’re big believers in the power of touch, and treating your partner to a deep, rejuvenating massage may be exactly what they need to relieve any built-up stress from the week and relax. Use massage oil to elevate the experience, and take turns! Communicate where you’re feeling tension.. Really committing to the massage — rather than a quick foot rub while watching TV — will exemplify the dedication you both have to caring for one another. 


Take a long walk together 


How lovely is it to wake up on a Saturday morning and decide to take a nice long walk with your partner? This activity eliminates the distractions of home and gives you the opportunity to focus on conversation and exploring together. To dress it up as more of a “date,” you can plan your route ahead of time and pick some cute coffee shops or restaurants to pop into along the way. Perhaps you opt for a hike, where you can both take in the beauty of nature together and accomplish a common goal side-by-side. No matter where your walk leads you, embracing it together will only strengthen your connection. 


Try a special activity that is important to your partner — and vice versa 


If you feel like your routine is feeling a bit stale, why not show your partner something that’s meaningful to you, and vice versa? Maybe it’s re-reading your favorite book together and discussing it on trips to the park, or going on a day trip to the apple orchard you frequented as a kid. Or what if your partner has been trying to get you to watch soccer since you started dating and it isn’t your thing (which is totally cool), but you agree to sit in a sports bar and drink cheap beer and cheer with them for one game? We bet it would make their day, and who knows? Maybe after a few beers and some nachos, watching your partner enjoy something that they're passionate about will make you feel great, too.