rekindle intimacy in your relationship

How to rekindle intimacy in your relationship

There is no shortage of advice online for how to rekindle intimacy in your relationship.   However, if you’re in a long-term partnership, it’s crucial that you learn how to master this skill.


Intimacy is something that is built over time. It can involve touch, sharing of feelings or ideas, or a general sense of closeness. When a man tells his husband that he’s nervous about losing his job, that’s intimacy. Intimacy is built on vulnerability and being able to let your partner see all of who you are, perceived flaws and all.

Long-term relationships

I’ve worked with various couples in long-term relationships and have been in some myself. For anyone that has participated in a long-term romance, you’re probably aware that intimacy ebbs and flows over time.   That’s a perfectly natural rhythm. However, if you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering if the pendulum has swung too far in the wrong direction.

Warning signs

We can get so wrapped up in the minutia of day-to-day life that we spend more time on the business of a relationship and less time hearing, seeing and supporting our partner emotionally. Do you need to rekindle intimacy in your relationship? If you notice yourself being short with your partner more consistently, having less sex or feeling frustrated or hurt more often, those could be signs that you need to focus your attention on rekindling intimacy.

How to rekindle intimacy in your relationship

Here are three things you can do today to begin rekindling intimacy in your relationship.

Make time. Set aside a weekend afternoon to relive your first date. Or call out of work together and spend the day in bed cuddling. Blame it on your therapist!  If you were to look at the amount of quality time you spend focusing on your relationship, is there a correlation to the satisfaction you feel being a part of it? Typically there is.  Simply, the more time you spend focusing on each other, the closer you probably feel.

Increase physical touch. I don’t mean only sex, though sex doesn’t hurt. When is the last time you embraced your partner for no specific reason? Do you have a nightly cuddling routine that emotionally fulfills you both? Have you tried holding hands at various times throughout the day?

Listen. When your partner speaks, really listen. Spend some time learning about their interests or what’s important to them. When we feel heard, seen and cared for we often will feel safe enough to be vulnerable and that creates an environment primed for intimacy.

Tom Bruett

Tom Bruett

Tom Bruett, LMFT is a licensed psychotherapist with an office in San Francisco, CA. Tom feels passionately about helping people have better relationships. The purpose of this blog is not to provide advice or to take the place of working with a mental health professional. For more information please visit the homepage.