Be curious

Appreciating the why of where your intimate partner is coming from is a powerful means of building empathy (without giving up your own opinion) and empathy is deeply intimate. 

Making the effort to understand another person demonstrate a deep degree of caring even in the context of disagreement.

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6 Steps to Improving Emotional Intimacy with Your Partner

psychcentral.com

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Avoidance destroys intimacy. If you and your partner are mutually or individually avoiding a challenging topic that needs to be addressed, you are slowly eating away at your connection.

The vulnerability required to start a difficult conversation communicates to your partner that you are more invested in the health of the relationship than avoiding personal discomfort.

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Try sitting down individually or with your partner and creating gratitude or “Nice” lists, detailing as many things as possible that you appreciate and/or enjoy about your partner. 

Even if you do it on your own, it will help you refocus on points of connection that drew you to them initially and regardless of all the irritations we inevitably face in the course of intimate relationships.

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Do something meaningful together

Connection-deepening activities are ones that get you focused on each other as people — and on your relationship. 

Take a scenic drive to get ice cream, clean the tub together, or take a cooking class.

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Surprise them by agreeing to take care of a chore you usually protest/avoid; offer to accompany them on something you usually take a pass on; or surprise them with something they care about. 

Surprise generosity is a huge intimacy booster.

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Invest in yourself

Investing in yourself, your wellness, and your personal development are an important part of your health as a couple. When you are feeling your best and in touch with how you are thinking and feeling, you can participate more fully, mindfully, and meaningfully.

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RELATED IDEAS

You have an eye on the exit

You avoid anything that leads to a bigger commitment. You're always wondering: "if it goes wrong, how can I extricate myself easily from this relationship?

Because commitment reduces your ability to leave a relationship without financial or emotional consequences, you tend to avoid it.

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verywellmind.com

Interdependence

Being dependent on another person can be unhealthy. Independence, taken to an extreme, can actually get in the way of us being able to connect emotionally with others in a meaningful way. 

Interdependence suggests that partners recognize and value the importance of the emotional bond they share while maintaining a solid sense of self within the relationship dynamic. 

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Interdependence Can Build a Lasting and Safe Relationship

verywellmind.com

Make small talk

You communicate a genuine interest when you inquire or listen to the small details that make up your partner’s day. It’s those insignificant moments that make up the reality of our lives.

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6 Surprising Ways to Communicate Better With Your Partner

psychologytoday.com