At the beginning of your relationship, you just can’t seem to get enough of your partner. You want to see them all the time, and they are constantly on your mind. Naturally, romance blossoms, and the level of intimacy is high and effortless.

However, as time goes on, life sort of gets in the way. Routine and the stress of everyday living make it almost impossible to sustain high levels of intimacy without effort. Then here come new factors such as children or changes in careers that can feel like they are taking over you and your relationship. I need you to know that it takes practice, time, and effort to keep intimacy levels high in any relationship. Once you get out of the ‘honeymoon’ phase and into a committed relationship, it may not come as natural to have the bond you once had. This does not in any way mean that you do not have the bond, but that you may have neglected your relationship along the way.

Here are 5 ways to strengthen the intimacy in your relationship and keep the connection strong

1. Do something fun and exciting together- As your relationship develops, you are bound to form a routine. However, routines become boring. Shake things up by making an effort to do really exciting things together, such as climbing a mountain, going on a vacation, taking a special class together or going bungee jumping! It will provide a much-needed breath of fresh air in your relationship and help you discover new things about each other.

2. Have deep meaningful conversations– Talk about your relationship, your current lives, plans for the future, and your emotional state. Try as much as possible to be vulnerable with your partner and let them see the real you. Lack of communication and bottling up negative emotions can lead to resentment. Explore the things that make your relationship work and strengthen your commitment to each other. Having a therapist facilitate these conversations can make them really fruitful and rewarding.

3. Be thoughtful – Intimacy isn’t always about the grand gestures. Something as simple as writing your partner a love letter or stocking up on their favorite snack can make them feel incredibly loved and appreciated. I’m sure that one of you really craves this level of intimacy. It is important to know what your partner wants, and needs are, as well as they know and understand yours.

4. Set aside quality couple time- It can be hard to focus on one thing in today’s digital world, and sometimes we unconsciously pay more attention to our gadgets than to our lovers. At least once a week, turn off all electronic devices and participate in an activity you both enjoy. Set intention! Go on a date to the newest restaurant in town. Dress up for one another and enjoy a night on the town. You could even watch a movie, cook together, or massage each other. Doing things like these gives you time to enjoy each other and connect on a deeper level.

5. Express gratitude- Every night, before bed (or just sometimes during the day) express gratitude for one thing your partner did during the day, no matter how small or random. Saying “thank you”, “I appreciate this or that” or even “I admire the way you can do _____” can go a long way! Especially when a partner has not heard this type of sentiment in a while. Doing something like this can help you and your partner feel loved and appreciated.

About the Author

Roma Williams is a Houston-based licensed marriage and family therapist, who is also licensed in the states of Georgia, Florida, and California. Her specialties and clinical interests are systems and relationships. Roma enjoys working with couples, including LGBTQ+ and those who live in polyamorous relationships. As an African American woman, Roma has donated time and efforts to causes championing black women and mental health. Roma also enjoys working with individuals on their relationships with themselves and others. Being a California native, and moving to the south in her adult years, Roma has had plenty of experiences that have shaped her cultural development both professionally and personally. In her spare time, Roma enjoys fashion, all things wine, and traveling.

If you are in Houston or in any part of Texas, Georgia, Florida, or California and are ready to work with Roma click here.