How to Improve Intimacy & Passion in Your Relationship

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How to Improve Intimacy & Passion in Your Relationship



Ahhh, intimacy in a relationship. Is there anything better!? Really, though, whether you’re in a long-term relationship like a marriage or in a deep dating relationship, fostering a deeper connection and enhancing emotional intimacy with your partner is like discovering the secret ingredient to an incredibly delicious recipe. Even science says that close relationships are both what makes us happy and make us healthy.

The fact is, intimacy in a relationship helps with everything; when it’s there, you feel free, connected, and happy together. You want to support one another. You feel better about life overall. And when it’s lacking, we suffer. 

Plus, emotional closeness is the basis for even more connected sex and sexual intimacy! Physical intimacy in a long-term relationship is often directly related to how emotionally connected the couple feels to one another. Intimacy time doesn’t have to be sexy time, but when it does, it’s a bonus. ;)

Here are five concrete ways to improve intimacy in a relationship:


1. Get to know one another’s love languages

For some people, physical touch is a primary love language. When their partner holds their hand, rubs their back, gives them a long hug, or strokes their hair, they feel their whole body relax; their anxiety melts away. Physical contact and affection makes them feel safe, connected, and loved in relationship.

Other people feel deeply loved when their partner engages in acts of service, doing things like changing the oil in the car, making them their morning smoothie to save them time, or fixing a computer issue for them. Still, others feel loved when they receive gifts that have them feel truly known. 

For many couples, intimacy problems and even some relationship issues can be significantly eased when you know how your partner wants to be loved, and you provide that. In other words, it’s not that you don’t love one another, it’s that the channel through which that love flows isn’t being picked up on in the same way by your partner. 

In an intimate relationship, half the battle is truly knowing your partner — and especially how they like to be loved. If you’ve never checked out the Five Love Languages, we recommend it!


2. Spend quality time together

One delightful way to enhance this journey of intimate connection is through the magical realm of date nights. These enchanting evenings offer an opportunity to dive into each other's deepest thoughts, creating a safe space where vulnerability and authenticity intertwine. 

It’s not just about what you do (although we’ll get to how “adventure dates” can be of deep service!), it’s about how you connect during the date. It can be super fun to get a deck of cards that can help with connecting with interesting and meaningful question prompts. Answering these can help you each build trust with one another as you share laughter, dreams, and perhaps even some grief. Remember, true emotional closeness is nurtured by embracing each other's unique quirks and truly listening to the music of your hearts.


3. Spice up the bedroom

We don’t talk about this a lot, but sexual desire  can and does evolve over time -- meaning things that used to turn you on when you were younger might not now, and vice versa. And penetrative sex isn’t the only thing on the menu! Sometimes in romantic relationships, we tend to think of this as the be-all end-all part of sex, but really sex is about the connection.

One thing that can help is talking about and practicing “intimacy time.” This can involve sexual interaction, but it doesn’t have to. It’s just time you spend together where the focus is on pleasure, particularly what feels good to both of your bodies. And by practicing, we just mean scheduling it into your lives. Especially if you’ve got kids and busy schedules, putting even 30 minutes onto the calendar (even in the middle of the day) can help tremendously. 

And it doesn’t have to lead to a sexual encounter. Intimacy issues sometimes stem from one partner feeling pressured. But if you’re just going into it as intimacy time, it can be physical closeness like cuddling. There’s also much research about how simple eye-gazing can be powerful. It can build not just physical intimacy, but spiritual intimacy. 

Now, that said, maybe it does lead to sexual interaction! Somes studies show that there are benefits of having sex every day! Another fun way to play is to incorporate new and different kinds of sex toys for couples. Again, not everything has to revolve around sexual intercourse. Maybe that happens and maybe it doesn’t, but it’s not necessarily the goal. The goal is fun! Some toys mimic oral sex for her, or nipple suckers or even nipple clamps (for both of you!). There’s also a lot of interesting research about the power and healing properties of vibration.

As one sexual health expert put it, “Vibratory stimulation is a non-invasive, non-medicinal solution that can make it easier for many people to address or prevent a wide range of sexual health issues, such as erectile dysfunction or inability to orgasm. By increasing blood flow... to the affected area and changing the message carried by the nerves, targeted vibration can increase sexual responsiveness and pleasure while decreasing pain. Vibration is also an important component of many types of pelvic floor therapy to restore normal sexual function.”

There are lots of cool and different ways to incorporate vibrators! Again, for all parties, not just vulva-owners.

Finally, when it comes to your sex life, allow yourself to be surprised by your partner. Think of the whole thing as a process of discovery. Their sex drive may change over time. A sexual activity they might have said they weren’t into might be more possible now (and, of course, this may be the case for you, as well). A healthy relationship is predicated on two (or more) people invested in learning and growing together. This includes your sexual relationship! 


4. Allow time apart to live your own lives

As the old adage goes, “Distance makes the heart grow fonder.” For real though, time apart can be great for intimacy. Why? Because it allows each of you to foster deep and meaningful connections with other people, as well as things that bring you joy.

Covid was a real killer for a lot of couples when it came to doing things separately. It became really easy to live at home, work from home, and have very few activities outside the home. 

It’s time to bring ‘em back, if you can! When you’re free to explore your own interests and encourage your intimate partner to do the same, you free yourself up to have something to report back on! You get to share all the quirky ins and outs of the folks you met up with, or your innermost thoughts on the savage violence you witnessed on the pickleball court. ;)


5. Learn something new together or make new friends together

According to social psychologist Sarah Gomillion, “Couples often fall into predictable routines – eating at the same restaurants, sticking to the same schedule, and engaging in the same sexual activities. These routines may eventually lead to boredom – a formidable enemy of passion. But by sharing new experiences together, couples can shake up these routines.” 

That’s right, research actually shows that couples who do new activities together get a spike of dopamine! There’s something about engaging in something new, whether that’s learning to rollerblade, doing your first paint ‘n sip night, or going on an interesting tour of the street art in your city, that just plain feels good.

Another interesting study showed that when couples engaged in a deep, revealing dialogue with a newly acquainted couple, they expressed a heightened sense of connection with their own partners and gained valuable insights into their partners' inner worlds. 

Remarkably, these couples experienced a subtle yet noticeable elevation in their emotional bond for up to a month following the encounter! This implies that forging new friendships has the potential to inject vibrancy into a relationship and foster a greater sense of togetherness between couples.

And here’s another fun one: Social psychologists created an obstacle course for couples, with a twist: Lovebirds were bound together at their wrists and ankles while navigating the challenges. And when the researchers measured the impact of this on relationship satisfaction, results were obvious: Couples who tackled this reported higher levels of satisfaction and love — and those around them remarked on how close and intimate they seemed afterwards. 

According to Gomillion, “Sharing new experiences increases feelings of love because it allows us to learn new things about our partners and use it to improve our understanding of ourselves – a process social psychologists call self-expansion. Meanwhile, engaging in physically challenging activities also increases physiological arousal, like elevating heart rate and breathing. When these psychological and physical effects combine, couples experience a state much like the first flush of passionate love.”

So if you want it all, go on some adventure dates! Do a ropes course together, or try out ATVs on a sand dune, or take a trapeze class. Then go home and get it on. ;) 

Let your relationship be an adventure, where passion and intimacy bloom, and where the connection between you as a couple reaches heights that surpass all expectations.






  1. Daniel O’Leary, Bianca P. Acevedo, and Debra Mashek, "Is Long-Term Love More Than A Rare Phenomenon? If So, What Are Its Correlates?", Published August 5, 2011. Accessed May 22nd, 2023.


Richard B. Slatcher, "When Harry and Sally met Dick and Jane: Creating closeness between couples" Journal of the International Association of Relationship Research. Published: May 21 May 2010. Accessed May 22nd, 2023.


Sarah Gomillion, "Can you revive the spark in a long-term relationship? Science reveals all", The Conversation. Published: February 12, 2016. Accessed May 22nd, 2023.


  1. Aron, C.C. Norman, E.N. Aron, C. McKenna, R.E. Heyman "Couples' shared participation in novel and arousing activities and experienced relationship quality", Published Feb 2nd 2000, Accessed May 22nd, 2023.


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