I hope you had a chance to try the three love-building techniques from the last post, used to help increase emotional intimacy with your partner. Here are some other suggestions by Robert Epstein, PhD, psychologist and researcher. For more information on Epstein’s upcoming book, visit Making Love Book.
4. “Fall” in love or the trust exercise. Let yourself fall into the arms of your partner. Trade places. Repeat a few times. This activity helps increase feelings of vulnerability, even in strangers.
5. Share Secrets. You and your partner write down a deep secret then swap and discuss. Repeat if you like. Sharing secrets also increases vulnerable feelings and leads to a heightened sense of intimacy.
6. Mind-Reading Game. Think about a thought you want to convey, and write it down. Then, try to convey it silently while he or she guesses. If she can’t guess, reveal the answer, then switch.
7. Let Me In. This is an exercise of invading the other’s personal space, starting about four feet away, and moving closer every 10 seconds or so for a few minutes. Get as close as you can without touching. (I say, at the end of the exercise, if you feel like touching, go for it.)
8. Love Aura. Place your palms close together—but not touching—for several minutes. Feel the heat and energy.
As you can tell, all these exercises make a couple feel physically or emotionally closer (or both). I would add that any discussion that shares your deepest dreams or fears would also fall into this category. I think the reason these are successful is that we spend so much of our day simply accomplishing tasks and perhaps sharing an activity, such as watching a TV show. How often do we truly interact in a new and different way?
Plan an adventure, even if it’s just a treasure hunt in your own house with clues at each step. Learn a skill together. I think it would be fun to learn a language together then visit the country that speaks that language. You could even get kids involved in this activity. If you can’t afford to travel, plan an “Italian Night” or “Parisian Night” at home with decorations and food, and speak only that language.
One of the couples I interviewed shared when their kids are at summer camp, they like to go on long bike rides where they purposely get lost together. They also enjoy board games in the back yard. This has helped keep their relationship fresh after overcoming a life-threatening cancer (her) and an early drug addiction (him). Some couples may prefer reading a book together or taking a cooking class together.
What was your favorite technique, or were you too uncomfortable to try them? What activity are you planning to increase that loving feeling?