Intimacy can be defined in many ways.
But if you’re a dude, your brain probably went exactly where mine would have; the nape of a neck, the curve of a breast, or…
Sorry, where was I?
Truth is, intimacy isn’t what happens between the sheets. Intimacy means fostering a warm, friendly, informal atmosphere that makes is easy to share mutual interests, habits or affections.
Sex equals intimacy, but intimacy doesn’t necessarily equal sex.
Intimacy with your spouse should be the breath of your relationship. Yes, intimacy should include physical touch and carnal pleasure, but it must also be a core value that leads you to a deeper understanding of your partner.
Nurture your intimacy and you will have a union that is happier, healthier, and filled with surprises. Get to know your best half a little better and remind her that she’s the center of your universe. Gather insight into her interests outside of the bedroom and you might be surprised at what happens once the door is closed.
Here are 30 ways to be intimate with your wife. Start today and by this time next month you’ll be making the neighbors jealous.
- Have a Picnic: Whether you have a picnic at the park, beach, or living room floor, sharing a blanket full of food is a simple yet terrific way to enhance intimacy. You could be sitting beneath a cloud-filled sky dreaming of what will one day be, or in front of the fireplace reveling in silence – the one-one-one without the usual distractions will reinforce the idea that all you need is each other.
- Take her to the ballet: Maybe your wife isn’t the theater type. But if ballet, opera or anything on the stage is something she would enjoy, two tickets for an evening at the theater will show how much you care. Ballet or opera probably aren’t for, but it isn’t about you. Buying tickets shows an active interest in her.
- Book a room at a local bed and breakfast: This is a low maintenance way to experience the benefits of time away without emptying your bank account. Lavish your lover with a romantic evening and a leisurely breakfast, and let someone else do all the heavy lifting.
- Send flowers to work: Take it from me, a guy who worked in a flower shop for 12 years. Women LOVE getting flowers, especially at work. Having flowers delivered to your wife’s workplace will make the women around her jealous. Imagine what that might do for you.
- Surprise her: Leave an hour early from work and have a nice dinner prepared when she gets home. Schedule a babysitter for the kids if you need to, but make the evening about the two of you.
- Prepare a gift basket full of romantic items: Your wife works hard. Sometimes all she wants is a break. Give her what she needs with a basket brimming full of bath salts, chocolates, bubble bath and scented candles. The basket does the hard work for you, providing her with a calm, relaxing (and accessible) escape from reality.
- Make a romantic memory scavenger hunt: I’m sure you remember back when you first started dating and intimacy wasn’t a problem. Create a scavenger hunt built around your personal histories; your first kiss, first I love you!, or any old moment worth reliving. She’ll love the memories!
- Give her public praise: Just as sending flowers to her workplace will build her self esteem and help her see you in a softer light, even when you’re not around, praising her in public, whether she’s present or not, will do the same – especially when she hears others repeating your words back to her.
- Make her breakfast in bed: It’s cliché, but you can never go wrong with breakfast in bed (as long as you don’t burn anything or settle for cold cereal!).
- Do your chores (and hers): Surprise her by completing a stray chore or lingering home project that’s been laying unfinished for too long. Chipping in shows her you don’t take her for granted. Whether you’re helping to potty train your toddler, or finally finishing building the deck, your extra set of hands won’t go unnoticed.
- Maintain eye contact: Great eye contact sends the signal that your partner’s words are important to you. It shows your interest and affection. This will make your wife feel valued.
- Talk about your goals, then record them together: Discuss what you want for your collective future, then write those goals and set a date to re-evaluate them every six months. This will this make a great date night, but more importantly, it will establish a tradition of bonding that will keep you growing as a couple.
- Give her a seven second kiss: No need to hurry. Give her the same lingering lips you once did, back before she did all your laundry and you mailed all the bills.
- Be a better listener: Intimacy is about understanding and appreciating your wife’s desires and interests. Being a better listener means more than not watching TV while she’s talking, it’s about caring enough to ask the questions that will fertilize the conversation.
- Have a mini-honeymoon: Make time to get away for a long weekend. How long has it been since the two of you spent significant time alone together? Chances are, you’re overdue. Choose a special spot to get away from it all, and use your time to learn a little more about each other.
- Have manners: Be a gentleman. This may not seem like a big deal, but courtesy might be a bigger turn on for your Mrs. than you realize. Don’t let chivalry die on your watch; open the door, pull out her chair and by all means, use the manners your mama gave you.
- Let her rest: When the kids rise in the middle of the night, or are up first thing Sunday morning, take the initiative to lead the family toward quiet. Bonus points if you take her out to breakfast when she wakes up!
- Put her goals first: If your wife wants to go back to school, make sure she has the chance. Whether she wants to learn sewing or scuba diving, give her time to learn and grow herself. If your wife feels like she’s growing as a woman and person, she will be happier and healthier – so will your entire family.
- Write a mission statement: Take the time to write the expectations for your marriage and family. Sitting down and sharing goals is an extremely intimate experience. Deciding where to take your family together is the first step in getting where you’ve always wanted to go.
- Renew your wedding vows: You can’t do this one often, but it’s guaranteed to carry a lot of capital when you do!
- Ask your wife about her fears: Find out what makes her most insecure. This might even be uncomfortable, but only for a bit, and true intimacy is sometimes built by asking tough questions. Schedule a romantic dinner. Then ask what makes her sad and listen to her every word. Offer suggestions when appropriate, but it’s most important to simply listen.
- Alleviate her fears: Find ways to alleviate her fears and insecurities. Use your new knowledge to help your wife find a better outlook. Let her know you are there to put her first and protect her forever.
- Put her first: Value your wife above everyone else and make sure she knows how you feel. Your friends will always be around, your parents are family, but your wife should feel like she’s the most important person in your orbit.
- Court her: Remember how easy intimacy seemed before you said, “I do!” Intimacy doesn’t end after you get married, but it’s up to you to bring it back. You’ve caught her, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t ever want to be chased.
- Spend quality time together: Invite her for some quality alone time. Mark it on the calendar and don’t let anything get in the way. She deserves the attention and will appreciate having it.
- Write love letters: Making your feelings permanent with ink will go a long, long way. You don’t have to be Shakespeare to express your affection. Write from your heart. She will love it.
- Show her intimacy without expectation: Show her how much you love her without wanting anything in return. She will likely give you things you weren’t even asking for.
- Make her feel noticed: Let her know she looks beautiful when she takes the time to look pretty. Humans crave attention, you’re wife’s no different. Pay attention when she goes the extra mile and compliment her as often as possible.
- Recreate your first date: Tell your wife you’re taking her out, but don’t tell her where you’re going. You may be inhibited by time or geography, but do your best to recreate the experience of your first date together.
- Take dancing lessons: Not only is this fun and intimate, taking dancing lessons together will ultimately lead to the two of you going out and practicing what you learned – then returning home electrified.
Intimacy is more than a physical desire; it’s learning who your lover is on a deeper, more emotional level; discovering her interests and affections, and learning to appreciate the same things, at least on some level.
Take a month, try some of these ideas.
See how much more there is to learn about the person you thought could no longer surprise you.
Intimacy is a process, not an event, and it doesn’t end with marriage. Find it and you’ve found the golden goose that will lay golden eggs forever.
Sean Platt is a happy dad and ghostwriter who helps good writers make a great living. Follow him on Twitter.