20+ Intimacy Ideas for Married Couples

Updated April 18, 2023  

The thing is:

When you're married for a couple of years, you're getting stuck in a boring routine.

And, of course, intimacy is not at the top of your priorities list anymore.

Which is pretty normal. I mean, you have to keep your kids alive (lol), earn money, keep the house in order, etc.

That's sucking up quite a lot of time.

The good news:

You can change it. I will show you my 20+ intimacy ideas for married couples that you can start implementing today.

Let's dive in.

What is Intimacy?

A lot of people think intimacy is all about
being sexual.

However, the meaning of intimacy goes beyond being sexually intimate with someone.

Intimacy is characterized by emotional openness between partners.

It involves a consensual relationship where both individuals can reciprocate feelings of trust and physical closeness.

Intimacy builds over time as you improve your connection with someone.

The 5 Types of Intimacy

To give you a better idea of what intimacy is,
check out the five types of intimacy below.

1. Emotional intimacy

Emotional intimacy is when two people develop a solid sense of closeness with each other.

This type of relationship is essential because it allows them to share feelings of trust.

It also enables open communication.

When two people are emotionally intimate with each other, they can let their guards down without feeling threatened.

Emotional intimacy also lets people feel accepted regardless of their flaws.

2. Intellectual intimacy

Intellectual intimacy is one of the special kinds of intimacy you can share with someone.

When you have this with your spouse, you will feel that you instantly “get” each other without much effort.

Intellectual intimacy allows you to talk about anything under the sun easily. 

However, this type of intimacy isn’t just about one person doing all the talking.

It means that two people have the same perspective or approach to various topics.

While it’s normal to have differences, you can easily understand each other.

When you are intellectually intimate with your spouse, you can contribute to each other’s perspectives.

3. Physical intimacy

This is usually what people think of when they hear the term intimacy.

Physical intimacy involves expressing, getting, giving, and sharing what feels good with your partner.

It is mainly centered on giving and getting pleasure, closeness, and forging a connection.

Every couple has their way of actualizing this type of intimacy.

What’s important is that both of you can express yourself sexually, and you are comfortable doing so.

4. Experiential intimacy

Experiential intimacy is built over time.

It’s when you can spend quality time with someone, and you grow closer with each other because of shared hobbies, interests, and perspectives.

For example, both of you may love the same sport.

5. Spiritual intimacy

Like other types of intimacy, spiritual intimacy can differ depending on who you share it with.

This usually centers on your belief in something that goes beyond the world’s existence.

For example, you can believe in having a greater purpose or a higher power.

When both of you share spiritual intimacy, it means you have shared values.

More than that, you believe that you were meant to find each other.

This is a very intense type of intimacy that drives you and your spouse to become the best version of each other. 

20+ Sexual & Non-Sexual Intimacy Ideas For Married Couples

It’s normal for your marriage to go stale at times.

Your schedules may not match up.

Your texts may go unread.

Your date nights may be canceled.

However, any relationship requires active participation.

If you are looking for ways to boost your intimacy with your partner, here are some ideas.

Related: Sexless Marriage Advice: 10 Tips to Fix a Sexless Relationship

1. Know how to listen

It may seem like the easiest thing to do, but listening is one of the most challenging skills to master.

Contrary to many people's beliefs, listening is not the same as hearing.

Couples who can calmly discuss their issues when arguing are less likely to break up than those who don’t have this quality.1

Discuss your issues calmly! Conflict behaviors have important implications for the longevity of marriage.

When you listen to what your partner is saying, you understand the things that are important to them, and it also makes you their go-to person if they want to share something.

2. Don’t forget to say thank you

You’ll be surprised at how something as simple as saying thank you can do leaps for your intimacy.

Everyday gratitude will make your partner feel closer to you.2

Sometimes, feelings of gratitude are even more crucial than the act of service itself.

Saying thank you can also counteract the effects of unpleasant encounters in your marriage.

In time, you will develop a culture of gratitude that will make you feel more content.

3. Share smiles and laughter

Did you know that attractiveness and happiness are connected?

A 2014 study found out that a person’s attractiveness increases depending on their smile.3

Smiling also releases happy hormones, resulting in a more joyful disposition.

If you feel positive, you will appreciate your marriage more, even with the flaws.

It can even lower your blood pressure, so you are more likely to remain calm instead of blowing up about a disagreement.

Related: 25 Ways to Make your Partner Laugh (+ Scientific Reasons)

4. Cuddle with each other

The importance of cuddling in your marriage cannot be highlighted enough.

If you are not in the mood to have sex, don’t stress about it.

Instead, have a cuddle session. Feeling the warm embrace of your partner can give you a sense of intimacy.

Cuddling can release oxytocin, an important hormone that makes you feel closer to your partner.

Research also suggests that people who cuddle become more affectionate and loving towards each other.4

If you want to take the extra mile, set the mood with music and lighting and simply soak in the presence of your spouse.

Most couples don’t realize how intimate cuddling is until they do it intentionally.

5. Make eye contact

There’s truly something magical about looking your partner in the eye.

In a 1970 study by social psychologist Zick Rubin, he found out that couples who make eye contact more often have a stronger relationship.5

There is a tendency for strong-together couples to engage in more eye contact that weak-together couples.

Eye contact is strong enough to create physiological arousal that will set you up in the mood for having a physical connection with your spouse.

This will make your body respond to any form of engagement and interaction.

Aside from that, sharing eye contact with your partner also makes you feel cared for.

6. Talk about serious matters

If deep conversations benefit relationships with strangers, can you imagine how much it can help you foster intimacy in your marriage?6

Having genuine conversations with each other will do wonders for your marriage.

The most crucial conversations you will have with your spouse are about your desire to make your marriage work. The more serious your conversation is, the more intimacy you will enjoy.

You can initiate a conversation to discuss your life plans and the things that matter most to you.

If you disagree about something, don’t take it as an opportunity to fight. Instead, look at it as a chance to widen your perspective.

7. Don’t’ forget to take care of yourself

Many couples think taking care of themselves is selfish, especially when there are tons of things to worry about, such as house chores.

However, it can be an excellent way to build intimacy in your marriage.

When you treat yourself with respect, you can become more vulnerable to open up to your spouse.

Self-care doesn’t just involve caring about your appearance but also taking a few hours to sit with your feelings.

It can also include traveling solo, enjoying your hobbies, and being more present in general.

These things will make you less likely to get triggered by little things.

Studies have also proven that pursuing individual activities can make you feel more interconnected with your partner.7

Having alone time away from your partner can actually beenfit your relationship in several ways.

8. Celebrate milestones

Whether it’s a promotion, birthday, or anniversary, you and your partner should celebrate with each other no matter how busy you are.

When you celebrate milestones together, you can step back from life’s daily pressures and take time to soak in the moment that changed your lives.

Around 86% of married couples celebrate their wedding anniversary.8

While you and your spouse should still spend some time apart, you should also prioritize doing things with each other.

If you think you have more time apart than together, this can make way for problems.

9. Dance together

Whether you consider yourself a good dancer or not, you’ll be surprised at how this activity can increase your intimacy with your spouse.

Dancing is an excellent form of exercise, and the best thing about it is it can be a shared experience.

If you have free time, attend a dance class. If not, blast feel-good music and dance in the comfort of your own home.

Either way, it’s a great activity that fosters connection.

It can even make you feel more grateful towards your partner, which improves your wellbeing.9

Friendly touch increases gratitude by inducing communal feelings.

10. Have more inside jokes

When you share an inside joke or unique expression with your partner, you can deepen your relationship more, according to a study by the University of Texas.10

These interactions are so meaningful because they improve your sense of identity as a couple and increase your sense of belongingness.

11. Touch your partner

Sex is not the only way to be physically intimate with your partner. Sometimes, the best type of physical intimacy is non-sexual touch.

Women tend to offer a physical touch more than men, but this shouldn’t be the case all the time.11

A simple hug, a touch on your partner’s forearm, or touching your partner’s back while you are walking is recommended.

Of course, keep in mind that unwanted touches will not do you any good.

12.  Kiss your partner

Do you remember constantly kissing your partner when you first started dating?

In time, kissing tends to take a backseat because of life’s busyness.

One survey that asked adults to share their best and worst kisses found out that most people ranked passionate kisses as the most memorable.12

35% of people ranked passionate kisses as the most memorable.

Considering this, why should you be content with giving your spouse a simple peck on the cheek before leaving your home?

Be intentional about kissing passionately.

If you can, surprise your spouse with the right lip action at the most unexpected time.

13. Tell your partner you love them

Three little words can mean so much in your marriage.

One study found out that saying “I love you” before having sex can foster an emotional connection with your partner.13

This could have a positive impact on the trajectory of your relationship.

When you take time to reassure your spouse how much you love them before making love, they are more likely to feel safe and appreciated.

14.  Be open about your fantasies

If you want to spice up your sexual relationship with your partner, start by being more open with each other about your sexual fantasies.

One survey conducted in 2018 found out that there are seven major fantasy themes.14

The 7 major sex fantasy themes of couples: 1. Multipartner sex. 2. Power, control, and rough sex. 3. Changing things up. 4. Taboo or forbidden circumstances. 5. Open relationships. 6. Passion and romance. 7. Same-sex encounters, gender-bending, and erotic flexibility.

Some of the most common fantasies include multi-partner sex, rough sex, and more adventure and variety.

However, make sure to bring up your fantasies the right way.

Take time to make your partner understand that you’re not doing it because you hate your current sex life.

You just want to explore something new.

15. Switch up your routine

Whether you’ve been married for two years or two decades, it’s easy to fall into a routine.

This can make you feel comfortable because you always know what to expect and what will happen next.

However, routines are not the bane of marriages because they give you some security level.

It’s important to switch things up a bit sometimes.

Unfortunately, most married couples hardly or never go out together.15

When you try something new, you can reignite the spark in your marriage and become more invigorated.

It doesn't have to be anything special.

Trying a simple activity together is enough.

Related: 20 Super Practical Ways To Become A Better Spouse (Right Now)

16. Reminisce your relationship

Reminiscing can do wonders for your marriage.

Remember all the times you’ve experienced together, especially good ones.

When you talk about your past experiences, it will transport you back in time and make you remember the emotions that came with the event.

You might know this feeling already when listening to songs that remind you of specific moments in your life.

Capturing the positive feelings again will increase your intimacy because it will take you back to the time you fell in love with each other.

This is important considering nostalgia is linked to satisfaction.16

Relationship nostalgia and relationship satisfaction are positively associated.

17. Schedule sex

This may seem like the most unromantic thing to do, but life gets in the way of your sexual connection with your partner.

When you go to bed after a long day at work, the last thing on your mind may be to have sex with each other.

In time, you will simply not think of having sex with the love of your life.

However, it is easier to do if it is a part of your routine.

Around 52% of couples even schedule it.17

52% of all couples schedule sex.

When you do this, sex will remain a crucial part of your relationship and drive anticipation.

18. Leverage technology

Communication with your partner should not just be done when you are together.

As much as you can, stay connected without being too overbearing.

Around 21% of couples feel closer to their partner after exchanging messages online or through text.18

21% of people in a committed relationship have felt closer to their partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message.

You can text each other during your lunch break and ask about how their day is going.

Understanding how your spouse spends most of their day will help you get better at adapting their mindset.

Make sure to discuss topics that are outside your kids or house chores.

19. Show support to your partner

As much as you can, show support to your partner. If they ask for your assistance, let them know what you can contribute.

Even if you don’t do anything but listen to them, that would still go far in making them feel like you support them.

Being dependable can strengthen your connection in many ways.

Give your partner undivided attention and stop being on your phone at all times.

Around 70% of married women report that phones interfere with their relationships frequently.19

20. Talk about intimacy

Intimacy can mean different things for every person.

For example:

The important type of intimacy to you may be intellectual intimacy, while your spouse may prefer physical intimacy. 

The only way you can better serve each other’s needs is to talk about them.

Tell your partner how you want to spend time together, and talk about the activities you want to share with them.

You can even make an effort to learn their love language.20

21. Show them off on social media

While studies correlate frequent posting about partners on social media to insecurity about the relationship, there's no doubt doing so every once in a while will make your partner feel that you are proud to be with them.21

Posting about your partner on social media can have a positive effect on your relationship.

22. Get help

Sometimes, it’s tough to untangle all your intimacy issues on your own.

If you are serious about rekindling the spark in your marriage, you need to know that there is no shame in getting professional help.

This will help nurture your relationship considering 97% of couples say they got the help they needed in therapy.22

Over 97% of couples said they got the help they needed in therapy.

Need more helpful tips? Check out our extensive list of marriage advice from experts.

Your turn

Which tip are you going to put into practice today?

How are you practicing intimacy with your spouse?

Let me know in the comments below. 🙂

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About the author 


Sebastian loves analyzing statistics about anything that has to do with the dynamics in a love relationship. He enjoys researching why people behave the way they do (and drinks horrendous amounts of coffee when he's in the zone).

He uses his knowledge to help couples in troubled relationships reconnect with their partners and create a perfectly imperfect relationship.

Dowload my free 14 mistakes ebook 

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