7 ways to enhance closeness in your relationship

7 ways to enhance closeness in your relationship, including expressing gratitude for your partner.

Share Post:

7 ways to enhance closeness in your relationship

7 ways to enhance closeness in your relationship

Picture of Nathan Cobb, <small>Ph.D. in MFT, RMFT, R.Psych</small>

Nathan Cobb, Ph.D. in MFT, RMFT, R.Psych

Registered Psychologist and Registered Marriage & Family Therapist

Are you in a relationship that feels like it’s lost its spark? Do you want to feel closer to your partner? Here are 7 ways to enhance closeness in your relationship:

Be Real

Being real in a relationship means taking off the mask, being vulnerable, and showing your authentic self. When you open up to your partner and express your innermost thoughts and feelings, it can be disarming and create a deeper connection between you both.

For instance, imagine you’ve been having a tough week at work, but you haven’t been able to share it with your partner because you’re afraid of appearing weak. However, you decide to be real and finally open up about your struggles. Your partner listens attentively and offers words of encouragement and support. This vulnerability deepens the connection between you both, and you feel closer and more understood.

Authentic communication is disarming because it breaks down the walls we build to protect ourselves. When we show our true selves, we allow our partner to see us for who we are, flaws and all. This builds trust and intimacy in the relationship, and allows us to connect on a deeper level.

Be Affectionate

To improve your relationships, it is important to show affection through physical touch, like hugs and kisses, as well as through verbal communication. Consider telling your loved ones how much you appreciate them, what you value about them, or doing small things to make them feel special, like cooking their favorite meal or surprising them with a thoughtful gift. Affection is a key component of any healthy relationship and can help strengthen the bonds between you and your loved one.

For example, you might say something like, “I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the effort you put into making me feel loved and supported. You always know just what to say to make me feel better, and I feel so lucky to have you in my life.”

Affection is essential for intimacy. Holding hands, hugging, and kissing are all ways to show your partner that you care. Physical touch releases oxytocin, a hormone that creates feelings of warmth and closeness.

Be Respectful

Respect is one of the foundations of any healthy relationship. It involves valuing your partner’s opinions, listening to them, and treating them with kindness. When you respect one another, it creates a sense of safety and trust, which can foster closeness and intimacy.

For example, imagine that your partner expresses an opinion that you strongly disagree with. Instead of dismissing their opinion or becoming defensive, you take the time to listen and understand where they are coming from. You ask thoughtful questions and engage in a respectful dialogue. By showing respect for their perspective, you demonstrate that their opinion matters and that you value their thoughts and feelings. This creates a deeper emotional connection and builds trust in the relationship.

Remember, respect is not just about being polite, it’s about treating your partner with empathy and kindness, even when you disagree. By practicing respect in your relationship, you create a foundation of trust and love that can deepen your connection and enhance your closeness.

Be Interested

Being interested and curious about your partner’s hobbies, passions, and dreams is crucial to enhancing closeness in your relationship. When you show an interest in what your partner cares about, you demonstrate that you value them as a person and want to understand what makes them tick. This can help create a deeper sense of intimacy and connection between you both.

For example, imagine your partner is really into photography, and you don’t know much about it. You could dismiss it as “just a hobby,” or you could take the time to ask them about it and learn more. By showing genuine curiosity and interest, you might discover that photography is a way for them to express themselves creatively, or that they enjoy the challenge of capturing a perfect shot. As you learn more about their passion, you’ll likely gain a deeper appreciation for it and for your partner as well.

When you take an interest in your partner’s passions and dreams, you also open up opportunities for new experiences and shared interests. Maybe you’ll discover a new hobby that you both enjoy, or you’ll find ways to support each other in pursuing your individual goals. By being curious and engaged, you can nurture your connection and deepen your love for one another.

Be Playful

Being playful with your partner can create happy memories and help you connect with each other. Playfulness is about letting go of your inhibitions and being silly with your partner. It can involve anything from tickling each other to making silly faces or dancing in the kitchen. When you allow yourself to be playful, you show your partner that you are willing to be vulnerable and let loose, which can deepen your connection and enhance intimacy.

Playfulness is vulnerable. It involves taking a risk. You are opening yourself up to the possibility of rejection or embarrassment. However, when you are willing to take that risk, you demonstrate to your partner that you trust and value them.

Be Thoughtful

Doing small things for your partner can make a big difference in your relationship. For example, you might surprise them with their favorite snack, leave a love note on their pillow, or do something special just for them like making breakfast in bed. These gestures show your partner that you’re thinking of them and that you care about their happiness.

Another example of thoughtful gestures is buying your partner a gift that shows you’ve been paying attention to their interests. For instance, if your partner loves to read, you could surprise them with a new book by their favorite author. If they’re into music, you could get them tickets to see their favorite band in concert. These kinds of gifts show that you’ve been listening to your partner and that you care about their passions and interests.

You could also plan a surprise date night, such as a fun outing, like going to a concert or taking a hike together. By planning something special for your partner, you demonstrate your commitment to the relationship and your desire to make them happy. Remember, it’s the small things that count.

Be Grateful

Finally, expressing gratitude for your partner is one of the most powerful ways to increase bonding and connection between you. When you take the time to acknowledge and appreciate specific qualities or actions of your partner, it shows that you value them and the effort they put into the relationship. Expressing gratitude can take many forms, whether it’s saying “thank you” for something they did, writing a heartfelt note or text, or doing something special for them in return. It also helps to be specific. “Thank-you for making dinner,” is nice, but “I know I said I was going to cook dinner, but I really appreciate how you just stepped in when I saw I wasn’t going to make it home on time. It took a lot off my plate.”

Gratitude also helps to create a positive cycle of love and appreciation in your relationship. When you show gratitude, it makes your partner feel good about themselves and the relationship. This positive energy can then inspire them to show more love and kindness towards you, creating a feedback loop of positivity and connection.

So, make it a habit to express gratitude towards your partner regularly. Try to notice the things they do for you and say thank you for them. Be specific and genuine in your appreciation. You might be surprised at how much this simple practice can deepen your connection and enhance your overall sense of love and fulfillment in the relationship.