Author and online relationship coach, Jordan Gray, is a firm believer in increasing your level of trust and connectedness with your partner before your relationship is in trouble. While some of his trust-building activities might seem a bit ‘out there’, they can be really fun and effective if you and your partner can keep an open mind.
Before you get into any challenging intimacy exercises, spend about 20 minutes connecting physically with your partner by cuddling or holding each other. It’s also a good idea to have extended cuddles before bed each night as a way to wind down and relax before sleep.
Tip: Connect before communicating. Before a serious talk, hold hands or have direct eye contact for a few moments. Connecting in a physical way can help you relax and prepare for communication on a mental or emotional level.
Share a secret
Depending on how long you’ve known each other, there may still be things you haven’t shared. Whether it’s a funny or embarrassing story, or something more serious, finding the courage to put yourself in a brave and vulnerable position and sharing with your partner will result in a powerful sense of trust and connection.
Show your gratitude
Insecurity often creeps in when we feel under-appreciated. A great way to show appreciation for one another is to take turns sharing three to five things that you’re grateful for in the other person. This positive affirmation makes you both feel loved and confident in the relationship.
Give each other five
This quick and easy exercise can be done anytime, anywhere. All you have to do is pick a topic like ‘things you love about me’, ‘places you’d like to visit together’ or ‘your favourite memories of us’. And then take turns rattling off five things for that topic. It’s a great way to learn about each other and remind each other of the happy times you’ve enjoyed together.
What’s in a name?
Using each letter in your partner’s name, come up with a word that you feel best describes them. For instance, Sue – Sweet, Unique, Energetic.
The aim is to use words that’ll convey your favourite aspects of their personality, and what you love and appreciate most about them.
Share your highs and lows
This is easy to do every day when you sit down to dinner or before bed. Take turns telling each other the best and worst parts of the day. Opening up, celebrating each other’s highs, and offering support through each other’s lows will bring you closer together.
Take the tied-up challenge
If you’re feeling adventurous and keen to spend some extra time on an intimacy exercise, tie your right arm behind your back and have your partner tie their left arm behind theirs. Now, try cooking a meal, washing dishes, or hanging out a load of laundry together. You’re guaranteed to have a few laughs while learning to work together as a team.