Bridging the intimacy gap: 5 ways to live a more intimate life
Are you feeling a lack of intimacy in your life? Our latest survey shows that tech isn’t bringing us together, it’s making us lonelier. Here’s how to bridge the intimacy gap, whether you’re single or in a relationship
Technology means that it’s never been easier to stay connected; whether it’s jumping on Facetime with your friends, sending a WhatsApp to your family group or Skyping with your sister. But despite this, modern Brits still lack intimacy in their lives. An eHarmony UK survey found that almost half of us (42%) feel that we missing out on intimacy – and it’s not just singles, over 10 million people in relationships reported feeling the pain of the intimacy gap.
We’re not just talking physical intimacy either. Emotional closeness, intellectual intimacy and spiritual bonds were all found to be in need of improvement in our survey.
So, how can you bridge the gap and bring intimacy – in all its forms – back into your life? Here are our top 5 tips:
Swear off swipe culture
Let’s face it; dating apps are everywhere and it’s very tempting to spend 5 minutes swiping through profiles whenever you’re bored or feeling alone. In fact, it’s easy to see swiping as a game, forgetting that the profiles represent real people, not just avatars waiting for you to go left or right. It’s unsurprising that our survey found that 29% of Brits feel that casual dating apps place too much emphasis on physical attraction and that 1 in 5 agree that they’ve led to more low quality dates. It’s a classic case of quick connections that don’t offer any real intimacy.
Don’t rely on first impressions
Attraction is central to every relationship but when it comes to intimacy, it’s not the most important thing. 71% of people in our survey chose a good sense of humour as the best indicator of romantic compatibility. Sharing a similar outlook on life, cultural tastes, and goals and aspirations also outranked physical attractiveness. It’s useful to keep this in mind if you’re looking to increase intimacy in every area of your life. While a partner that you find very attractive might help to enhance your physical intimacy levels, emotional closeness and intellectual intimacy demand more.
Escape to the country
Cities certainly offer the greatest choice when it comes to dating but, unfortunately, fleeting connections are commonplace. Long working hours and a fast pace of life mean that city slickers are more likely to crave intimacy than their rural counterparts. In our survey, Oxford residents reported the greatest lack of physical intimacy while inhabitants of Liverpool crave emotional affection more than in any other UK city. If you’re not quite ready to up sticks and move to the country, consider investigating the clubs and organisations available in your area and try to seek out opportunities to get to know your neighbours – you’ll be amazed at the difference it’ll make to your day-to-day intimacy levels.
Consider a digital detox
If you’re constantly connected to your smartphone and spend hours on social media then you probably already feel that you can be in touch with people all day but still lack intimate connections. It’s undeniable that technology has revolutionised the way we stay in touch but it can also keep people at a distance – a screen length apart. Try taking things offline sometimes. Arrange a catch-up coffee with your best friend rather than sending them a quick text, or have a chat with the person next to you in the supermarket queue instead of burying your head in your phone. Every little helps.
Invest in intimacy
If your relationship lacks intimacy, invest in date nights. It may sound cliché, but setting aside time to focus on your relationship can help you to restore physical, emotional and intellectual intimacy. When you’re both leading busy lives it’s easy to overlook those little things that inspire closeness in a relationship. Whether it’s taking time to talk about your day with your partner or remembering to kiss goodbye every morning, the small things really add up. Intimacy won’t magically reappear in your relationship. Commit to rediscovering your partner and make a conscious effort to take interest in their passions and you’ll soon find yourselves coming back together.
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