How important is physical intimacy in a relationship?

Most couples place a lot of importance on physical intimacy—and I’m just talking about sex. 

Physical intimacy involves touch like massage, hand-holding, cuddling, and caressing. It can be as small as resting your head on your partner’s shoulder during a movie. 

While there are specific relationships that thrive off of limited physical intimacy, most couples need it. 

Is physical intimacy important?

In short, yes. While sex may be seen as the most important part of a relationship, it’s not. There are other ways to express love to your partner physically.

But what are the benefits of physical intimacy? Physical touch, specifically cuddling, helps release oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone that makes you feel safe and secure. In addition, cuddling helps bond a couple and boost your immune system.

Different ways to show physical intimacy

So what are the different ways to be physically intimate in a relationship?

Physical touch can include:

  • Kissing: it’s one of the easiest ways to show physical affection to your partner. You can kiss their cheek, forehead, lips, etc.
  • Cuddling: wrapping yourself around your partner or vice versa can bring you emotionally and physically closer together.
  • Holding hands: holding hands with your partner is a small gesture that releases mood-boosting endorphins.
  • Massage: rubbing your partner’s back or giving them a massage shows that you’re supportive and care for them. 
  • Tickling: not everyone likes being tickled, but it still is an expression of love.
  • Sitting side-by-side: sitting close enough so that you’re touching each other is a signal of closeness and love in a non-verbal way.

4 Things to Do to Improve Your Physical Intimacy

Intimacy isn’t as simple as the media portray it. For long-term relationships, it takes more effort and work. If you want to improve the physical intimacy in marriage or a relationship, here are the things you need to do.

Talk about it

If you want to improve your physical intimacy, you need to have an honest conversation about it. To make intimacy a priority in the relationship, there needs to be a conversation about it. 

In many relationships, there’s one person who wants more sex than the other. This is why you need to be clear about each other’s needs and desires in your sex life. 

If there’s something you need to work on in your sex life, talk about it openly. This is the only way you two can work on improving your physical intimacy.

Do baby steps

You don’t need to start off by having sex three times a day. This isn’t realistic, nor is it manageable. Instead, go slowly and take baby steps. Start by holding hands when out of the house. Cuddle while watching tv. Kiss each other after waking up. Get yourself in the mindset of thinking more about physical intimacy and making it a part of your day. 

By planting the seeds, you put romance into your minds. Also, identify what your love language is. Is it through touch? Quality time? Words? Gift-giving? How do you show love? How does your partner show love?

Start outside the bedroom

Create the space for touch and intimacy before you go to the bedroom. 

Sex doesn’t start when you’re in the bedroom. It’s a journey. Set the mood and engage in foreplay. It’s crucial you create the space for you and your partner to be sexually free in. This will take some exploration as you two discover what makes you both tick.

Focus on foreplay

Foreplay is always forgotten in the bedroom, yet it’s the most important part of physical intimacy and sex. 

Think of foreplay as a way to warm up your partner. For women, foreplay is essential to become aroused. It helps shift and relaxes the mind. 

If you’re in a relationship where you both aren’t interested in physical intimacy, that’s one thing. But if you want physical intimacy and aren’t receiving it, it’s time you prioritized your needs. 


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