7 Ways Long-Term Couples Stay Intimate That Have Nothing To Do With Sex

by Maggie May Ethridge

No matter how in love you are, if you don't put in the effort to grow together in your relationship, you'll grow apart. Feeling that you're relationship is drifting away is uncomfortable, but it can be addressed with just a little bit of work. I’m talking about more cuddling on the couch, cooking dinner for two, and even binge-watching a new Netflix series. The non-sexual ways long-term couples stay intimate can be unique and effective, provided you’re willing to try.

Being together over a long period of time means that each of you is going to change — sometimes significantly — and staying close in spite of the changes is what will keep your relationship from crashing down. And although sex can play an important part in intimacy, it’s not the only way to remain close to your significant other. Small gestures like holding hands or putting the technology away when you talk are just some ways to remain intimate in an ever changing relationship.

Staying intimate is partly a decision: a decision to pay attention, to prioritize the one you love, to spend your time experiencing life together. If you’ve made the decision to stay intimate, here are some simple ways to do it that have nothing to do with sex. Because getting down isn’t the only thing that keeps you two close.

The Seven Levels of Intimacy, $9.99, Amazon


Share A Show

It's ubiquitous to hear couples talking about "their show" nowadays, and my husband and I are no different. Watching a show together leads to shared jokes, inside quotes and a deeper sense of your shared world views.

Mozart in the Jungle, $1.99, Amazon


Ask About Thier Day And Really Listen

The big moments in a relationship are incredible and memorable, but it's the small moments that add up to how you feel about your relationship. When you come home and there's someone that loves you who asks how your day was and then really wants to hear the answer, that's really coming home.

The Lost Art of Listening, $9, Amazon


Have A Dinner Party

There's something especially fun about being around other people, enjoying yourself, and not feeling attached at the hip to your SO. Knowing you can spend time with other people, but also miss your partner is a great way to strengthen your connection.

Barefoot Contessa Parties! Cookbook, $21.73, Amazon


Non-Sexual Touch


Respond To Each Other's Texts And Calls

When the rest of world ignores you, your significant other will text you back — or you'd hope. It's such a small thing, but it feels good every time you hear their voice on the other end of the phone, or hear the beep from their text. It's a way of saying to someone that they are a priority.


Spend Time Apart

While spending time together is an obvious must-do for a close relationship, spending time apart can help you remember what there is to miss about each other. This can be a weekend, a week, or just pursuing your separate interests on a regular basis.


Surprise Visits

When you show up for your partner at an unexpected time, it allows for that surprised feeling of delight in seeing each other that you normally don't get in a long-term committed relationship.