I’ve got a board on Pinterest called Cheap Intimacy Boosters. These are different from date nights, because with a six-month old (fill in your own intimacy-blocker), date nights don’t always go off without a hitch.
And on top of that, my husband, Paul, is in college full-time as well as working full-time.
Much less time together has left us feeling unconnected from one another, something we both were quick to decide we didn’t like one bit. Besides wanting that strong connection with one another, we’ve both always believed that a strong bond between parents is really important to our child’s health and well-being.
Baby or no baby, my husband and I still crave intimacy with one another where it’s just the two of us engaging, learning about each other, learning things about the world together, and just being “us”…you know, before we became a threesome.Having a baby, date nights don't always go off without a hitch. Click To Tweet
So I decided to look for cheap ways to boost our intimacy, whether we’ve got just three minutes, or three hours on those rare drop-offs to the grandparents’.
Intimacy Booster #1: Curate Something They’d Find Interesting
I like to tear out magazine articles − like the one I found about the new Star Wars movie leading up to when we saw it in theaters − I think he’d enjoy and leave them pinned to the fridge or on the bathroom counter (he’s a “reader” if you know what I mean).
Paul’s Take: “Torn out articles are fun little gifts that show that you care. It’s a very small act, but it makes a person feel special.”
Intimacy Booster #2: Learn Something New About One Another
You don’t need to be together in order to take personality-like quizzes that you can either email each other about or talk about later. Free ones we’ve taken include Fascinate (how the world sees you − I’m The Archer), 16 Personalities, and the 5 Languages of Love (highly, highly recommend not only this quiz, but to read the book together and discuss. See below.).
Paul’s Take: “In my opinion, most of these books and quizzes do not have any deep new insight into your relationship; however the act of doing them with your partner has real value. It is like a fun goal that you get to work towards with the one you love.”
Intimacy Booster #3: Consume the Same Material, at the Same Time
You can stay more relevant in each other’s lives by reading the same material at the same time. For example, Paul and I both read 5 Languages of Love together. In order to do this, grab one copy from the library and purchase the other one, or grab your second one from Paperback Swap so that you can both read it at the same time. Then you can text, email, or chat about it when you do have a few minutes with one another. Common interests are a good thing!
Intimacy Booster #4: Free Printable for a Saucy Night
Have you ever interviewed your spouse about sex? We both got quite into this once we had half an hour to sit down (after putting the little one to sleep). Using that printable linked to above, we folded over the sheet so that we couldn’t see the answers, then hid the first person’s answers while the second person answered. Very enlightening responses that made us both learn things about each other we didn’t know!
Another way to use this? Print it out, and put it in your spouse’s lunchbox. What an out-of-the-box surprise they can find a few minutes to fill in during the day.
Again, if you can’t find half an hour together, print two copies out and fill this out over lunch or other times throughout the day while you’re away from each other. Then share when you have the time (or simply switch with each other and read separately!).
Paul’s Take: “I recommend this one, simply for the fact that marriage should never mean boredom in any aspect of your relationship, but for many it often does.”
Intimacy Booster #4: Emoji Throwdown
I just recently converted to the iPhone. And I have to say, the emojis are torrents of fun. So if you have access to lots of emojis, then do what we did: an emoji throwdown. Text message each other an entire conversation in nothing but emojis. See how long you can keep it going!
Paul’s Take: “This is a strange one because to send an emoji is such a small act, but Amanda gets really excited about them. For instance, she loves octopi, so out of the blue I sent her an octopus emoji, and it made her day. Find something small and personal to do for your partner.”
Intimacy Booster #5: Leave a Shower Note
I was part of Amber McCue’s Freshly Implemented last year for growing my biz. Each month, she sent her clients a gift. And one month it was these waterproof notepads with a waterproof pencil for the shower so that we could record our ideas if we have them in there.
What did it turn into in our household? My adorable husband began writing me love notes on it. What a beautiful surprise! It became a really nice way to convey love from, what sometimes feels like, two passing ships.
Paul’s Take: “Sometimes we spend so much time taking care of Conner and working, that some days we hardly speak. That’s where a shower love note comes in handy. It is even more fun when you get a response in shower note form.”
The fact is, building and sustaining intimacy doesn’t take money. It takes time, effort, and intention. We’ll continue looking for ways to keep ours up to par, and I would love for your own examples to help show us the way in the comments below.Building and sustaining intimacy doesn't take money. It takes time, effort, and intention. Click To Tweet