Intimacy begins with privacy ... share less on your Facebook page and more with your mate.
Pssst! Want in on an easy way to add some fun, spice, and intimacy to your relationship?
Create a few secrets that are kept just between you and your significant other.
Why? Because when couples share secrets they builds intimacy. But first you need a few great secrets in your hip pocket to share, right?
Try these tips and you'll cultivate a sense of "we-ness," making you feel closer and more connected to your partner. You'll be constantly reminded that you're special and loved. And, according to Ohio State University researchers, who interviewed hundreds of couples—from newlyweds to empty nesters—on this very topic, sharing secrets can send the satisfaction factor in your relationship through the roof.
Here's how to get the power of secrets to work for YOUR relationship:
1. Celebrate special anniversaries.
Just about anything constitutes as special—the day you met, the anniversary of your first date, your first kiss, the day you bought your first house, picked out your first pet, or found out you were pregnant with your first child. The point is (and what makes it extra special) is that you don't tell anyone else what you're celebrating. Why? Secret rituals like these cement the intimate bond only the two of you share.
The big benefit of celebrating secret milestones like these is that it sparks memories of happy times you've shared, and reminds you both why you fell in love in the first place. There's nothing quite like hearing your sweetie say, "Remember that time when ..." to put a smile on your face and remind you of all the reasons you got (and are still) together.
Bonus: By celebrating special anniversaries with your partner, you create even more lasting memories together.
2. Code your conversations in public.
Give yourself brownie points if you have secret pet names for each other. Often goofy and gooey, silly and sappy pet names actually pack a powerful punch in cementing your bond as a couple.
For starters, calling your sweetie "Pooh Bear," "Puddin' Head," or "Muffin" actually conveys deep love by expressing warm and cuddly feelings (well, maybe not "Puddin' Head"). It also sends this lovey-dovey message: "You are one of a kind and I know you in a way that no one else does." Using cutesy, corny terms of endearment can even rescue you from a heated argument by cutting tension, snapping you back to the present and filling the room with positive, loving thoughts.
You can reap similar benefits by putting your heads together to create secret code words, phrases, and nonverbal signals to communicate with each other in public. These can run the gamut from talking about your dog when one of you is ready to bail from a boring party, or tugging on your ear to convey, "I love you," across a crowded room, to establishing a certain look that signals, "Let's not argue about this, it's just not worth it."
Research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships reveals that couples who use "insider language," or pet names and code words to send secret messages, create an "us against the world" feeling and are way more satisfied with their relationship than those who aren't so playful. No secret there.
3. Don't spill on social media.
It's fine to occasionally gush, "I have the best guy in the world." But, before broadcasting details about an amazing date night, a special gift he gave you, or the particulars of a recent romantic weekend getaway, ask yourself, "What's more important: passion with my partner or approval from my social media friends?"
Interestingly enough, new research reveals that sharing heaps of personal information about your relationship publicly (yes, I'm talking about those over-the-top, super-schmoopy Facebook posts) is a sign that you're actually feeling insecure about your relationship. And, if that's the case, a face-to-face with your partner is what you need.
But, the most important takeaway here is that privacy is a prerequisite for intimacy. To stay close and connected, most of the cherished moments you share need to remain sacredly your own. Besides, the last thing you want to do is get so busy posting or tweeting about special memories in your relationship that you no longer have time anymore to create a ton of new ones.
Want to unravel even more secrets to having a super-tight relationship? Visit my Experts page to order a copy of my bestselling book, Conversation is Sexy.