Love

3 Tiny Ways To Boost Intimacy In Your Relationship (Learned From Orthodox Jewish Couples)

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Couple enjoying date at restaurant

If you need relationship advice to make your marriage more intimate and passionate, there are a lot of places you can look to teach you how to love your partner better. However, one place to look for relationship advice might be a little surprising: Orthodox Jewish couples. After all, where do you go for relationship advice? To homes of friends whose marriages seem solid? To websites that feature articles and TED talks by top therapists? How about to a kosher deli? (Yes, really!)

Couples who follow the guidelines of Taharat HaMishpacha cease physical contact with one another for about twelve consecutive days each month, starting with the onset of the wife’s menstrual cycle. At the end of this platonic period, the wife immerses in a ritual bath, or "Mikvah," and then the couple resumes their physical relationship. As an Orthodox Jew myself, I can tell you that this practice has an amazing effect on a relationship. The time when you and your loved one can’t touch challenges you both to solve troubling issues by talking, which strengthens your relationship and problem-solving skills. Best of all, the separation lights a fire under your physical yearning for each other, so when you finally resume intimacy ... ooh, la, la! Fun!

RELATED: 3 Critical Choices That Lead To A Passionate Relationship

Here are 3 ways to boost the intimacy in your relationship, learned from Orthodox Jewish couples:

1. Schedule time apart

Don’t just casually ignore your love life. Instead, set up a time when both of you deliberately choose not to do anything intimate and observe what happens. Your attraction to each other will probably become more intense because you want what you can’t have. There’s even a marketing concept based on this notion known as the “scarcity principle.” Here's how it works: Think about your relationship with chocolate. Maybe you buy a piece once in a while or keep a secret stash in your desk drawer. What would happen if you denied yourself chocolate for two weeks?

You would probably start to think a lot about it. You would notice chocolate in ads and shop windows. You would imagine yourself sipping hot chocolate or placing a decadent piece of Godiva onto your tongue. The minute the two weeks ended, you would run to get some. When you take a mutually agreed-upon break from intimacy, the desire you and your partner have for one another can grow quite intense.

RELATED: 8 Tiny Ways The Strongest Couples Maintain A Deep, Loving Connection

2. Invest in your friendship

While apart, Orthodox Jewish couples actively engage in non-physical forms of intimacy that strengthen the friendship side of their relationships. There are eight types of intimacy. These are social (going out together), non-intimate physical (playing tennis, going for walks), intellectual (discussing topics), non-intimate affection (giving compliments), aesthetic (listening or observing something beautiful), spiritual (praying or meditating together), emotional (sharing feelings) and being intimate. During your physical break, do some of these forms of intimacy. They can help you strengthen your relationship in a meaningful way.

   

   

RELATED: 11 Ways To Develop Strong Emotional Intimacy So Your Marriage Never Ends

3. Participate in "rituals"

Research shows that families that create and participate in shared rituals grow closer. The rituals don’t have to be religious ones. You and your honey can enjoy a weekly Sunday brunch or play Jeopardy! with your Alexa each evening. Any activity you do regularly can become a shared ritual that enriches your relationship.

   

   

RELATED: 8 Ways To Get The Magic Spark Back In Your Relationship (By Cleaning It Up)

Janis Roszler is a licensed marriage and family therapist, board-certified therapist, author, and award-winning medical media producer. She travels internationally as a speaker on relationships and health-related topics.