If your life moves at a frantic pace, you might not think you have enough time each day to connect with your spouse. You're wrong. Increasing intimacy can be done in just a few seconds. All it takes is effort. Skeptical? Here are eight ways to feel closer to the one you love most in 5 minutes less.
A lingering kiss
Fiercemarriage.com touts the 15-second kiss is an excellent way to connect with your spouse, increase feelings of love and intimacy and improve mood. Several other relationship blogs assert these feelings can be awakened in a mere 6 seconds. If you're not sure how long your usual kisses last, count in your head. You might be surprised how long 15 seconds is. Trust me, though, lingering kisses will leave you wanting more.
A thoughtful text
If your daily texts to your spouse read "Pick up milk at the store and get Sarah from soccer at 5:15," it's time to change up the routine. Use texting as a way to show love and get personal. If you are thinking about your spouse during the day, text her and let her know. Your text might read something like this, "Just thinking about how much I love you. You make me so happy." Add specific details for maximum results.
Whenever my husband rubs my back or feet, I feel so pampered. Touch is an important sense, and touch between humans is an important way to show intimacy. If your spouse is feeling tense or unable to relax, offer a massage noting the ways he prefers to be touched.
A heartfelt compliment
If your spouse makes an extra effort to please you, make your life easier or just looks especially attractive, be vocal in your praise. Most people respond well to compliments. Taking time to affirm your spouse will make her feel more loved. Make the moment more intimate by talking when the two of you are alone, away from distractions and other people. Giving your compliment with a hug or other token of affection is even better.
A flirty tease
After several years of marriage, you might think you don't need to flirt anymore, or you may have lost your skill. Dust off your best lines (or find some new ones) and take time to flirt and be playful. Giving a well-timed glance or sneaking a kiss will make your spouse very aware of your presence. Try looking her right in the eyes and see what emotions are stirred up.
I love receiving notes. It's fun to find them tucked into unexpected places. Even if you're not a natural romantic, it's easy to write a sweet note (not too personal, in case someone else finds it) and hide it for your spouse to find. A visual reminder of love, devotion and attraction is always well-received and takes just a minute to write.
An act of kindness
Relationship experts sometimes talk about "currency" or "love languages." For many people, acts of kindness mean love. When my husband makes our bed, which is more important to me than him, I feel loved. I think he feels loved when I make him breakfast on a morning he's rushed or take out the trash even though it's his job. Unselfishness will naturally bring about feelings of love, which can bring you closer together and make you feel more intimate.
A sincere thank you
Compliments and kindnesses deserve gratitude in return. When you take the time to feel grateful, you will also feel love for your spouse. Although thank-you notes may be going out of style, consider writing one to your partner telling her how you appreciate specific things she does for you. Flowers or small gifts can be given as thank-you's, too. And if you're really short on time, saying thank you goes a long way toward staying close.
At times, I feel distractions and responsibilities tugging at me pulling me away from my relationship with my husband. If you can identify with those feelings, take time to increase your intimacy. You only need a minute or two to feel close again.
Amy M. Peterson, a former high school English teacher, currently lives in Oregon with her husband and four children. She spends her days writing, reading, exercising and trying to get her family to eat more vegetables.