Sex is an important part of any relationship. But the moments when you really feel close to someone, when you feel like you know each other on a level you’ve never known anyone else, usually happen when your clothes are on. These moments are not necessarily incredible or over-the-top or mind-blowing. They’re just special little things that happen when you find yourself with someone who makes you feel a way you’ve never felt with anyone else. As you get older, you start to realize that you want to feel intimacy with someone through things other than sex. You want to get to know them and you want to share pieces of yourself and you want to feel things together. Here are 15 of the intimate moments happy couples share that are unrelated to sex.
1. Feeling comfortable – even enjoying – extended periods of silence. Not needing to fill every moment with something other than one another.
There’s no small talk. There’s no obligation to discuss things you don’t care about. No comments about the weather outside or questions about your boring job. Instead you bask in the beautiful silence, in the fact that you can sit and enjoy the presence of another person without feeling uncomfortable or antsy or weird. You begin to treasure this peaceful silence, because what it says to you is that you enjoy this person so much that you don’t feel the need to fill the space with meaningless words. The space is filled instead with heat and energy and an unspoken agreement between the two of you that you are just meant to sit in this car or lay in this bed or rest on this couch and just be the two of you, together.
2. Cooking together.
People are out there living their ideas of glamorous lives. They’re getting bottle service at clubs and attending exclusive wine tastings and dancing around at EDM concerts. But you’re standing over the stove together, watching water boil and feeling more content than you ever have before. Other people are out wearing bandage dresses and 3-piece suits. But the two of you are all pajama pants and t-shirts and fuzzy socks and sweatshirts, and you’ve never been more attracted to each other. One of you is cutting up peppers while the other one works on the pasta. And even though it’s the simplest thing and the simplest night, you feel the foundations of a steady partnership, and right now that’s all you need.
3. Holding hands absentmindedly.
You look down at one point and notice your fingers entwined. You have no idea how long they’ve been like that. It could have just happened or you could have been holding hands for the last 6 days. Your bodies are so comfortable with each other that touching one another has become a completely natural thing for you at this point. You don’t even think about it. You’re reading a book and they’re watching tv or you’re driving in the car or you’re walking down the street. And all the while, your hands are always reaching out, searching for each other.
4. Getting stupid-drunk together.
It usually happens without warning. One glass of wine at dinner turns into three. Or one of you shows up at the other’s door with a couple six-packs of delicious beer. Or you go out for a night on the town with your mutual friends. You’re already intoxicated with the feeling of being ridiculously happy with another person, so you choose a drink that’s going to keep up with you. The two of you slowly start to feel the effects of the alcohol, and it only intensifies the giddiness you feel for one another. And then it happens: you are stupid-drunk. You laugh at stupid things and hang all over each other and think about what will happen when you get home and split a late-night pizza and compliment each other and feel so thankful in this moment that you’ve found someone so wonderful.
5. Taking long, unplanned, glorious naps.
It’s always unexpected. Finally, you have a Saturday where neither one of you has any plans or obligations. You sleep in, maybe get some brunch or run some errands. Eventually you return home and somehow you both gravitate towards the bed. You meant to just warm up under the covers for a few minutes since your apartment is currently 50 degrees. But somewhere in between playing footsie and murmuring softly about dinner plans, you both drift off into the most easy, comfortable sleep. It’s almost dark again when you wake back up, but you make no rush to do anything, because their arm is around you and the warmth is just too good to turn away.
6. Going out of your way to surprise each other in little ways, as often as possible.
Nothing spectacular or over-the-top. Just simple, unexpected surprises that make your significant other smile. Sometimes you run into the drug store to pick up a prescription while they wait in the car, and you come out with their favorite candy, just because you love watching their face light up over something so small. Or they purposefully leave their favorite sweatshirt at your place because they know how much you love wearing it. You never have to do anything big. It’s always sweet, little gifts that manage to make your entire day.
7. Being unprecedentedly honest – never filtering what’s really on your mind.
Your secrets. Your goals. Your dreams. Your fears. Your greatest flaws. Your biggest failures. Your weakest moments. Opening yourself up completely to someone else is one of the scariest things you can do. It’s the reason why those conversations make you feel more intimate with your partner than you do during sex or during a romantic date or anything else in the world. You know each other. You know the parts of each other that suck and the parts of each other that you keep hidden and the parts of each other that you’re each ashamed of. And you love each other anyway. And that’s the real reason you’re so happy together.
8. Writing notes to one another.
Sometimes it’s a full-page letter. Or it’s something simple on a post-it. Or it’s lip-stick on the mirror when you’re feeling bold. You both know there’s just something special and rare about having a hand-written note addressed to you, from someone who really cares about you. So you make it a point to leave notes behind for each other to find.
9. Sincerely feeling as though their happiness is your happiness (and doing things to facilitate that).
You love getting up before them and making them a cup of coffee before you leave for work. They love to cook you dinner, even if it’s just scrambled eggs, when you’re exhausted and hungry. You find it to be one of the most intimate feelings in the world – the fact that you’re happiest when you’re putting someone else before yourself, trying to make them smile and make their world just a little bit easier.
10. Holding each other for a little while, saying nothing.
Because sometimes, that’s all that the two of you need. To be close to one another, just for a second.
11. Sleeping in the same bed just to be near each other, and to fall asleep next to one another.
Even if it’s midnight, sometimes one of you will make the trek over to the other’s place, just because you want to sleep close to one another. It’s not a late-night booty call or an obligation or an expectation. You both just love the feeling of dozing off with your limbs wrapped up together. Your chests rising and falling at the same pace. Opening your eyes at two in the morning and smiling deliriously because they’re lying safely beside you. Knowing they are next to you because they love you, not what your body can do for them.
12. Vegging out on the couch all night.
Being worthless. Eating an inappropriate amount of food. Watching crappy movies and having a blast anyways. Glowing in the high of being warm and cozy and completely in love. Having no interest in scrolling through Instagram or looking at your Twitter feed or trying to figure out what the outside world is doing, because you’re having so much fun doing absolutely nothing with the person beside you. Nobody is wearing make-up and no one is trying to impress anyone. You’re just being you, completely you, while you sit on the couch next to the person who loves “completely you” more than anything.
13. Having an offensive amount of inside jokes.
You two basically have your own language. The inside jokes come from shared experiences and your favorite shows to watch together and stupid things you’ve done in front of one another and a million other things. Sometimes it gets so bad that you actually have to concentrate on not excluding other people when you’re out with friends or family. You get so close that you two can just look at each other and you know what you’re trying to say. This kind of chemistry doesn’t happen a lot, and you’re grateful for how unbelievably close it makes you feel.
14. Asking for the other person’s advice or opinion on something – and taking it seriously.
You two trust each other. You admire each other. You think you make each other better. It’s one of the most special and important parts of relationships – respecting each other and holding each other’s opinions highly. You feel like you can always turn to one another when you need guidance or advice or just somebody to talk to when you feel confused and crappy and directionless. Your partner never has all of the answers, and neither do you. But knowing you always have someone by your side, who’s rooting for you and there to talk through things with you and support you, is always enough.
15. Showing each other the pasts you weren’t a part of.
You talk about your childhood memories. Your favorite teacher in middle school. The most embarrassing thing that you did in college. You want them to know everything about you. And vice versa. You take comfort in the fact that you have the rest of your lives to uncover the beautiful mysteries of each other, and to build new memories along the way.