Better Sex and More Intimacy: Habits of Connected Couples

Here’s what intimate, connected couples do inside and out of the bedroom to keep their relationship hot.

They have separate interests

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“The happiest couples I’ve interviewed say they have a dynamic life together and an active life apart,” says Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert and author of Cheat on Your Husband (With Your Husband). “I think it adds a lot to the relationship when you can come back and share what you’ve done, what you’ve learned. It adds more excitement so you miss each other.” Most Americans are waiting a little later to get married and since many of us had active single lives before we married, we still want those outlets outside of our marriage, says Syrtash. Men and women are still prioritizing their relationships and time with friends, which can help them feel self-expressed when they return home to their partners, she says. Check out these 12 things sex therapists wish you knew.

But they also love doing activities together

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“Couples who prioritize each other are going to be more connected sexually,” says Syrtash. “It’s tough for us to connect in the bedroom if we’re totally out of touch. You don’t need to spend every waking moment together, but know that your partner is a priority.” If you’ve heard that “couples who sweat together, stay together,” consider physical activity—outside of the bedroom—as a great way to bond with your significant other while also improving your health. Not only does exercise releases endorphins—neurochemicals that make you feel happy—but some research says that after they participated in an activity or challenge together, couples reported feeling more connected and in love with their partner.

They have ‘no-tech’ time

iStock/Dragan Radojevic

Many couples in the digital age can probably relate to a time or two (or, uh, more) when their partner wasn’t paying attention to them while they scrolled Instagram or got sucked into a group text message chain. “I’ve interviewed couples over the years who say they have no time for intimacy, but their tech habits show otherwise,” says Syrtash. “We need digital boundaries to create intimacy.” Your relationship doesn’t just mean spending time together but it means spending quality time together, detached from your devices. Tell each other you’ll put your phones away during date nights and even a few nights a week when you spend time together relaxing at home. These are the 25 little sex mistakes you didn’t realize you were making.

They ‘pencil in’ sex

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“I can say I’m a fan of scheduling sex, but my phrasing is, ‘Plan to be spontaneous,’ whatever that means to you,” says Syrtash. Sure, putting “Sex on Saturday” on your calendar might look silly and sound like throwing a wet blanket on your love life, but when your schedule is jam-packed and you’re working long hours, it’s a way to make sure it happens. “When you’re overextended you’re not going to find the time unless you make it,” says Syrtash. Look at your calendars to see when the timing works out and plan for then—maybe when the kids are away on Saturday afternoon—rather than waiting to be inspired, says Syrtash. Remember that everything doesn’t have to be structured during sex just because you put aside general time to get intimate. And if the mood strikes one of you before your scheduled session, go for it! This is the best time to have sex, according to science.