Intimacy outside of the bedroom can occur in so many different ways.
These moments aren’t usually amazing, mind blowing experiences, but instead the little moments where you know that you share something special; when you become aware that the person looking back at you makes you feel incredible. Connecting on shared memories is a fantastic way to keep sparks flying. When you face an obstacle in your relationship, sit down with your partner and calmly discuss the issue.
Are you at ease and comfortable with him or her, or still feeling nervous, awkward, and unsure?
Of course, having some butterflies is natural, but if you’re going to get serious physically, you need to be sure you fully trust this person and feel at ease with him or her. If the answer has anything to do with “To hold on to the relationship,” “Because he/she really wants me to,” “Because I’m worried I’ll lose him/her,” “Because everyone else is,” or “Because it will make him/her love me more”—hold up! The healthy answer is, “Because I’ve thought about it, I feel good about it, and I want to.” Research tells us that when people have sex, emotions about the relationship tend to get bigger and more complex.
Your choices in this area could also affect you for a long time (for instance, if you became pregnant or contracted an infection).
However, although sex is an important part of a relationship, physical intimacy is just one of the many ways that we can feel closer to our partners.Talking to your parents or another trusted adult can really help, too.For more on sex, safer sex, abstinence, birth control, and healthy relationships, visit the links below in Further Reading.This includes everything from hugging and kissing all the way to intercourse. Practical Stuff These are questions about the “nitty gritty.” Do you know how pregnancy occurs, and how it doesn’t?Are you familiar with common STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and how they are transmitted? Do you know what you would do if this were to happen to you or your partner? What resources are available to you locally and how would you safely access them? The Decision The decision to become physically intimate with a partner is a big one, and there’s a lot to think about.If you’re a teen who’s dating, even casually, the time is going to come when you need to make choices about the physical part of your relationship.This topic can be tricky, confusing, and hard to talk about, but if you don’t give it some thought early on, you may regret it. There are personal and value-based decisions you need to consider.Further Reading Sex and Healthy Relationships—from Love is Respect What is Consent?—from Love is Respect Birth Control—from Girls’ Health Birth Control Explorer—from Stay Teen STIs—from Stay Teen Virginity: A Very Personal Decision—from Teens Health How Pregnancy Happens—from Teen Health Source By Carol Church, lead writer, SMART Couples, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, University of Florida References Corinna, H. It happens when you feel comfortable enough to let your guard down and share feelings that you’ve never shared with anyone else before, or when they see you at your lowest point and are still there to support you. Flick through vacation photos or recall your first date. Or if you’re a relatively new couple, share memories from your childhood that reveal the story of who you are. What would it take for both of you to feel content with a resolution?It’s when you experience comfortable silences – not needing to fill every space with words, but being content just being with each other. Plan it together (even if there’s no way that you can afford it, play pretend and plan it anyway). Couples who actively involve themselves in the betterment of their relationship (rather than ignoring problems) generally feel more connected and loving towards each other overall.