• ‘I know you really like _____ but it isn’t something I enjoy. Is there something else we can try together?’
  • ‘I’d like to be alone after work today. Could you please give me 10 minutes when I get home?’
  • ‘Do you like it when we ______, I can’t tell.’
  • ‘I like spending time with you and want to see where this relationship goes but I don’t want to have sex at this point.’
  • ‘My values are important to me. Until I am married, I am only comfortable kissing.’
  • ‘I don’t want to have sex but would you want to go to a concert on Friday? I like spending time with you.’
  • ‘I had a negative experience a year ago and I am still trying to get comfortable with being sexually active again.’

Believe it or not, physical contact does not always need to lead to sex. Holding hands, stroking their cheek, hugging, kissing, playing with their hair, and giving massages are all opportunities to intersperse daily touching without sex.

Continue talking to your partner about more than just everyday happenings — explore each other’s hopes and dreams, bounce ideas off one another. Communicate with each other about feelings, whether it be anger, sorrow, happiness, anxiety, and let that drive intimacy without physical touch.

Revisit cliché first date questions. Maybe this is finding out something they want to learn or get better at, asking would you rather questions, such as ‘morning or evening time for dates’, or ‘roller coasters or walk in the park’, to plan your next date.

Use this time to find something new to do together, like cooking or golfing, and hopefully form a common interest. You could also take the time to show your partner something you really enjoyed doing as a kid. Spending quality time with one another doing things out of the ordinary is important for furthering shared experience, and thus intimacy with one another. Even if your partner doesn’t want to take the activity on as their own, spending time together and learning from each other can strengthen your relationship.