1. Avoiding eye contact. Instead of dancing around each other’s eyes, lock the other person in.
2. Touching the other person. Don’t just take your hand away, which is what most people do when they’re scared to make the first move. Leave your hand there, move it up their thigh or arm subtly, and let it sit for a minute.
3. Sitting next to each other. It’s all in the body language. Angling your chair away slightly indicates a lack of interest. However, making sure your thighs are touching, or angling your chair/body/crossed legs toward them makes you seem open to and interested in them.
4. The small talk. Work real questions into the small talk. Make your surface-level conversation actually go somewhere. If you don’t, you’ll walk away feeling like you didn’t connect, as opposed to having interesting topics to follow up on in later conversations.
5. Discussing your future goals. Don’t just say what you think they want to hear. If it comes up, say what you actually want in the future (or what you think about at lease) and see if you have compatibilities in what you both want to do. It will make you both feel more secure about moving forward if you find common ground.
6. Playing footsie. Again, instead of retreating immediately, let your foot rest there and curl around the other person’s ankle.
7. The silent moments. Don’t let those silences make you feel uncomfortable. Experience them, and let your eyes wander until they meet up.
8. Your first kiss. There should be no specific rules for a first kiss. Despite what the movie Hitch taught us all, you’re allowed to go farther than 90 or shorter than 10. Shut your brain off when it happens, and just try to soak it in. That’s really the only way to make a first kiss more intimate.
9. Sharing food. Setting a playful precedent in your new relationship is key. You want them to see how you come off, genuinely, in the unpolished moments, like when you’re sitting on the couch sharing a pint of ice cream, or sneaking a coveted bite off their plate.
10. The basic questions. Find points you really relate on. Just like with the small talk, it’s important to encourage intimacy by making sure that you’re not just scratching the surface.
11. Date ideas. Do something that makes you want to trust each other and makes you laugh together. And please, don’t just go see a movie together. You are not 14. Do something that you can actually get closer during, as opposed to putting yourself in a date scenario where all you’ll share is popcorn and the same six square-feet of space.
12. Spending your first ~talking night~ together. This is one of the moments where your relationship truly starts. As Monica in Friends once taught us, having that night where you stay up talking because you don’t want to leave each other is the night you have to have to take your relationship to the next level.
13. The first time you fall asleep next to each other and ACTUALLY sleep. There’s definitely a sleeping compatibility factor that not many people acknowledge. You’ll learn if your bodies fit together when you curl up. You’ll learn when the other person needs space, and when they want you right next to them. You see if your needs align, essentially.
14. The moments following your first kiss. It’s those reaction moments that stick when you think about your first kiss later that night. Make that moment more intimate by reacting confidently. Look at them, and show that you’re not embarrassed by what just happened, or go in for another kiss. Don’t let yourself creep into your shell and back away.
15. Meeting their friends. You can make this more intimate by validating them around their friends, without being too over the top, of course.
16. The first time one of you cooks (or attempts to cook) for the other person. You can make this more intimate by helping each other, and realizing that you each have something to teach the other person. The physical part of your relationship needs to build too, of course, but the emotional part of your bond strengthens with every shared learning experience.