Here are some fun exercises, all inspired by scientific studies, that you can use to deliberately create emotional intimacy with a partner—even someone you barely know:
1. Two as One
Embracing each other gently, begin to sense your partner’s breathing and gradually try to synchronize your breathing with his or hers. After a few minutes, you might feel that the two of you have merged.
2. Soul Gazing
Standing or sitting about two feet away from each other, look deeply into each other’s eyes, trying to look into the very core of your beings. Do this for about two minutes and then talk about what you saw.
3. Monkey Love
Standing or sitting fairly near each other, start moving your hands, arms, and legs any way you like—but in a fashion that perfectly imitates your partner. This is fun but also challenging. You will both feel as if you are moving voluntarily, but your actions are also linked to those of your partner.
4. Falling in Love
This is a trust exercise, one of many that increase mutual feelings of vulnerability. From a standing position, simply let yourself fall backward into the arms of your partner. Then trade places. Repeat several times and then talk about your feelings. Strangers who do this exercise sometimes feel connected to each other for years.
5. Secret Swap
Write down a deep secret and have your partner do the same. Then trade papers and talk about what you read. You can continue this process until you have run out of secrets. Better yet, save some of your secrets for another day.
6. Mind-Reading Game
Write down a thought that you want to convey to your partner. Then spend a few minutes wordlessly trying to broadcast that thought to him or her, as he or she tries to guess what it is. If he or she cannot guess, reveal what you were thinking. Then switch roles.
7. Let Me Inside
Stand about four feet away from each other and focus on each other. Every 10 seconds or so move a bit closer until, after several shifts, you are well inside each other’s personal space (the boundary is about 18 inches). Get as close as you can without touching.
8. Love Aura
Place the palm of your hand as close as possible to your partner’s palm without actually touching. Do this for several minutes, during which you will feel not only heat but also, sometimes, eerie kinds of sparks.”