When we get into a relationship with someone, hardly do we think, “it’s okay if it doesn’t work out.” We want it to work out; we want someone we can call our partner. And how do we make that happen? By building emotional intimacy in relationships. It’s what makes a relationship rock solid. It’s what helps you know one another profoundly. You’ll agree that we all have layers. When we meet someone, we take our time to peel each layer off as trust develops. But then again, it’s a cycle. How do we build trust? By developing emotional intimacy in relationships.
Did you know that lack of emotional intimacy in relationships could lead to toxicity?
So it brings us down to the question, What is emotional intimacy?
What is Emotional Intimacy?
In simple terms, it’s the deep connection we share with our partners. It’s that extreme comfort where you can share the innermost of your feelings, emotions, thoughts, and beliefs without the fear of judgment. Yes, there’s a possibility that your partner doesn’t feel the same way. But they will not discount your feelings either. There’s this unsaid understanding that opinions could differ, but we’ll respect it. And that’s emotional intimacy in relationships.
Think about it, being in a relationship where there’s no filter between the two of you. Yes, it’s physical intimacy that gives you deep pleasure. But there comes a point when this bodily need will take a dip. What will you have left? EMOTIONAL INTIMACY! It keeps your relationship going.
In the previous article, I shared the different types of intimacy in a relationship. About 10 of them. Here’s the news-Emotional intimacy in relationships is the backbone of all other types of intimacy. It’s the base, the root, the source! It’s that comfort that helps easily sway into the other forms of intimacy, including sex. When you are relationship-minded, it’s evident you are not in it for just the sex. There’s more you need. And how do these needs find their space in your relationship? Through EMOTIONAL INTIMACY.
You can talk, express, voice, and fearlessly talk about your needs, and vice versa. In end, a couple with high emotional intimacy will find a way around to stick together in a manner where the needs of both partners are met.
Take a moment to ponder- “What happens when there’s a lack of emotional intimacy in relationships?”
Answer: The relationship is either heading towards a dead-end or it will include two unhappy people who are together, but not in a relationship that matters. There are feelings of loneliness, resentment, of distance. A few years/months down the road, one could feel depressed, sad, or could develop a sheer disappointment in the concept of relationships or marriage. What’s left then? Just work? Not that every human must be in a romantic relationship. But can you live your entire life without a literal connection? Friendship is also a kind of relationship, and you grow only with emotional intimacy.
Don’t forget to check out one bonus benefit of emotional intimacy at the end of this article.
Habits to Build Emotional Intimacy in Relationships
Everything you read above is the reason a relationship cannot do without emotional intimacy. If not, where’s the security, solidity, connection? With that established, let’s work on building some habits to enable emotional intimacy in relationships.
1. Believe in the power of Affirmations
The moment you both realize that you are heading towards commitment, start practicing affirmations. Pick a time of the day when you can spare just ten minutes together as a couple. Write down affirmations that suit both your needs in the relationships and say them together. Believe in the power of affirmations. The more you attract positivity in your relationship, the greater the emotional intimacy in relationships. Those minutes spent with one another, asking for the same things you both want for your relationship, will help you connect on a deeper level.
2. Become patient listeners
It’s so simple, right? To listen? But do you know there’s a difference between hearing and listening? Hearing is when you know someone’s saying something and you lend an ear. But emotional intimacy in relationships comes with listening, not hearing. Be present in the conversation like you mean it. Offer suggestions if your partner needs them. If they just need you to listen, hug, or nod, do that. Sometimes, it’s not about you. It’s about your partner. And this place switches with need. Be patient and listen. To build the connection, listen to each other’s beliefs, likes, dislikes, goals, aspirations, past, future, everything!
3. Be open-minded to changes
Let’s not use the word compromise. It sounds negative and most people tend to run away the moment this word hits their ears. But, can you be open-minded to changes? A relationship means, there’s no winner or loser. Sometimes, you get to have things your way, and sometimes your partner. There’s no competition, there’s no count- just balance! A balance that both of you get to be you. In such scenarios, you have to be open-minded about the changes that you might have to make to accommodate your partner’s emotions. It’s one of the best habits to build intimacy in relationships.
4. Create a “Safe to Share” aura
There’s a possibility that one of you in the relationship is temperamental or a little more on the sensitive side. These personalities make communication a tad difficult. The other partner would refrain from sharing such things, considering that it could trigger opposite emotions. Their partner could either grow cold, get angry, cry, or throw tantrums. That comes in the way of building emotional intimacy in relationships. As a couple, both partners need to work on their problem areas as such, so there is a “safe to share” aura for their partners. The moment there’s no safe space for a partner to share things, intimacy takes a dip.
5. Appreciate, acknowledge, understand
When your partner says, “I did this so we could spend some quality time together,” don’t respond to it with, “Yes, and didn’t I do this for you in return?” What return? What accounts? What contest? it’s a relationship, remember? A partner expressing how they did something for you is not a call to start counting the things you did. You can use another opportunity for that. At this time, all you have to do is understand what they are saying without making it about you, acknowledge their action, and appreciate it. That would be a response, as opposed to just giving them a reaction. That’s how you build emotional intimacy in relationships- understand, acknowledge, appreciate!
6. Don’t deprive each other of Physical touch or Sex
Once again, it’s all a cycle. You need emotional intimacy for better physical intimacy, and vice-versa. If you’re someone who’s holding off on the sex till things get a little serious, then that’s absolutely okay. But gentle touch, holding hands, hugs, they’re all pretty normal. Don’t deprive each other of it. It helps build emotional intimacy in relationships.
7. Talk about the relationship problems; solve them together
We all have our inner circles, and sometimes we make decisions based on the suggestions we get from them. But you’ll realize later that it was all in your head and things blew out of proportion for no reason. Not to forget, some of those people might also judge your partner in the long run. Don’t take any drama outside. What happens between you, respectfully keep it between you. Not everyone can understand the dynamics of your relationship. Sit with your partner, talk about issues, and find a middle ground. Solve them, hug, and look forward to a good day ahead. There’s nothing better to do to build emotional intimacy in relationships.
8. Be patient; these things take time!
Some people connect quickly. But it is not the same as emotional intimacy in relationships. It just means you have a lot in common and there’s a lot of sparks. That’s good. But building emotional intimacy takes time. It happens at its pace and according to the effort, a couple makes to stay together. Don’t panic and rush. It’s been six months together, and your partner still hasn’t been very expressive or trusting, then it’s probably because they need longer. As long as you know that both of you want it to work, then let the magic happen. You can, of course, speak to your partner and enquire if this is their pace or if there’s anything troubling them.
Don’t take your relationships for granted but don’t pressure yourself with it either. None of these habits require you to go out of the way. It simply means mindfully changing some things for the sake of our needs for a healthy relationship. If you’re trying to inculcate any of these habits, all you need to do is meditate over these thoughts for a while. Over time, these habits will become a part of your routine, much like everything else you do. Voila! You’ll have boosted emotional intimacy in relationships hereon!
Remember, emotional intimacy is what stays permanent for your relationship.
Here’s a bonus: HIGH EMOTIONAL INTIMACY ALSO MEANS BETTER SEX!
That makes things better, right? It’s only because your connection is on another level!
Share these habits with your partner and make a conscious decision to work on your emotional intimacy as a couple starting today! Emotional intimacy in relationships is what keeps a couple stronger together, and your names should be on that list!
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