A healthy and happy relationship is a beautiful blend of good sexual chemistry and great understanding as well as mutual happiness and proper communication. But most importantly, the one thing that can truly make or break a relationship is emotional intimacy.
Every time you hear the words intimacy, you probably think of physical closeness with your partner. While that is definitely one of the building blocks of a successful relationship, intimacy isn’t just about that. Many people crave and long for another form or kind of intimacy that has to do with emotional closeness with one’s partner, deep-level bonding, and great levels of understanding. This type of closeness and contact is called emotional intimacy.
What Is Emotional Intimacy?
Do you ever feel like your partner doesn’t really understand you at times? Or that there is a certain lack of closeness between you and your partner which results in feelings of insecurities and often in a deficiency of trust and communication?
Most of the time, this results from a serious lack of emotional intimacy in a relationship, which is simply defined as a kind of emotional bond or closeness between two people that makes them feel loved, secured, trusted and understood. It is a way of being able to look deep into your partner’s soul and heart, understand them at a great, deep level, accept them for who they are, and to effectively communicate your feelings and thoughts to one another without any fear or hesitation.
Most of us are never taught how to effectively develop this kind of intimacy in our relationship regardless of how much we long for it and wish to be emotionally intimate with our partners.
However, developing emotional skillfulness in a relationship requires a lot of work, effort, and attention from both sides as they are equally responsible for bringing it to their relationship. Being emotionally adept also requires the two individuals to provide a safe and comfortable space for each other so that both are able to express their real selves without feeling too vulnerable.
How to Develop Emotional Intimacy
If your relationship with your partner seems to be lacking emotional intimacy, there are a number of ways and things through which both of you together can strengthen your relationship and build the kind of emotional closeness that you are looking for. If you need help, you can always seek out couples counseling.
Trust Your Partner
Lack of proper trust between two people can take a massive toll on the marriage or the relationship itself. With trust also comes great respect and a deeply-found love. Without the presence of either of these, it is next to impossible to create a safe and secure space.
The ability to trust your partner wholeheartedly and have them trust you back is a core requirement to nourish emotional intimacy. This is also because the foundation of trust, faith, and belief is what also brings two people closer to one another.
Spend Quality and Meaningful Time Together
There is no such thing as ‘too much time’ when it comes to your partner. Ironically, nowadays couples hardly find the time to have lunches and dinners together, which can be due to various factors such as work commitments, looking after the kids, house chores, etc.
It can be a huge challenge to find the time to sit together and have a heart-to-heart session, or perhaps go out for a long drive with your partner in today’s fast-paced life. However, that doesn’t mean it is impossible.
Emotional intimacy requires two people in a relationship to spend meaningful and quality time together even if it means doing dishes or grocery shopping together. It could even mean a dinner date every weekend, a walk around the neighborhood every night after finishing all the work, or perhaps even sitting down after dinner and enjoying a warm cup of tea or coffee together.
The goal here is to spend some interrupted time with your partner during which you just focus on each other, talk things out and actively listen to what the other has to say.
Be Curious About Your Partner
Curiosity isn’t always bad or negative. Being curious and inquisitive about your other half means that you want to get to know them more because we human beings are ever-evolving and are always full of surprises. Each day you learn a new thing or two about your partner and so do they.
The process of getting to know your partner doesn’t really ever stop. The effort you put into it actually shows them that you are invested in them, care about them and that you want to know all about them and who they truly are.
This bridges any possible distance between two people because showing interest in each other’s lives helps create a safe space and goes to show that you are emotionally involved and invested in them.
Be Present, Active and Attentive
One of the most overlooked and easiest ways of successfully developing emotional intimacy in a relationship is being present and being in the moment.
Being attentive, active and fully present is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your partner if you are to be emotionally close and intimate with them. Shine your partner with full, undivided attention when they are with you because your partner is the most important person in your life.
This also includes listening to your partner intently while expressing yourself emotionally as well. It will further help develop excellent communication skills between you and your partner because a small amount of attention can go a long way in building trust, comfort, closeness and of course, love.
Creating the perfectly happy and healthy relationship and acquiring the right balance is definitely a lot of work but once you are there, you will realize that it was worth every second spent and possibly one of the most rewarding aspects of a relationship.