While physical attraction and physical intimacy are certainly important in romantic relationships, many couples don’t realize the importance of emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy constitutes communication and trust levels that allow individuals within a couple to share their most personal thoughts and feelings with one another. Emotional intimacy is also described as feeling secure, trust, comfort, support, and safe when you are with an individual with whom you share this type of intimacy. The absence of emotional intimacy in relationships can lead to break-ups and divorce. If you want to develop emotional intimacy in your relationship, try these techniques.
Get to Know Yourself: You may think this is silly, but how can you express your deepest thoughts, feelings, and beliefs if you aren’t sure what those are yourself? You may spend some time sitting quietly everyday to examine your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. At first this may be difficult and/or uncomfortable and it may take some practice to focus your attention inward, but don’t give up. It may be helpful to keep a journal while reflecting inward.
You can ask yourself and reflect upon several questions to begin to get to know what your deepest thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are. What beliefs were instilled in me as a child? How have these beliefs shaped who I am now? What part does religion or spirituality play in my life? Is religion or spirituality important to me? What am I looking for in a partner? Do I want to have children? Where would I like to be in 5, 10, and 20 years? What are my Strengths? What are my weaknesses? What events and people had the most impact on my life? How did these people and events impact my life? Once you get to know your inner thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, you will be able to share them with your significant other.
Acceptance: Acceptance of both yourself and your partner is another important step in developing emotional intimacy. Accepting yourself means liking yourself for who you are. Certainly, you can work on changing things you don’t like about yourself, but learning to stop criticizing yourself and starting to accept yourself for who you are is important.
Acceptance of your partner is also important to creating emotional intimacy in romantic relationships. If your partner feels judged or criticized, he or she is likely to keep his or her deepest feelings and thoughts to himself or herself. If you accept every part of your partner, he or she is more likely to let you see inside himself or herself.
You can foster feelings of acceptance by not criticizing your partner for things he or she does. Instead, focus on the positives, tell your partner how much you admire his or her strengths. If your partner expresses an emotion, validate how he or she feels and don’t criticize him or her for having it. Accepting your partner doesn’t mean you have to love everything about him or her, but it does mean that you won’t try to get him or her to change who he or she is.
Communicate: Communication is another very important step to developing emotional intimacy. When you begin to share your thoughts and feelings, it will encourage your significant other to do the same. You may want to start sharing your feelings on relatively benign topics, like a movie you saw together, the food at the restaurant you ate at, and your thoughts on education. When you see that your partner accepts your thoughts and feelings and can respectfully disagree rather than criticizing you for thinking or feeling a specific way, you can begin to share deeper thoughts and feelings with him or her. It will take time to get to a place where you can share your deepest thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, but try to go with the flow of things and share when it feels right to you.
Spend Quality Time Together: Spending time together will give you the opportunity to develop emotional intimacy with your significant other. It seems that we are all always busy with school, work, family obligations, housework, exercising at the gym, and more, but it is possible to make time for your significant other and it is very important to make your relationship a priority when building this type of intimacy. Choose one night a week to be your special date night, for instance. If you live together, set aside some special time everyday where you can talk. Take a walk together and chat about how your day was, how you are feeling, and so forth.
If you are in a relationship that is lacking emotional closeness, try these techniques for developing emotional intimacy. I hope that you find them helpful in getting to the place you want to be in your relationship with your significant other.
Ivilliage: Getting to Know Yourself:
Self-Growth: Emotional Intimacy:
Lifestyle: I Love India: Emotional Intimacy:
Fifty and Furthermore: Building Emotional Intimacy: