Emotional intimacy is an essential part of a good relationship, and it requires a level of emotional strength and bravery that can be intimidating. Most singles pursue physical intimacy before emotional intimacy when dating and it’s easy to see why. Hand-holding, sex, and snuggling are simple and pleasurable. Building emotional intimacy is intimidating and complicated.
Emotional intimacy involves vulnerability and transparency. It calls for sharing from the heart, taking down your walls, and expressing your hopes, dreams, and fears. While great sex can foster an intimate bond with your partner, emotional intimacy is the glue of a good relationship. Less is written about this essential bond, which is unfortunate because the two types of intimacy work together to keep a relationship exciting and meaningful.
You can break down the word intimacy to ‘in-to-me-see.’ It’s a blending of your heart with an other’s, so you can see who they are and they can see who you are.
The Rewards of Emotional Intimacy
Emotional intimacy means that you understand your partner, and your partner understands you. Isn’t this what we all hunger for -to be accepted and understood- for who we really are? Whether it’s with our husband or wife, our best friend, or a sibling, we are made to connect deeply with others. When someone ‘gets us,’ they fulfill our primitive need to be accepted and life gets juicier.
To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us. ~Timothy Keller, “The Meaning of Marriage.
Ultimately, emotional intimacy creates a deep sense of security within your relationship and a safe place to reveal yourself – warts and all – without feeling like you risk the relationship. Without this intimacy, you may experience distrust, discontentment, hypersensitivity, and loneliness.
Emotional Intimacy Develops over Time
Developing intimacy is like peeling an onion. It happens a little at a time as you get to know someone, grow to care about each other, and feel increasingly comfortable during your time together. Thankfully, you don’t have to do this all at once. Here are a few things you can do -starting today- to build on the emotional connection you have with your partner.
Ways to Create Emotional Intimacy
- Embrace the idea that you deserve to be loved, respected, and honored for who you are, not who you think you should be.
- Ask open-ended questions like, “Why do you do the work you do?” “Why do you live the life you live?” and, “What makes you who you are?”
- Make an effort to share something about your day or about yourself that you typically wouldn’t share.
- Regardless of how long you’ve been together, there are always more questions to ask each other. Get curious about the different decades of your partner’s life and ask questions accordingly.
- Become more accepting and less critical of your partner, so they feel safe being open with you.
- Own your needs with confidence. They are valid. Tell your partner what you expect or desire. Typically, your partner will thank you for your clarity.
We all need loving, emotionally intimate relationships. I am a Dating and Relationship Coach helping singles, couples, and families build intimacy comfortably. If you’re ready to get closer to someone you care about, I can help. You can find me at https://www.buildlovingrelationships.com, 512-922-4822, or email me at email@example.com to find out more. Post navigation ← Previous Post