Emotional intimacy is a critical component in healthy relationships. Whether you are trying to rebuild emotional intimacy after a breakdown or establishing it in a new relationship, it takes commitment and time.
It also involves being curious — not making assumptions — about your partner and gaining a deeper understanding of them. Here are a few simple steps to rekindling emotional intimacy in your relationship:
1. Spend quality time together
Emotional intimacy is a crucial part of any healthy relationship. It leads to deeper trust and greater satisfaction. However, it can be challenging to build and maintain. If you’re having trouble, it may be helpful to talk with a counselor.
When most people think of intimacy, they usually picture physical acts like touching, cuddling and kissing. Although physical intimacy is important, it’s also essential to build emotional intimacy.
A couple who has a high level of emotional intimacy is open and vulnerable with each other. They share their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement. They can even discuss sensitive topics like finances or in-laws.
To improve emotional intimacy, couples can start by spending quality time together. This can include anything from taking a walk to watching a movie. The key is to spend time together without distractions. This can be difficult, especially in the early stages of a new relationship.
2. Communicate openly
Intimacy is a feeling of closeness and emotional connectedness that can be found in all kinds of relationships. Developing intimacy takes time and requires both partners to work on it. It involves talking through your thoughts and feelings openly, being vulnerable, and showing your partner you care. It can also include physical intimacy (i.e., kissing and hugging), intellectual intimacy (i.e., sharing similar interests and ideas), spiritual intimacy, or a combination of these.
The good news is that you can work on emotional intimacy in any relationship, whether it’s a romantic one or not. Unlike sexual intimacy, which may be fairly easy to achieve, emotional intimacy can require a lot of hard work and patience. But it’s worth the effort. After all, a healthy connection leads to more trust, happiness, and overall satisfaction. So, if you’re struggling with emotional intimacy in your relationship, here are some ways to get back on track.
3. Make time for each other
Emotional intimacy may take time to build, but it can be a rewarding part of a new relationship. Make time for each other through daily rituals of connection, such as talking about your day together at the end of the day or going to bed cuddling. Also, try to schedule dates on a weekly basis.
However, don’t forget that even healthy couples need time to themselves and to pursue their own interests and hobbies. Getting too wrapped up in each other can drain your energy and cause you to focus on the negative aspects of your relationship rather than the positives.
If you are struggling with emotional intimacy in your new relationship, consider seeking counseling for support. Couples counseling can help you learn effective communication skills and build a stronger bond with your partner. Individual therapy can also be helpful, as it will give you a space to process emotions that may be contributing to your difficulties and work on any underlying issues that might be making it difficult for you to connect.
4. Appreciate your partner
Many couples experience emotional intimacy issues because they lose sight of the points of connection that drew them together in the first place. Affirming each other and reminding them of all the things you love and appreciate about them can help to boost intimacy and strengthen your bond. Boosting intimacy can also mean performing small romantic gestures, such as writing a love note or cooking them a special meal.
Emotional validation involves listening intently when your partner opens up about their feelings and validating what they say. This shows that you care about their feelings and are willing to support them in whatever way you can.
Being honest with your partner can be scary, especially if you’re worried about how they might react. However, it is crucial for building emotional intimacy. When you’re honest with each other, it allows both of you to open up and connect on a deeper level.
5. Be vulnerable
Being vulnerable can feel risky and scary in a new relationship. However, it’s one of the most important aspects of building emotional intimacy. When you’re able to let your guard down and show your true self, it creates an instant connection with your partner. Additionally, a recent study found that being vulnerable can actually increase feelings of love and affection for your partner.
Whether you’re feeling nervous about being vulnerable in a new relationship or you’ve been hurt in the past, there are ways to build up your courage. Try practicing by talking about your feelings with friends and family members, and ask them to support you.
Also, consider seeking professional help if you’re struggling with vulnerability. A therapist can provide an empathetic ear and teach you skills to overcome your obstacles. Then, you can work on opening up in your own relationships. For example, be honest with your partner about your needs and wants.
6. Take action
Emotional intimacy is an essential aspect of healthy relationships. It can be damaged by conflict, insecurity, and secret keeping, but it is possible to rebuild it with time and commitment.
Sharing non-sexual physical intimacy is an excellent way to build emotional intimacy. This can be as simple as joining your partner in the shower, giving them a back massage, or spooning before going to sleep. It is important to focus on your partner and give them all of your attention during these interactions, so they feel seen and loved.
Another way to build emotional intimacy is to perform romantic gestures like leaving love notes, cooking a romantic dinner, or buying them a thoughtful gift. It is also important to make eye contact and communicate feelings openly to build intimacy.