When we discuss intimacy in a romantic relationship, often the first thing that comes to mind is physical intimacy such as holding hands, cuddling, kissing, and even sex. While physical intimacy is an important aspect of romantic relationships, fostering emotional intimacy is just – if not more, important,
Emotional intimacy is defined as allowing yourself to connect more deeply with your partner through actions that express feelings, vulnerability, and trust. Part of a healthy relationship is sharing your secrets, talking about your relationship, and telling your partner important news.
Even when we have spent a lot of time with someone, it can be difficult to break down your emotional walls. Being strategically vulnerable with your partner allows you to pick a specific area of your life to start. Being emotionally vulnerable creates a stronger sense of trust and closeness in a relationship because you are allowing your partner to see parts of yourself that you do not normally show.
To start, try talking about something that happened at work that you normally wouldn’t share or revealing a fact about yourself that you have been holding onto. You don’t have to start big and reveal all of your deepest darkest secrets, but practice letting those walls down for your partner. You and your partner should be able to confide in each other about anything, and it takes time to build up that trust. So, be patient, communicate openly, and allow yourself to be radically vulnerable.
Whether you have been with your partner for a short period of time, or for many years, it is easy to take things we love about our partner’s for granted, or not know how to express how much we cherish them. Making a habit of giving specific affirmations and compliments to your partner can help them to know how you feel and help you feel closer to them.
It is so easy to fall into the monotony of everyday life – going through the motions and maybe not taking the time to notice the little things that your partner does for you. Expressing gratitude in a relationship feels good for both you and your partner because it allows you to feel a different type of closeness – each knowing how the other is feeling.
A study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy found that couples reported having a greater emotional connection when they were sexually satisfied. Taking the time to learn your partner and having the same reciprocated can lead to greater feelings of emotional connection in and out of the bedroom.
Now, that is not saying that physical intimacy alone will help you and your partner to feel close. This intimacy needs to be paired with talking to your partner about your feelings, sharing important things going on in your lives, and spending quality time together.
With how busy life gets, it’s easy to get lost in everyday activities. You make plans to spend some quality time with your partner and then you blink and the week is over again. We’ve all been there.
This monotony can get old after a while and can cause you and your partner to feel tired. Mix up your daily routines by planning a spontaneous date, meeting for coffee, or plan a weekend getaway to the woods. Little changes that you make in your daily routines can make a big difference for improving intimacy in your relationship.