When you meet the love of your life, you want everything to be perfect. Bonding with your partner means a process of continuously learning about each other and what you need to make yourselves happy and continuing to cultivate emotional intimacy in your relationship.
In a study of married partners, researchers found that “emotional skillfulness, specifically the ability to identify and communicate emotions, plays a role in maintaining marital adjustment through its effects on the intimacy process.” Learning to express your feelings to your partner is essential for having emotional intimacy in your relationship.
Although women are more likely to be thought of as the stereotypical half of a couple, men experience emotional caring just as profoundly. Society views males as more emotionally restrictive, but they may display their emotions differently depending on how they learned to express themselves.
Meeting the emotional needs of your partner requires work. Ideally, both of you contribute to each other’s well-being and create emotional intimacy in the relationship. A study of heterosexual couples found that when there was more effort toward emotional harmony by the woman, she felt more psychological distress and conflict in the relationship.
Commitment, communication, and cooperation are the keys to a successful relationship. However, a significant relationship takes more than that. When you are looking for deep, emotional intimacy in your relationship, you can do more to increase the strength of your bond.
Here are 15 Ways To Increase Intimacy In Your Relationship
1. Trust Deeply
Deep love requires deep trust. It is part of what love is to believe that your partner will protect and cherish your heart. To build emotional intimacy in your relationship, you must trust your partner wholeheartedly.
Lack of trust is similar to fear. You cannot worry that your partner might hurt you and still love them fully. If you suspect infidelity or other broken promises, speak to your partner about your fear. Then, commit to putting aside your fear and allowing yourself to be vulnerable with your partner so you can continue to have emotional intimacy in your relationship.
2. Attune to Your Higher Purpose
Each of you has a particular aspiration that you feel deeply about. When you can combine your dreams to work toward a mutual goal, you build something together as a couple.
For example, if you are passionate about the environment and the other is passionate about helping children, you might combine your efforts into a joint volunteer activity. Perhaps offering to teach kids about how important it is to recycle is something you can give your energy to, which provides a beautiful way to increase emotional intimacy in your relationship.
Building a legacy as a couple over something you both care deeply about is like raising a child together. When you pour your passion into someone you are passionate about, your devotion to your relationship intensifies. As a result, emotional intimacy in your relationship will increase.
3. Release Negative Thinking
Commit to releasing the need to be correct, the need to control your partner, the need to point out wrongs, and the need to keep score. When you remove these barriers to emotional intimacy in your relationship, you leave only the positive, supportive, kind emotions to give your partner.
If you find something that your partner has done in error, forgive them and then make a choice. Is it hurtful to them if you point it out? Can you bring their attention to it without hurting their feelings? If not, the best option may be to let it go.
For example, if your partner forgot to fill your gas tank after using your car, you have a choice to say something to them about it or not. In this example, you might tell your partner how grateful you are that they take good care of your car. Don’t say ‘usually’ or ‘except that you forgot to fill the tank.’ Work to build your partner up by praising their positive traits rather than pointing out the negative ones, and this will deepen the emotional intimacy in your relationship.
4. Be Present
The gift of your full attention is a way to increase emotional intimacy in your relationship. When your partner is speaking, give them your full attention. Listen as if they were the most critical person in your life; because they are.
If you’re going to stay together for the long term, you will both need to learn excellent communication skills to increase the emotional intimacy of your relationship. This is true for both expressing yourself emotionally and listening intently. You can read more about the importance of listening and other healthy relationship tips here.
Your partner is also speaking to you in non-verbal ways. Be attentive to their body language, gestures, facial expressions, and tone. As you do, you increase your emotional intelligence by being perceptive of emotions even if they are unspoken, increasing the emotional intimacy of your relationship.
5. Be Your Best Self
Be accountable for your emotional health. You cannot give more of yourself to your partner until you have more to offer. Focus your energy on becoming your best self, and you will have even better emotional intimacy in your relationship.
Likewise, look after your own physical and spiritual health. You’ll become better able to provide support to your partner. Your mental well-being ties to the health of your physical body, and when you are thriving, the emotional intimacy in your relationship will, too.
6. Have Deeper Conversations
Have you ever talked to a stranger and felt like you’ve known them all your life? That’s how it should be with you and your partner. If not, you’re not as emotionally attached as you should be to one another.
An article published by the Journal of Families explains that a lack of communication can cause less satisfaction in your relationship. When you’re together, talk about your day and everything in your heart. Plus, be an active listener and absorb what the one you love says to you.
If you aren’t satisfied with the emotional depth of the emotional intimacy in your relationship, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with each other. It can be a difficult conversation, but it’s worth having. Maybe they don’t even realize that you’re unhappy.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Disclose
When you’re in an intimate relationship, you feel safe enough to be vulnerable in front of them. You can tell each other your deepest inner thoughts, fears, and failures. You’re secure enough in each other’s love that you’ll not be judged, belittled, or have your trust broken.
You have more emotional intimacy when you self-disclose, states an article published by the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. It’s refreshing for you and your partner to realize that you’re both human and make mistakes. However, don’t allow self-disclosure to become a way to put yourself down all the time.
As a word of caution, be careful about self-disclosing too much too early. You don’t want to do it simultaneously if you’ve only met. While you should be transparent with each other, use your best judgment not to scare them away.
8. Be Completely Invested in the relationship
If you walk away from your current relationship today, would it be easy to do? Could your partner do it? If you have the slightest doubts, you may not fully invest in your relationship.
Part of being invested is to keep an open line of communication. The more you know about each other, the closer you’ll be. Be quick to resolve arguments and learn how to forgive and be forgiven.
9. Learn to Compromise As Needed
Wouldn’t it be nice if romantic relationships were all wine and roses? Such unrealistic expectations can just set you up for failure. Instead, you both learn to make healthy compromises when you can’t agree.
Of course, someone who loves you would never ask you to compromise your dignity or principles. You must know how to choose your battles wisely. As you become more emotionally intimate, you can agree to disagree and still be lovers.
10. Keep a “What I Like About You” List
What was the first thing that attracted you to your significant other besides their looks? Did their delightful sense of humor or how they listened to you help to make the love connection? How many attractive qualities do you and your partner have?
Why not consider composing a “What I Like About You” list. Each of you gets a sheet of paper to write down anything you love about the other. Maybe their smile makes your day, or they always show you consideration.
If you don’t care who reads them, you can post your lists in a private place or even on the fridge. Keep a pad of sticky notes and leave sincere compliments where they’re sure to find. Sharing your appreciation for each other’s fine qualities builds emotional intimacy.
11. Be Each Other’s Best Cheerleader
As significant others, you and your partner have each other’s back. You’re the first to encourage them and give them genuine praise.
Even when you both have to offer constructive criticism, you do it in a kind and loving way. You’re part of their dream, and you are just as invested in them as they are in you. You’ll see that they will be right there to cheer you on to success.
12. Learn New Things Together
As living things, relationships are not static. The couple matures mentally, emotionally, and spiritually together. You also realize that learning new things keeps it fun and exciting.
Do you both share a hobby or other interest? If not, consider learning one together. It means more quality time, but you enrich your mind and create a deeper bond over mutual experiences.
13. Share Old Traditions and Create New Ones
Another beauty of emotional intimacy in relationships is melding your cultures, ideals, and traditions. Even if you have a similar upbringing, your families may have unique ways. As a couple, you can share the ones that ring true for you.
Also, you may consider creating new traditions in your relationship. Whether it’s holiday events or something you do each week, make it about you. If you have children, you can share these unique traditions with them.
14. Leave the Past in the Past
Scorecards may be essential in bowling, but they are harmful to a personal relationship. Even the most devoted couples make mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and make amends. If you and your partner use each other’s past for ammunition in an argument, you’re only causing more damage.
Just because you’ve forgiven someone doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten the offense. You relieve yourself of the burden of bitterness and move forward. Certain wounds may take longer to cope with than others.
Once you’ve decided to forgive, try to leave it in the past. Please don’t dig up buried bones and try to use them in your favor. Instead, work with each other in the present and use it as a learning tool for a better future.
Sometimes, the pain and betrayal may be too overwhelming. Try as you may forgive, but it becomes a rift in the relationship. In this case, you may consider counting your losses and walking away with your dignity.
15. Don’t Lose Your Individuality
A typical relationship misconception is that the partners have become “one.” Even the traditional marriage ceremony mentions that the couple is now one flesh. It’s a symbolic way of saying that you both will bond as a couple, not that you’ll lose your individuality.
Although you share mutual interests, hobbies, and goals, you have singular ones. It’s healthy for romantic partners to spend some time in solitude and occasionally do their own thing. You’ll have more to talk about, and you won’t feel like you’ve lost yourself.
Final Thoughts on Increasing Your Emotional Intimacy
Fulfilling emotional intimacy requires an investment of body, mind, spirit, and emotions. Knowing how to give and take and be present with each other is key to emotional intimacy. It takes time, patience, and determination to make your love work.