Emotional intimacy is critical to romantic relationships. Without it most couples eventually break up to seek the connection they desire but have not been able to achieve. So how do you develop emotional intimacy with your partner?
One of the single most important things you can do to establish true emotional intimacy with your partner is to practice acceptance. It is a two-fold endeavor, though. You must be accepting of yourself before you can accept your partner for whom she or he truly is. No one is perfect and our quirks, traits and even our shortcomings are what make us who we are. Once we learn to accept ourselves for who we are, we then have the ability to accept others for who they truly are. If you feel like you are not good enough in some way, then you’ll have trouble relaxing and letting intimacy grow naturally. If you have an expectation that your partner must change in some way to be perfect for you, they will sense that and may feel threatened or unworthy, blocking true intimacy from manifesting.
Having fun with your partner and finding humor in everyday life is a good first step toward establishing a truly intimate relationship. Life is often very serious and it is easy to get caught up in daily drama. A little laughter goes a long way toward promoting relaxation; and a sense of connection through an inside joke or to diffuse a tense moment. Take the time to watch a funny video with your partner, share a humorous story from your past, or choose to find the funny side of a situation instead of dwelling on the negative.
Partners who laugh together and make time for silliness tend to stay together longer. They report feeling more satisfied with their relationship than those who lean toward a more emotionally intense relationship that lacks humor.
Sharing sad or negative feelings is as important as laughing with your partner. Being able to cry with or in front of your partner demonstrates that you feel safe and accepted by that person, no matter what your emotional state. It is impossible to be cheerful and happy all the time. Bad things happen to everybody and crying is our very unique human way of processing negative emotions and helping us cope with stressful situations. Being comfortable enough to cry with your partner means a shared empathy that will strengthen your connection to one another. Feelings like you have to hide negative emotions or not express how you truly feel can be roadblocks to true intimacy.
Crying is not a sign of weakness, but rather a safe and cathartic way of dealing with difficult emotions. Dealing with them together, sharing the pain and sadness will foster true emotional intimacy.
Agree to Disagree
Couples who never fight or never disagree on anything are not only unusual, but likely doomed. If you don’t ever disagree with your partner you are probably not communicating effectively. Keeping things bottled up inside will prevent true intimacy because the one who is always agreeable, who never speaks up, can never feel safe or comfortable being who they are and sharing their true thoughts and opinions.
If you want true emotional intimacy with your partner, you have to establish a sense of trust and security that is not threatened merely because you don’t always want or believe the same thing. Being an individual within the relationship allows you to relax and let intimacy grow between you because you are not hiding a part of yourself from your partner.
If you disagree about pretty much everything, then you are with the wrong person. The happiest couples have similar beliefs and feelings about most things, so they don’t feel threatened by the occasional difference of opinion. Feeling intimately connected with your partner allows you to safely express your opinion and your partner to accept it even if they don’t agree with it.
Intimacy Takes Time
To achieve true emotional intimacy with your partner, be patient. Strong relationships are built over time through shared experiences (good and bad) and getting to know the person and being truly accepting of them. Gradually increasing your intimacy by sharing more and more with your partner in an open and honest way fosters trust and helps build a strong foundation in your relationship that cultivates true intimacy.