Emotional Intimacy seems simple and straight forward, but can be surprisingly elusive. Emotional intimacy can vary greatly from couple to couple, person to person and from one time to another. Emotional intimacy is the perception of closeness. Emotionally intimate couples have a shared expectation of understanding, affirmation and sharing of personal feelings and bonding.
Emotional intimacy can set the tone for all other types of intimacy in a relationship, making it a heavily discussed topic among relationship therapists and family therapists.
Here are 5 basic ways you can cultivate more intimacy every day:
- Quality Time – Text, email and social media are very efficient ways to communicate throughout the day and get things done. When you want to spend intentional quality time with your spouse, most couples find it useful to silence the electronics and put them in a drawer or basket while time is spent focused on the people around them. If its family game night, dinner or conversation over tea couples report feeling like they get more value out of time spent without the distraction of electronics. In this scenario quality is of greater value than quantity.
- Be an open door – Acceptance is the biggest component of emotional intimacy. If someone feels accepted exactly the way they are, they are more likely to open up and also accept you. What is acceptance exactly? Acceptance is loving a person without criticism, exceptions, judgement or control. This doesn’t mean we never disagree or disapprove of their actions. Rather, it is a “I will disagree with you and still honor you, your thoughts, feelings and independence” practice. Disagreements are normal and healthy and individuals in a relationship should have their own independent ideas and thoughts without fear of being criticized.
- Plan fun – It’s 2019 and it feels like every minute of every day is scheduled. “Honey, did you put that on the calendar?” is a daily conversation it seems. Can we effectively schedule play and fun? Of course we can! Whether it’s once a week or twice per month schedule play time in advance and make sure it gets scheduled so nothing sneaks in there and takes it away. You can schedule something specific like sports, crafts or watching silly videos on the internet together or be more flexible and leave it as open free time to spend with one another or the family.
- Talk bout what you want – avoidance kills intimacy. Assuming your partner knows what you need or avoiding the topic hoping it will ‘blow over’ is a recipe for a broken heart. Let your partner know you desire more quality time, more fun time, more deep discussions and lively conversation. Speak up when you need help or have big news.
- Practice, practice, practice. – The more we open up to our significant others or allow our partners to open up to us without fear of judgement or criticism the more we are likely to continue. Don’t let the opportunity to have your spouse be your best friend and confidant slip away. We are all searching for that deeper connection to authentic intimacy and there is no quick fix. You deserve a strong, healthy relationship and so does your partner.
If you ever feel like the intimacy is lost, you’re feeling alone or your relationship is too damaged to recover, don’t lose hope. Our counselors are dedicated to your success as a couple and in life. It’s never too late to try again.
If you or someone you love is wanting a vacation in paradise, one that will re-kindle the passion that has been lost? A vacation without kids. A vacation where you learn how to communicate. A vacation where your partner actually hears you and gains insight – Vacation Counseling is Your Next Vacation.