Emotional intimacy is a closeness that goes beyond the ordinary fondness felt for friends and family. The degree of emotional intimacy is an excellent barometer for evaluating the health of a relationship. It’s difficult to have a good relationship with poor emotional intimacy or a poor relationship with a high degree of emotional intimacy.
Grow your emotional intimacy and strengthen your bonds of love:
1. Exercise together. We maintain intimate relationships with those with whom we share challenging times, whether it be surviving a horrible boss or training for a marathon. Spend time training together at the gym. Sweat and suffer together. Your bond will grow.
2. Let go of your past. Most of the obstacles to being more intimately connected are rooted in the past. Learn from the past and be done with it. Everyone has been hurt at some point. That’s not a valid reason to spoil today. Let it go.
3. Share your appreciation for each other. Before turning off the light for the night, share what you each appreciate about each other. List something you appreciated that day. It could be something small like folding your clean pants or stopping by the store for milk.
- You’ll be amazed by what happens. You’ll spend the day looking for things to appreciate about your partner. You’ll eventually think that your partner has changed into an even more amazing person. But the truth is that you’re the one who’s changed.
4. Touch each other daily. Sex counts, but focus on other types of touch, too. Give each other a massage or snuggle together on the couch. Hold hands.
5. Be a positive experience for your spouse. Studies have shown that we’re more sensitive to negative experiences than we are to positive. The ratio is roughly 5:1. It takes five positive experiences to negate the impact of one negative experience.
- Try to deliver at least 10 positive experiences for each negative experience so your bond is ever-growing.
6. Be a better listener. We adore the people in our lives who take the time to listen intently to what we have to say. You might not care about the great deal she got on the pair of heels she’s been eyeing for weeks or the fact that his new carburetor finally arrived in the mail. But you get at least as much as you give when you’re a good listener.
- Look you partner in the eye when they’re speaking to you.
- Turn off the TV.
- Put your cell phone away.
- Avoid interrupting.
7. Explore something new together. Take class or a hike in a new location. Read the same book and share your thoughts. Attend a concert together. Take a trip to someplace new. Be creative and share a new experience together.
8. Be the best possible version of yourself. By being at your best, you’ll have more to give. Have a few goals and spend time each day striving to achieve them. Take care of yourself physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
9. Show an interest in your partner’s life. This goes beyond being a good listener. Be inquisitive and ask your partner about her day. If he just got home from playing golf, ask him about his game. Show a genuine interest.
It’s easy to be emotionally intimate at the beginning of a meaningful relationship. The other person is just so perfect and interesting! Emotional intimacy can be more challenging after 10 years have taken their toll. Emotional intimacy must be encouraged to grow or it will die. Make emotional intimacy a priority in your relationship.