Welcome back to part four of my relationship intimacy series, where I help you find new ways to create a well-rounded and deeply intimate relationship with your partner. I kicked off this series by talking about what relationship intimacy is. Then we started digging into five areas where you can create deeper intimacy; two weeks ago, we talked about three ways to increase spiritual intimacy. Last week we talked about how to increase mental or intellectual intimacy. This week, we’re going to dig into what emotional intimacy is and how to get more of it in your relationship.
What is emotional intimacy?
Intimacy shows a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture, and I explained this a bit deeper in my article What Is Relationship Intimacy.
Emotional is relating to a person’s emotions or feelings.
Emotional intimacy would be a close union or combination of each other’s emotions, an intimate mixture of sharing each other’s thoughts and the feelings they evoke.
As you follow along in this series, you will start to notice a common thread, and that is the word intimacy. Since I am defining intimacy as a close union or combination of particles or elements, you will start to see that what all these different types of intimacy have in common is the ability to share, “in-to-me-see.”
Emotional intimacy is the ability to get uncomfortable, get vulnerable, and be honest so that each of you knows what is going on with the other. It’s the ability to share your deepest fears and insecurities, your most outlandish dreams and disappointments, and how you are feeling about anything in your relationship and lives. Emotional intimacy is feeling safe sharing your most intimate secrets without the worry of judgment, humiliation, belittlement, and the strictest of confidentiality. Knowing that what you have shared in privacy stays between the two of you and won’t be shared outside of the relationship.
Why is emotional intimacy important in your marital relationship?
Remember the “in-to-me-see” definition of intimacy from Focus On The Family? The more transparent we are with our partners, the deeper our connection, the deeper our desire will be. This includes sharing honestly how we are feeling, not feeling like we have to keep it to ourselves for fear of embarrassment or your partner being dismissive and invalidating how you feel.
How to create more intimacy in your relationship.
Learning how to become more emotionally open about what is happening for you is where you start and then sharing expectations. Together with defining expectations that what is shared in the privacy of your shared space won’t go beyond that space goes far in one’s willingness to share while not having to re-iterate the qualifications. If a partner breaks the set expectations, honesty is necessary; sit down with your partner and share your disappointment while not blaming and belittling.
It’s also important to remember that there will be times when our partners will share things that we might not want to hear and using these moments as opportunities to look inward. When we look inward, we can determine why we don’t like what our partner has shared and start shining a light on something that might be insecurity within ourselves.
Learning how to process your own emotions is a key skill to learn when becoming more emotionally present with your partner and yourself. When we can process our own emotions, it keeps us from blaming others for how we feel and allows us to see where that emotion is coming from, which is always something we are thinking. After you’ve worked on processing your emotions, share in a direct, non-qualifying manner and tell them how you feel, making sure to be clear that you are creating this emotion, not blaming it on them.
I love this quote I found from psychologist Helene Brenner, Ph.D. “Take the risk not to protect yourself. You can’t simultaneously protect yourself and be emotionally intimate. Let your heart be seen.” Not protecting yourself by blaming allows you to be seen.
Another way to increase emotional intimacy is learning how to ask great questions. When we listen with curiosity and compassion while our partners are sharing, we can ask questions that help them process their emotions and create a more intimate and safe connection that encourages future open communication.
Some examples of how to be more emotionally intimate.
- Being open to having sensitive conversations about what each other wants out of their relationship and even what might be worrisome to them about the relationship. This sort of conversation allows a couple to move closer to each other with more individual understanding.
- Being open and honest about a partner’s interaction with other people might make them uncomfortable and having empathy around their concerns versus making excuses and insinuating that the other is paranoid.
- When one person shares something from their past, the other partner is attentive, offering emotional support.
- They openly share struggles they might be having within themselves and trusting the partner to offer comfort, support, and possible solutions, if wanted, instead of dismissing their feelings.
All of this open and honest communication starts by doing this work within ourselves; we cannot be open and honest with our partners when we haven’t done the work of doing this for ourselves. Holding back from sharing keeps us from the intimate connection that we desire. That’s why the work we do in AwakenYou is valuable for re-building a relationship that feels good and keeps feeling better.
The process of learning how to open up and be vulnerable can be a scary one, and that’s why it’s so much easier when we have someone guiding us. That is what I do for you in my one-on-one coaching program; I help you find the courage to show up in your romantic relationship in a way that feels good for you.
I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.