Valentines Day? Let’s not wait a Whole Year.
Feel more Love in your Life
In order to love we must have emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy is a psychological event that happens as trust and communication about our inner selves occurs. Some refer to intimacy as “into-me-you-see.” Emotional intimacy is not the same as sexual intimacy. Sexual intimacy can take place with or without emotional intimacy, and emotional intimacy does not have to occur within any kind of sexual context.
Emotional intimacy in relationships allows us to feel fully accepted, respected, worthy, and admired in the eyes of our mate or our friends. When we have emotional intimacy in a relationship we have a safe and comfortable place to receive compassion and support.
Why is this quality so often missing from our relationships?
When we care about someone, their opinion really matters – so it can be scary to expose our real selves to them. We can feel afraid of being criticized, laughed at, or feel that we are unacceptable for who we really are, by the people who we care for most. The “cosmic joke” in all of this is, the more vulnerable we try not to be, the more vulnerable we are. When we try not to be vulnerable over time, we lose or don’t develop communication skills for intimate sharing. If we lack the ability to communicate our emotional wants and needs, then we are not able to get what we want and need!
What can we do about it?
First, get clear about what you really want and need from your relationship. A “need” is something you cannot do without, and a “want” is something you do not want to do without.
Find or Make Time!
One way emotional intimacy is lost, or is not developed, is by not spending enough time with someone. We get busy in our lives and are preoccupied with what we have to do, what we must accomplish in the future, or waiting until we “have time.” All of a sudden, time has passed and we find ourselves disconnected from important people in our lives. Find time to spend alone together each day. If you are apart, spend time on the phone, Facetime, or Skype at the very least. Look for ways to connect, not for ways you cannot.
One way to do this is by getting clear about your values. We know we value something when we cherish, protect and sacrifice for it. Who do you really value? Align your behaviors with your value!
Work though issues when they happen
The key to healthy intimate relationships is working though issues, not denying them, giving the silent treatment or holding grudges. By holding on to issues, resentment builds and creates distance instead of closeness. When there are problems, be emotionally present and prepared to share your true feelings. If you want someone to be present and willing to share, you must be willing to do the same. Try listening with curiosity instead of being defensive. Try to accept their point of view and understand where they are coming from – see the issue through their lens.
Remember, conflict in and of itself is not bad, it’s how effectively we deal with it that makes the difference. Through conflict resolution we can have increased emotional intimacy.
Express your appreciation and adoration with simple, kind gestures
Small acts of affection and thoughtfulness can be the easiest way to increase emotional intimacy. Pay attention to what acts of affection, thoughtfulness and gesture they respond to, and do it more often. If you are not sure what they like, ask.
Sharing builds trust and emotional intimacy. Over time, as our true-selves become more visible and accepted, a strong emotional bond will be formed. Just like building any other habit, it takes time and repetition to create a new way of communicating.