What is Emotional Intimacy in a Relationship and How to Build it?

Emotional intimacy in a relationship
Photo by Hean Prinsloo

Each relationship is different but it’s true that we go through all the same levels of intimacy in relationships. Yes, you read that right, physical intimacy isn’t the only “intimacy” we are talking about here. In fact, there are kinds of intimacy that are just as important, but for this moment, we will be talking about the emotional aspect that we share with our partners.

So what is emotional intimacy? Emotional intimacy in simpler terms is the feeling of emotional closeness and vulnerability that you share with your partner. You can be with your partner for two decades and you still won’t be able to reach this level of intimacy with each other.

Emotional intimacy is essential to making your relationship healthier, happier and long-lasting. So here are six tips to build and maintain it in your relationship:

1. Talk to your partner.
When we say “talk to your partner,” we truly mean it. In order to achieve emotional intimacy, you must be able to communicate with your partner and that means talking and listening to what they have to say. You should be able to set time for you to get together and just talk about mundane events happening in your lives.

Most relationships fail at this because they never seem to get past the honeymoon phase of their relationship, where everything is new, fun, and exciting. This adrenaline rush in the relationship fades and you will both find yourself eventually that the exciting moments are gone and the real challenge begins. Do you like your partner even if it isn’t the same anymore?

ALSO READ: 10 Tips on How to Be a Better Listener in Your Relationship

2. Tell them your secrets.
Nothing says trust than telling someone your secrets. If you’re fully comfortable telling your partner your deepest and darkest secrets, then you are already one step away from building emotional intimacy. Your partner knows everything about you, every pet peeve, every childhood secret, and every hidden desire.

You’re also comfortable cuddling up next to your loved one each night, whispering your secrets into their ear, and maybe even having a good laugh about it. This doesn’t only build the emotional intimacy around you but also increases the trust you have for each other. You’re not just each other’s boyfriend or girlfriend, you’re also both secret-keepers.

3. Tell them about your day.
Telling each other about your day is another way to build emotional intimacy. Most of the time, long-married couples who have been with each other for years and probably have children already, neglect this small yet important aspect in a relationship. This is most likely because they have been both so caught up in each other’s lives, working to pay the bills, getting the kids ready for school, or dividing household chores.

Take the time out of your every day to tell your partner about what happened during your day. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown talk session, the important thing is that you both have the time to connect with each other, no matter how short the time. In every relationship, it’s important to build with the big blocks of foundation like trust and to keep it up with small blocks of security like these talks.

4. Accept your partner for who they are.
You should ask yourself if you really know your partner and if you do, do you accept all of them? You can’t say you truly love a person if you don’t know every birthmark on their skin, every mole on their face, or every freckle on their back. It takes a whole other level of commitment to truly get to know a person and say that you love them, despite their flaws.

Not every person is perfect and your partner is no exception. You must be able to get to know them as each year passes, as you go through hurdles together, and go through the normal events in life. You will get to know how your partner is like in every situation, pick out their flaws, and love them anyway.

ALSO READ: How to Accept Someone for Who They Are in a Relationship

5. Celebrate big news with them.
Even though it’s important to tell your partner about the little things happening in your life, it’s equally important to share with them the big news as well. If you got a promotion at work, if you won an international award, or you finally got that acting job you have always wanted, it’s very important and sweet to let them know first before anyone else.

Your partner is your emotional and dream partner in everything. He or she is the one who’s in the front lines supporting and cheering you on, so it’s only understandable that when you succeed, you turn to them first to tell them and thank them. These kinds of happy news are always good at bringing together the emotional intimacy of two people.

6. Trust them with your life.
Lastly, in order to build emotional intimacy, you must be able to trust your partner with your whole life. Ask yourself, why are you staying with this person if you don’t know and trust them like the back of your hand? When you let your partner take the wheel, it doesn’t worry you at all.

You can walk through a lot of adversities in life, blindfolded, with only your loved one’s hand as a guide and you won’t worry about a thing.  Of course, trust should be a mutual responsibility. You and your partner should help each other build and maintain this level of trust to grow emotional intimacy in your relationship.

Relationships are hard work and it doesn’t come easy even to those who have done it a million times. Every person is different and has their own definitions and levels of emotional intimacy.

The important thing is for you and your loved one to communicate clearly, set the pace for each other, and take your time getting to know each other. It may take months or even years to build the level of emotional intimacy that you crave, but don’t worry though, you will get there eventually!

ALSO READ: 10 Ways to Build Emotional Intimacy in a Relationship

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Carisha Yabora
Carisha lives for writing and painting. When she’s not doing either of the two, she is most likely to be seen petting stray dogs or commuting in high fashion boots.
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