If you yearn for increased depth, intimacy, and joy in your relationships, you have to develop a more emotional connection with your partner, your friends, your family, and your co-workers. In romantic relationships, intimacy aids in building closeness and compatibility and is very closely linked to greater relationship satisfaction.
Intimacy can be defined as the mutual willingness to be vulnerable, open, and being brutally honest with one another. To be intimate, one requires a high level of transparency i.e. being open about yourself and at the same time connecting with them at a deeper level.
It is often seen as being intimate physically. However, just having physical or sexual intimacy is not enough in a relationship. Other types of intimacy are important, too. For instance, experiential intimacy is also essential, occurring when two people have similar interests, hobbies and they spend their time engaging in them together. A couple that can maintain healthy intimacy understands that every relationship has trouble. They sense it and feel that having problems or issues in a relationship is inevitable. This helps them to be more open-minded and non-defensive when it comes to overcoming the problem. They are willing to communicate with each other more openly and will work collaboratively to find a solution.
There are several ways in which you can bring intimacy into your relationship. Here are some strategies that can help you.
Spend meaningful time together and create connection rituals
Try to find ways wherein you can spend more time with one another. Indulge in activities wherein you and your partner feel relaxed, comfortable, and entertained. Try out a hobby that you both enjoy, play games, or go to the gym together. When you schedule some time to spend with each other, make sure that you and your partner don’t indulge in other things, like your phone or work emails. This can allow you to spend quality time together.
Try something new
It is highly possible that when some time has passed in a relationship, you get stuck in a monotonous routine. You can try doing something new to bring about some change, fun, and excitement. This could involve learning a new hobby together or taking up a class together. It could even include doing something that your partner has wanted to do for a long time. This will ensure consistency in the relationship.
Sometimes, even though there are problems in a relationship, make it a point to acknowledge the concerns, without being aggressive or passive. This would also include listening to one another patiently before jumping in with any ideas or advice. Once the problem is identified, acknowledge the problem and work together to resolve it. Make sure during a conflict to keep in mind that it is never you against your partner; instead, it is always your partner and you vs. the problem.
Practicing non-judgmental listening
Non-judgmental may not come naturally at first, so be patient and kind with yourself as you're learning this skill. It’s a muscle that needs to be exercised. Listen to understand and not just fix.
Express emotions openly
To develop emotional intimacy, it is important that you identify and also label your own emotions. This will help develop empathy towards your partner and also keep you more attuned not just to how you are doing, but also to how your partner feels. This can build a deep sense of vulnerability, trust, and bonding.
Identify their positives
There can be times, especially during an argument or conflict, that everything about each other starts to bother you. Make a conscious attempt during such times to list out all the positive qualities about them and the things that you like about them. This will immediately help you feel more connected to them.
Finding a great relationship isn’t about just swiping right or left in life until you stumble upon it. Building an emotionally intimate relationship is a long-term process that takes time and work, but it is seen as one of the most rewarding aspects of life. You and your partner may not agree about everything. However, this is just a part and parcel of being in a relationship. Making your relationship a priority and being committed to making things work can help you two build emotional intimacy. Remember that the foundation of any good relationship is trust, vulnerability, and communication.