How to Build Emotional Intimacy In Your Relationship
How would you like to feel more emotional intimacy and connection in your love relationship? What would that be like? How would that feel? What difference would that make in your life? Imagine…..
In this article, I’ll share with you what it really takes to create emotional intimacy in your life and why you may have challenges creating it in your life.
What is True Emotional Intimacy?
It is my theory that you can have it all if you are willing to release the wall. And the wall is your resistance. In other words, cultivating emotional intimacy requires you to look at any resistance that comes up in your intimate relationship and ask yourself, “Why?”
It’s exactly in those places where you have an opportunity to grow. Those are the places where you can open deeper to love and experience greater emotional closeness with your partner.
Relationship Rule #!
You can’t have emotional intimacy with another
until you have created it within yourself.
In the native American tradition, they say “Omtakesin” which translated means “all my relations”. Relationship and relating is everything to leading a happy, healthy successful life.
Whether you’re in a love relationship or not you are “in relationship.” You are in relationship with your parent, your siblings, your children. You are in relationship with customers, clients, employees, your boss.
However, first and foremost you are in relationship with you. And it’s in your most intimate relationships where YOU have an opportunity to have YOU reflected back to YOU most accurately. That’s why it’s in your intimate relationship where you can experience the most pain or the most pleasure – it’s your choice.
The closest people in your life, see you. They see your blinds spot, just like you see theirs. If you can learn to be sensitive enough and show another their blind spots and where they can grow, but with sensitivity and compassion, that makes for great emotional closeness.
Relationships are growing machines. It is in our relationships where we have the greatest opportunity to evolve and gain greater awareness of who we are.
Learning to Love
In this journey of life, I believe we are in a schoolroom. And the name of the class is called “Learnng to Love 101.” It’s the journey of opening to emotional intimacy.
Experience will show you, Love and emotional intimacy is not a function of another. The idea of “the object of my love” or “I love him so much” can often fall short.
What’s important to know is that LOVE, real love is ever-present. It’s all around you. And emotional intimacy is always available to you. All YOU have to do is open to it.
Think about it – you could be in a room filled with people that love and adore you. If your heart isn’t open, you won’t feel the love. On the other hand, if you’re all by yourself and your heart is open you’ll experience a tremendous amount of love and emotional closeness with yourself.
So remember love and emotional intimacy is not a function of another. It’s something you create from within, it’s always available and it’s up to you to create it.
I have a mathematical equation for Love and Emotional Intimacy.
ALIVENESS + CONNECTION = LOVE and Emotional Intimacy
The more alive you are in your body (not repressing your emotions) and connected to your vitality and health, the more you are connected to your authentic loving self. This allows more of the best of you to come forward and be expressed when you interact with others. Especially in your closest relationships. This builds love and emotional intimacy.
You’re not dumping all your unprocessed emotions and life challenges on them. Instead, you’re taking responsibility for your life and facing upsets with greater self-awareness.
You understand that your relationships are a gift. They are your opportunities to open to love. And you hold your relationships as sacred. You know matters of the heart are vulnerable so you treat them with care.
Emotional Closeness Requires Vulnerability
In order to receive love and create the true emotional closeness you may be longing for – you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. But vulnerable in a healthy way. Not putting your heart on the chopping block. Or loving so much that you lose yourself in relationship. But you do need to expose yourself and let go of the armor that is keeping you from letting love in.
An emotionally connected marriage or partnership requires you to be vulnerable. And for most being vulnerable is very scary. Emotional closeness can make you nervous. Especially if you don’t have healthy boundaries and can’t easily say what’s on your mind.
If you don’t know how to set healthy boundaries and speak your truth you’ll have a relationship where you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. I’ve been there – it’s not a fun place to be. That’s exactly the opposite of emotional intimacy.
What Causes Lack of Intimacy?
Fear of intimacy is very real. Falling in love is not for the faint of heart. And intimate love relationships are where you’ll experience the most pain AND the most pleasure in your life.
Having, at the age of 39 experienced the death of my husband from liver cancer, I know what it feels like to have someone simply disappear. He went from alive to gone in three months.
Was it hard for me to open up again to another? Looking back, I would say, at times it felt terrifying. Since his death, now many many years ago, I’ve gone through a long journey of “opening to love.”
That’s why I teach this stuff! I’m my first student! I had to learn healthy boundaries. I needed to know how to communicate what was going on inside me emotionally. And I had to feel emotionally safe with someone I was going to be intimate with. I knew if I couldn’t do that, then emotional intimacy would be too scary for me.
So let’s look at some things that cause a relation to lack emotional intimacy.
- Past relationship trauma
- Childhood trauma
- Traumatic loss
- Not having good role models of emotional intimacy
- Learning that emotions are to be kept to yourself
- Unable to set healthy boundaries for youself.
- Not knowing and loving yourself
You see, intimacy is In To Me I See. You can only share with another as much of yourself that you have access to. If you’re not emotionally self-aware and don’t know how to process your emotions, you won’t be able to create emotional intimacy with another.
After my husband’s death, I believe it was automatic for me. I wanted love. True love, deep love. I longed for it.
But consciously or unconsciously, I had a safety net. I could only love another when I felt secure in my own self-love. I didn’t easily feel emotionally safe with another and knew I had to create that foundation within my self first.
So call it trauma or call it what you may – the fear of intimacy and the desire for true love – took me on a deep journey within.
Now I know, even though I am currently in a loving relationship with what I could call healthy emotional intimacy, I know that my first and foremost intimate relationship is the one I have with myself. And I believe it is for that reason that the relationship I have with my man is a healthy, drama-free, support and loving one.
So how do you create and develop that emotional closeness with yourself?
How Do You Express Emotional Intimacy?
If you want to experience true emotional intimacy then you must create it first from within.
- Do I have self-respect?
- Do I trust my decisions?
- Am I supportive of myself or critical?.
- Do I love and accept myself?
- Are my emotions expressed or repressed?
If you have self-respect, trust yourself, are supportive rather than critical, accept yourself and can express your emotions then you are well on your way to creating an emotionally intimate relationship with another.
When you have created that foundation within yourself, you are more likely to attract a relationship that will have greater emotional intimacy.
You’ll experience a relationship with:
- Respect and trustworthiness.
- Mutual support.
- Acceptance of each other’s differences.
- Ease of Expression, especially with sensitive subjects.
- Room to grow and personally develop.
Ultimately, if you’d like to have a healthy relationship you need to create emotional closeness first. But you need to create it within yourself first. Then you’ll experience what your longing for most – true love.
I’m Anna-Thea an author and Certified Divine Feminine Educator. If you’d like to learn more about how to create more love and emotional intimacy in your life check out my online courses.