Most of us have seen movies and read love stories about incredible love between two people and most couples strive for that sort of connection with each other. When couples have been together for a long time, they become frustrated when they feel as though their partner doesn’t connect with them on an emotional level, not understanding that there are many factors that go into a successful relationship. When you meet someone and fall in love it’s easy to become blindsided with things that don’t matter to the long-term success of your relationship. Attraction is important, and so are common interests but the most important part of relationship success is how emotionally connected you are as a couple.
Relationships are complicated and what complicates them further is that many people don’t understand that physical intimacy is not enough to keep a relationship happy throughout the years. Emotional intimacy is the glue that adds depth and meaning to the couple working issues out and feeling close. When your partner doesn’t understand how to communicate emotional intimacy, you’ll end up feeling alone and misunderstood.
If you feel as though you are missing something in your relationship, especially now with the uncertainty of the pandemic, I recommend you talk to each other about emotional intimacy. Remember, your relationship is a work in progress. Learning and practicing new ways of communicating will enhance the way you feel toward each other for life.
1. True emotional intimacy is generous. A deep connection requires you both share vulnerability and you are generous with your time. Creating a great relationship means giving each other time and attention. Your partner needs to know you are there when they need you, not when it’s convenient for you.
2. Your partner is not on a timer. You cannot expect to turn on or off intimacy like a switch. Your partner is different than you. Just because you want to sit down and talk something out, it isn’t realistic to get angry or withdraw if your partner is not ready.
3. True intimacy requires your emotional intimacy to be as strong as your physical. Couples who rely on physical intimacy to feel close to their partner have a less stable foundation. In good times that can work, but it will not sustain them during the difficult times in the relationship.
4. True intimacy means transparency between partners and an ability to communicate honestly with each other. Whatever you keep secret in a relationship ends up building a potential wall between the two of you. Share Facebook pages, passwords and remember the golden rule. Whatever you hide from the relationship will eventually be found out.
5. Intimacy means you share the load. No matter what happens in life, if it happens to your partner, it happens to you. Intimacy means you show up for your partner. If they get sick, you sit with them and make them soup. If they are down, you want to know about it. It’s important to each of you that both partners feel equal in doing family chores.
True intimacy is the lovemaking of the relationship. It’s what keeps the couple feeling loved, cared about and grateful they have each other. Learning the difference between intimacy and sex is important for relationship happiness and survival.