An emotionally-intimate relationship is a gold standard for most adult men and women. Long-term married couples know that nothing can compare to the deep satisfaction emotionally-bonded partners experience both inside and outside the bedroom. The ability to trust your partner, bare your soul in front of them without fear of judgement, and building emotional intimacy are elements that committed couples report as being essential to experiencing satisfaction in the physical and emotional areas of the relationship. The intimacy fostered by adeep emotional connection with your life partner is one of life’s greatest joys.
What are some of the ways of building emotional intimacy and reinforcing the bond with your partner?
A good conversation can work like an aphrodisiac. It will turn you both on and prepare you for good sex. Dedicate time to sitting down with a warm cup of coffee together and building emotional intimacy by letting the words flow. Turn off your phones, screens and other distractions and focus on each other’s contributions to the discussion. Look into each other’s eyes as you share your day. Active talking and listening validates both of you, making you feel heard, which primes your bodies for connection. For many women, it is difficult to hop into bed without some sort of verbal foreplay. (Men: take note!)
Construct a sphere of safety around each other
For building emotional intimacy, couples need to feel safe with each other. What does “feeling safe” mean? It could mean the freedom to express oneself without fear of retribution or criticism or the knowledge that your spouse “has your back” no matter what. It provides a sense of safe harbor you feel when with your spouse, that you are both each other’s protection from the outside elements. When you feel safe with your partner, you are building intimacy and developing a wonderful sense of connection upon which trust can take root and grow.
Trust is the cornerstone in an emotionally-intimate marriage. When you are with someone whom you truly trust, you can allow yourself to feel vulnerable and not worry about them mocking you or being turned off when you reveal your secrets. The bedrock of trust allows you to let go of feelings of doubt, unworthiness, and insecurity and helps in building emotional intimacy.
Great relationships cannot be built if trust is not present, so if you do have any feelings of insecurity in regards to your partner and struggling with how to build intimacy, you will need to work on this issue if you want to progress towards emotional intimacy.
Tend to your Intimate relationship
Emotional connectivity depends on a base of respect, trust and desire that couples work to create, and continually re-create. Emotional satisfaction in marriage comes from expressing some type ofgratitude towards your spouse each day. The “thank yous” and “you rock!” are part of the glue that helps in building emotional intimacy and keeps the connection together. These are important factors in reinforcing your emotional bond.
Never take your physical life for granted, and make gestures from time to time to remind your partner that he or she still turns you on. A squeeze as you pass in the hallway, a long kiss before you set off for your workday…these small acts are not intended to lead to sex, but are simple, non-verbal ways to build emotional intimacy. The sweet acts of love will send the message to your spouse that you arefeeling connected to them.
The hormone-releasing benefits of orgasm
Emotionally-intimate sex means better sex, and better sex leads to better orgasms. The real win in all this is the fact that orgasms produce a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone stimulates the brain to feel even more bonded and attached to your spouse. There is a reason it is called the love hormone! Both sexes produce oxytocin during the act of lovemaking. The nature ensures that the two partners bond (to protect any offspring that may result from the sexual act). It’s really a lovely cycle: The more orgasms you have, the more bonded you will feel with your partner. Do not overlook the therapeutic powers of a good session between the sheets!
How to increase emotional intimacy?
When desire seems to be waning, work on building emotional intimacy needs as well as physical intimacy needs.
All couples report a reduction in desire as the years pass. But don’t let your sex life be put on the back burner! There are things you can do to nourish this important part of your marriage and make sure you garner emotional intimacy in relationships.
It is not just a question ofhaving more sex. You want to be attentive to fueling the feelings that lead you to want to have more sex.
Experiment: Spend a weekend with your spouse where you focus on communicating. Take sex off the table. The goal is not to end up in bed. It will give an answer to how to build emotional intimacy in marriage.
Tell each other five things that you like about the other person.
Ask each other to name five things that make each partner happy.
Give each other the freedom to explore something alone. (When you reunite, it will be hot!)
Create a list of ways you can increase yourconnection with each other. Some things to include might be: a new sport or hobby that you both want to try, a trip-of-a-lifetime that you spend time planning together, new things to bring into your bedroom. Brainstorm on how to develop emotional intimacy and see what you agree upon!
The short video below talks about a quick 6 minute exercise for building emotional intimacy. Have a look:
Most people will agree that expression of unconditional love towards the other partner is one of the most important pleasures of life and solves how to be more emotionally intimate. When you find that person with whom you know you can reach this higher state, work hard to keep the connection vibrant. It is life-enhancing and worth the work it takes to keep it going.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.