How many times have you and your mate engaged in a conversation and you both felt like you were not being heard? Communication is key when it comes to feeling heard and understood…..but how do we get to the place where feeling heard and understood is a priority? It’s by listening. Being a great listener takes time, it takes practice, and it takes willingness to do so.
Listening is a part of communication, it helps in building intimacy, and it’s a way of letting your mate know that they are a priority and are valued.
To build love, trust and intimacy in your relationship, you must demonstrate the ability to listen attentively to your mate.
Listening is two-fold, it’s hearing what your mate is saying and asking questions to gain clarity, to gain understanding, to be curious, and to show interest in the conversation.
Helping your mate feel supported, understood, and heard in the relationship are ways to build intimacy, as well as the ability to empathize, show understanding, and attune into what your mate is saying.
“Intimacy is interaction in which partners experience positive feelings about themselves and their mate and the interaction reflect each other’s understanding of one another”, (Prager, 1995).
How to build intimacy with a man or a woman
It’s important to understand that intimacy is created beyond the bedroom, and it is created when couples engage in conversation, in which they become emotionally and mentally connected. It’s more than a physical act, it’s the ability to become emotionally and mentally engaged with your mate, without physical touch.
Listening is a part of how to build intimacy in marriage, intimacy is see-into-me and you must be emotionally and mentally engaged with your mate for true intimacy to occur.
So, when you think about the art of listening, it’s becoming attune to your mate, it’s taking your mind off everything else and focusing your attention on your mate. When you do this, you’re setting a tone in the relationship that says, nothing else matters, you have my undivided attention, you matter, and what’s important right now is how you feel and what you are saying.
Here are 10 intimacy building exercises through listening that you must follow:
- Share your thoughts and feelings with each other and validate each other’s feelings.
- Respond to each other in a way that makes you both feel good.
- Listen with an open heart and mind.
- Remove all distractions that will keep you from listening attentively.
- Communicate empathy and understanding.
- Ask clarifying and open-ended questions.
- Don’t be defensive, critical or judgmental.
- Try to see the situation from your mate’s perspective.
- Let go of your own agenda and what you think your mate will say.
- Don’t make the conversation about you and don’t try to fix the problem.
Building intimacy through listening is important to your relationship and it shows how much you value your mate, as well as the relationship, and it’s about fulfilling a need, and being responsive to your mate’s needs.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
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.
More by LaWanda N Evans