Emotional Intimacy Issues: Know When To Reconnect

Emotional Intimacy Issues: Know When To Reconnect

While physical attraction and strong sexual chemistry can promote a strong, healthy relationship, the pitfall of many is the lack of emotional intimacy. After all the initial attraction and passion has faded, emotional intimacy is the glue that holds a relationship together. Without it, many couples begin to struggle within the relationship – and at times, this could also mean the end of a connection. Let’s take a look at a few of the common issues that can lead to the lack of emotional intimacy and how to fix them before they wreak havoc on your relationship.

Lack of self-esteem

When engaging in a relationship, couples often look for confidence in one another. This is an all too common trap as it can prevent partners from being fully open and honest with one another. Being genuine is a vital part of emotional intimacy; without it, a relationship will suffer greatly. Rather than relying on your partner for building confidence, practice doing so on your own. You may find that as your individual confidence grows, your faith in the relationship will grow as well!


Distrust, especially the kind which stems from past relationships, can be hazardous to the emotional health of a relationship. Often if one has been hurt in the past, it is difficult to overcome the threat of repeated offenses. This can be detrimental to the future relationships as it robs an individual of the sense of security that should come from being part of an established relationship. To avoid falling into this trap, try to figure out when you feel incapable of trusting your partner and talk it out! Not only will talking things out help improve your sense of security in the relationship, but it will also have an indirect positive impact on your emotional intimacy!


Similar to a lack of self-esteem, being insecure in your relationship can be a stumbling block to maintaining healthy emotional intimacy. Remember: your partner chose you for a reason (or most likely for quite a few reasons!). Think about what might be keeping you from being fully engaged in the relationship. Is there a personal area of your life in which you can become more secure? Practice reflecting alone, such as with a journal, and aloud with your partner. You might find the activity to be fulfilling and promoting your emotional stability.

Difficulty in communication

It is not uncommon for couples to have trouble communicating with one another. Often this is due to the lack of willingness to meet the other person in the middle. Each of you has a unique way of communicating. Is it fair for one partner to ask the other to change? Or should each of you carry equal responsibility? Being in a partnership requires compromise, even in the ways you communicate to one another. Try spending time talking with your partner about how each of you transmits emotions and thoughts; be willing to compromise if it is needed in order to maintain the balance!


You may try and try again to repair emotional damage in your relationship and still find yourself unable to connect with your partner emotionally. If no emotional intimacy has ever existed, you may be setting yourself up for failure because your partner is not invested in the same way as you are. Sometimes couples are simply incompatible with one another. If you are unable to establish or improve emotional intimacy with your partner, it is up to you to decide whether continuing the relationship is healthy for either of you or not.  However, by looking carefully at the foundation of your partnership, you may find a repairable crack – one that does not require too much effort to heal and strengthen.

Improving these areas can significantly improve a relationship’s outlook. After all, it takes two people to create and maintain a healthy partnership. Rather than identifying your partner as your “better half,” think of the relationship as two independent people joining together to create one life. Understanding this about your own relationship may help you to identify what may be at the root of your inability to connect to your partner emotionally.

Elizabeth McCormick is a Licensed Social Worker and mental health counselor at the University of Evansville. She has worked for several years with children, adolescents, adults, couples, and families and has pursued continued education in the fields of suicide prevention and community awareness. She is an advocate for learning and has had the opportunity to teach college courses in the fields of Human Services, Sociology, and Communication Studies.

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