We can DO things with our partners, we can go, travel, see places together, we can chit chat daily about many things, we can be affectionate, have sex, even feel we are making love – without a true deep emotional intimacy.
A deep emotional intimacy between two people requires regularly taking a space and time – to see, hear and feel ( into ) one another, sharing our deepest feelings, emotions, vulnerabilities, pain, fears, our values, needs and desires with our partner.
Being physically naked in front of our partner can sometimes be easier than being emotionally naked with them.
Being able to be ‘emotionally naked’ with each other can feel uncomfortable, intimidating and scary – often when that’s something very new to us, or when two people in the relationship aren’t on the same page, where they both want, need, crave for a deep emotional intimacy.
And only when both people are ready and brave enough to feel and embrace their own deep vulnerability, can they be emotionally there for the other.
How does emotional intimacy look like?
What are some practical steps you can take to deepen emotional intimacy with your partner?
1. Set a time daily, a few times a week ( at least once a week ) to sit down with your partner and emotionally tune in with one another.
2. Ensure that time and place set feels safe and comfortable for both of you, to be able to open up.
3. You might need to:
– hire a babysitter
– make a cup of tea / a cake / a special meal / order a takeaway etc.
– dim the lights & light a candle
– get out into nature for a picnic / to a coffee shop / restaurant etc.
– make a bubble bath for the two of you
– switch off&silent both of your phones
– switch off the TV, laptop & any other source of noise and distraction
– make sure the chosen place feels, looks and smells nice, that is warm, cosy, quiet and intimate enough for both of you
4. Ask your partner how they feel and what they need.
5. Allow your partner to share their story with you in what ever way feels safest to them – deeply gazing into your eyes, facing you, sitting across or next to you, lying down on your side, on your chest, with your bodies physically touching or being separate.
5. Listen to your partners truth – actively and compassionately, without interruptions, judgement or criticism, without getting into defence&attack mode, without trying to change what they feel / need, without trying to fix the problem for them.
6. While listening, try to put yourself in your partner’s shoes.
7. If possible, meet their need(s) straight away or make the commitment to do so – as soon as possible.
8. Give affection ( hugs, cuddles, kisses )- if or when your partner is ok with it, if or when it feels right.
9. When the partner expresses everything they wanted, when they have finished sharing and are ready to listen and be there for you – Only Then – switch roles.
How do you keep building and nourishing emotional intimacy with your partner?
Conquer your mountain!