What is Emotional Intimacy and How Do You Help it Grow?
One of the things that sets the relationship you have with a partner or spouse apart from other relationships in your life is the emotional intimacy that can be a part of it. Emotional intimacy indicates that there is emotional safety and trust between partners, and that they feel safe to tell each other about their feelings and vulnerabilities without worry that their partner will judge them for it. Over time, individual partners grow and change, and sometimes couples need help relearning about each other. Below are some ways to help nurture the emotional intimacy you have with your partner and keep it growing over time.
Set Aside Time to be Present with Each Other
In order to continue building emotional intimacy, it can be important to intentionally set aside some uninterrupted time each week to be present with your partner and spend quality time together. Depending on how much time you have available to do this, you might set a weekly date night, engage in 10 minute check-ins throughout the week, text each other throughout the day to check-in - whatever works best for both you and your partner. The main goal is to focus on each other and your relationship and continue to learn about each other.
Share Your Goals with Each Other
An important part of emotional intimacy is being able to share your innermost vulnerable thoughts, such as your desires and goals for the future, with your partner. Having an open, ongoing conversation over time about your goals (both for each other and for you together as a couple) can help increase your bond and help you understand your partner on a deeper level. It can also open up dialogue for you and your partner to find out how you can best support each other in reaching these goals.
Offer Support to Each Other
Similar to how each partner may need to receive love in different ways, each partner may need to receive support from their partner in a certain way. Think about what you need from your partner and how they can best support you, while also asking and learning how you can best offer support to your partner. For example, do you need someone to just listen, someone to give you advice, or a little of both when you need support from your partner? It is important to set out these expectations so your partner doesn't have to guess what to do in those moments when you are looking to them for support, and vice versa.
As mentioned above, partners grow and change overtime and sometimes need guidance in relearning each other and how their relationship has changed as a result. Couples therapy can be a safe place to explore you and your partner's emotional intimacy, and a couples therapist can help you find new ways to nurture and grow this intimacy.