Emotional intimacy is the glue that keeps a relationship stable and balanced when feelings are no longer enough to keep the fire burning. Intimacy can be simple, prosaic fact; a habit, and a daily practice. But it can also blow your mind, and make you fall in the love with the person next to you all over again. Often times, the mere understanding of the word “intimacy” makes us thinking about sex. Whereas that’s accurate enough, there’s much more to closeness in a relationship than meets the eye.
Here are 7 facts about emotional intimacy:
1.) In a romantic relationship, intimacy is an art you have to master
Emotional intimacy is better defined as the desire to communicate with your mind and body in a relationship. You share deep emotions and feelings with your significant other, and you try to discover each other mentally, physically and emotionally. Whenever emotional intimacy is brought up, confusion emerges to stir and shake us up. We see married couples on the street who behave as if they just met a week ago; in reality, they’ve been married for decades. Is possible to have that kind of connection with someone even after years and years of being married or in a relationship? Absolutely! When you’re with the right one, the right person who can see beyond the social barrier, you get the chance to know them on the deepest intimate level and never get bored.
2.) Emotional intimacy is directly linked to psychological intimacy
Emotional intimacy instills a curiosity to know what the other thinks and feels; psychological intimacy rewires the brain, and makes it believe that respect and trust are the key ingredients to a fruitful romance. On a psychological level, honesty matters the most in a relationship. However, without intimacy and attraction, that relationship can’t last in the long term.
3.) Vulnerabilities are good
Relationships get better the moment we stop chasing away our vulnerabilities. Why should you let your self-protective instincts keep you from experiencing love at the deepest and most intimate level? Rather than accuse or attack the person you love most with unfounded statements and accusations, focus on the good and on the positive. Put your vulnerabilities to good use, and let your loved one meet the real you. We all have flaws, and we should learn to be gentle with them. This way we can understand, accept, and even turn them into a good thing.
4.) Openness comes from within
Be open to whatever life throws at you. Both the good and the bad are meant to teach us something. Openness is fundamental in a romantic relationship. A mind that’s intimately open has a lot to gain. A fruitful sexual life makes the connection between you and your loved one a lot tighter. The thoughts and feelings you share will take your relation to a whole new level. The outcome – a beautiful love affair based on trust, emotional intimacy and love.
5.) There’s great value in self-esteem
Self-esteem allows us to be direct and open. The more confident you are in your power to wow a partner, the greater chances you have to build closeness and intimacy in the relationship. Ditch insecurities linked to the physical and let your emotions speak for themselves. Be confident and your significant other will learn to appreciate you more.
6.) Feelings must be shared in order to be felt
Both men and women want to feel love at the deepest level when they’re in a relationship. For that to happen, you have to share your feelings. Don’t allow negative thoughts pile up inside of you and express them out loud. This will give the other a chance to empathize with you. If the love you have for each other is true, then those negative thoughts will fade away into nothingness. We want to feel but also need the other to express those feeling with words. That’s genuine intimacy!
7.) Authenticity becomes invaluable
Genuine emotional intimacy demands authenticity. In a romantic relationship, the people involved must be honest with each other. It’s not about sharing things from the past or talking about problems, but about being yourself and sharing what you truly feel. Live in the moment, value the time you spend together and don’t hide your emotions behind a mask. Your judgment and thoughts are not feelings; being connected to honest and raw feelings right there, in that moment demands awareness and presence. It is important to have self-esteem in order to feel safe, but it’s equally important to be genuine and not judge or reject a loved one who’s just trying to be there for you.
Emotional intimacy can be nerve-racking. Couples must learn to support and love each other for who they are. The closer you get to someone, the deeper your feelings can become. However, relationships are not built solely on feelings. Sometimes you have to think with your brain too in order to make things work.
Author Bio: Malini Bhatia is the founder of Marriage.com, a website dedicated to providing value in every marriage. Marriage.com provides resources, information and a community that supports healthly, happy marriages. Malini has global experience in international management and communications, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 11 years and two daughters.