Being in a relationship is like dancing. Sometimes we are close and at other times we have some space, but we are always in ‘an orbit’ of one another. This orbit binds us and we all yearn for this interpersonal closeness. It is the pulse of any relationship. If you want more depth, connection and joy in your relationship, you have to develop more emotional intimacy with your partner.
Creating emotional intimacy in the early stages of a relationship is tough because people fear closeness and judgment. Most people aren’t comfortable having a deep emotional connection with a partner because they are afraid of being judged as clingy. However, as humans we desperately need this in order to thrive both in and outside of our relationships.
• Communicate and share thoughts with your partner
Intimacy is about sharing and making connections. Express how you’re experiencing the present moment. Get into the habit of telling other people how you feel about stuff, what your thoughts are, what your hopes are…
• Listen to your partner and take interest in his thoughts
Sometimes people think that communication is only about talking. But, it is important to remember that communication is about actively listening to your partner also.
In order to listen better, you can check in with your loved one and repeat what you heard him or her say. We call this mirroring and it is a great way to make sure that you are really listening, instead of just waiting for your partner to stop talking so that you can make your next point.
• Deal with conflict swiftly
All relationships have some conflict and disappointments. This is actually healthy! Conflicts and disappointments don’t have to destroy a relationship. It is how the couple handles them that matters. Learn to “fight fair” by getting the issue out on the table and dealing with it with respect. This will grow trust and deepen intimacy.
• Honour rather than judge what your partner reveals to you about themselves.
If you are characterized by criticism or trying to fix your spouse, you will close the door on inviting him/her to share. Acknowledge how you’re affected by what your partner reveals about themselves to you and show willingness to accept and respect. This is the kind of openness that puts him/her at ease, and when you both are at ease, you can fall deeply in love.
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