How To Build Greater Emotional Intimacy In Your Relationship

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How To Build Greater Emotional Intimacy In Your Relationship

How would you like to feel more emotional intimacy and connection in your relationship? What would that be like? How would that feel? What difference would that make in your life?

In order to understand what it really takes to create true emotional intimacy, you need to address why you may have challenges making it happen in your life.

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Emotional intimacy is incompatible with resistance.

You truly can have it all if you're willing to release "the wall," which is your resistance to emotional depth.

In other words, cultivating emotional intimacy requires you to look at any resistance that comes up in your intimate relationship and ask yourself, “Why?”

It’s exactly in those places where you have an opportunity to grow. These are the places where you can open deeper to love and experience greater emotional closeness with your partner.

Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not, you are “in a relationship.”

Relationships and relating are vital to leading a happy, healthy successful life. You are in a relationship with your parent, your siblings, your children. You are in a relationship with customers, clients, employees, and your boss.

But first and foremost, you are in a relationship with you. You can’t have emotional intimacy with another, until you have established it within yourself. 

It is in your most intimate relationships where you have an opportunity to see yourself reflected back to yourself, like a mirror, most accurately. That’s why your intimate relationship is where you can experience the most pain and the most pleasure — it’s your choice.

The closest people in your life see you.

They see your blindspots, just like you see theirs.

If you can learn to be sensitive enough and show another their blind spots and where they can grow with sensitivity and compassion, that makes for great emotional closeness.

Relationships are growing machines.

Your relationships are where you have the greatest opportunity to evolve and gain greater awareness of who you are.

Experience will show you that love and emotional intimacy are not a function of each other. Real love is ever-present. It’s all around you. And emotional intimacy is always available to you — but you have to be open to it.

Think about it — you could be in a room filled with people that love and adore you, but if your heart isn’t open, you won’t feel the love.

On the other hand, if you’re all by yourself but your heart is open, you’ll experience a tremendous amount of love and emotional closeness with yourself.

Love and emotional intimacy is not a function — it’s something you create from within.

The more alive you are in your body by not repressing your emotions, and the more connected to your vitality and health you are, the more you connect to your authentic, loving self. This allows more of the best of you to come forward and be expressed when you interact with others.

This builds love and emotional intimacy, especially in your closest relationships. 

You’re not dumping all your unprocessed emotions and life challenges on them. Instead, you're taking responsibility for your life and facing upsets with greater self-awareness.

You understand that your relationships are a gift. They are your opportunities to open yourself to love.

You hold your relationships as sacred. You know matters of the heart are vulnerable, so you treat them with care.

Emotional intimacy and closeness requires vulnerability.

In order to receive love and create the true emotional closeness you may be longing for, you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. In a healthy way! Don't put your heart on the chopping block, or love so much that you lose yourself in a relationship.

But you do need to expose yourself and let go of the armor keeping you from letting love in.

An emotionally-connected marriage or partnership requires you to be vulnerable. And for most, being vulnerable is very scary. Emotional closeness can make you nervous, especially if you don’t have healthy boundaries and can’t easily say what’s on your mind.

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If you don’t know how to set healthy boundaries and speak your truth, you’ll have a relationship where you feel like you’re walking on eggshells. I’ve been there — it’s not a fun place to be. That’s exactly the opposite of emotional intimacy.

Fear of intimacy is very real.

Falling in love is not for the faint of heart. Intimate love relationships are where you’ll experience the most pain and the most pleasure in your life.

Here are some of the things that cause a relationship to lack emotional intimacy:

  • Past relationship trauma
  • Childhood trauma
  • Traumatic loss
  • Not having good role models of emotional intimacy
  • Learning that emotions are to be kept to yourself
  • Unable to set healthy boundaries for yourself.
  • Not knowing and loving yourself

You can only share with another as much of yourself that you have access to.

If you’re not emotionally self-aware and don’t know how to process your emotions, you won’t be able to create emotional intimacy with another.

After my husband died of liver cancer when I was 39, I knew I wanted love. True, deep love. I longed for it.

But consciously or unconsciously, I had a "safety net." I could only love another when I felt secure in my own self-love. I didn’t easily feel emotionally safe with another, and knew I had to create that foundation within my self first.

So call it trauma or call it what you may — the fear of intimacy and the desire for true love — took me on a deep journey within.

Even though I'm currently in a loving relationship with what I consider healthy emotional intimacy, I know that my first and foremost intimate relationship is the one I have with myself.

I believe that my relationship with myself is the reason that the relationship I have with my man is a healthy, drama-free, supportive, and loving one.

So, how do you create and develop that emotional closeness with yourself?

If you want to experience true emotional intimacy, you must create it first from within.

Ask yourself the follwing questions:

  • Do I have self-respect?
  • Do I trust my decisions?
  • Am I supportive or critical of myself?
  • Do I love and accept myself?
  • Are my emotions expressed or repressed?

If you have self-respect, trust yourself, are supportive rather than critical, accept yourself, and can express your emotions, then you're well on your way to creating an emotionally intimate relationship with another.

When you have created that foundation within yourself, you are more likely to attract a relationship with greater emotional intimacy.

This includes respect and trustworthiness, mutual support, acceptance of each other’s differences, and an ease of expression — especially with sensitive subjects. It will also give you room to grow and personally develop.

Ultimately, if you’d like to have a healthy relationship, you need to create emotional closeness — first within yourself, and then with another. When you can create an emotionally intimate and stable environment, you’ll experience what your longing for most: True love.

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Anna-Thea is an author and certified Divine Feminine educator. If you’d like to start making pleasure more important check out her online course “Unlock Your Divine Feminine Power with Love.”

This article was originally published at Anna Thea. Reprinted with permission from the author.