Love, Sex

5 Reasons You're Not As Close To Your Boyfriend As You Want To Be (& How To Get There)

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how to get closer to your boyfriend by building an emotional connection

Intimacy is about feeling close to your partner. It is about feeling safe enough to be vulnerable. It is about having an interpersonal adventure by trying new things together in and out of the bedroom.  

However, there are five main obstacles that prevent many couples from enjoying the deep pleasure of depth and feeling genuinely bonded.   

If you have one or more of these obstacles happening in your relationship, just remember that you can blow up those obstacles, learn how to build an emotional connection and trust, and have the relationship you and your partner truly want. 

RELATED: 4 Brilliantly Subtle Ways To Bring Him Emotionally Closer To You

The statements below are not judgmental, even if they may sound that way. Most human beings struggle with reaching their relationship potential because of these blocks.  

Here are the 5 most common reasons you're not as close to your partner as you'd like:

1. You stopped being interested in your partner a while ago.  

You don’t ask questions and do not realize how your lack of interest has been a factor in the deterioration of the aliveness in the relationship.

2. You try to protect yourself from getting hurt.

You've been hurt because of your partner and others before, and you don’t want to take a chance with your heart again. 

Instead, you settle for a mediocre relationship that does not break up but is dry and routine.  Your partner may be doing the same thing.

3. You get defensive rather than listen to your partner.

This especially happens when there is something negative he or she is feeling and stating. And nothing tears away at intimacy faster than reactive and defensive communication.  

Staying open and present no matter what your partner is experiencing and expressing is challenging to most of us reactive creatures, but it is worth the effort to practice the skill of staying present when your impulse is to get defensive or leave.

RELATED: The 5 Stages Of Intimacy (And Why You Need To Know Where You Are)

4. You have sexual issues.

Rather than face these issues, accept them, or work on them, you avoid sexual intimacy altogether.  

This can lead to the rupture of emotional intimacy as well. Avoidance leads to hiding from each other and leads to partners living life lonely and disconnected.

5. You don’t take the time to slow down together on a consistent basis.

When you were courting, you slowed down together. Now that you are in a longer term relationship, you have your "to do" list, your electronics (phone, computer, TV), and your overall busy multi-tasking lives.

The expression, "When you don’t use it, you lose it", applies to intimacy as well. The more time that passes when you don’t slow down together, the more a non-intimate relationship will feel normal.  

However, deciding to slow down together on a consistent basis can bring your intimacy back in a relatively short time.  

How many of you can say the same thing about exercise? If you don’t go to the gym or do some other exercise for a long time, it is harder to get into it and it feels "normal" not to exercise.

However, when you are exercising regularly, you miss it when you don’t do it. And like exercise, slowing down together feels great when done on a consistent basis.

RELATED: The 4 Types Of Intimacy Every Couple Has In Good Relationships

The good news is that you do not have to settle for a less-than-ideal relationship. Healthy intimacy is within the reach of almost all of us. Once you identify which blocks are getting in your way, you can start taking proactive steps to overcoming them so you can build the healthy, happy relationship you deserve.

Todd Creager is an expert in relationships. For over 30 years, he has worked as a relationship therapist, specializing in marriage, sex, and couples counseling.

This article was originally published at Todd Creager's Website. Reprinted with permission from the author.