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Emotional Intimacy in Relationships

Relationships form the crux of human life. Our relationships throughout the course of our life define who we are as individuals & are an
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Relationships form the crux of human life. Our relationships throughout the course of our life define who we are as individuals & are an essential part of our identity. In psychological research, it has time and again been verified that right from childhood our relationships shape the way we think, we feel and behave throughout the different stages of growing up. In fact, there is enough evidence which suggests that our early relationships influence the key relationships of our later life, particularly our romantic relationships.

A key part of any relationship, particularly our romantic relationships is emotional intimacy, that is, the ability to share the deepest of our thoughts with our partner. If there is a lack of or absence of emotional intimacy between couples, it is likely to take a heavy toll on the overall relationship.

Have you ever heard someone say, that they don’t feel their partners understand them well enough? Perhaps, what they are trying to say is that there is a lack of emotional closeness between them and their partner. Very often, as psychologists, we come across marital cases where even couples who have been married for a very long feel that their partners don’t understand them well enough.

It sounds surprising but all this is the result of not giving emotional intimacy its due importance in the relationship. There is a lot being said and done about physical intimacy in relationships but what if one partner doesn’t feel heard? Or one partner feels taken for granted?

These issues if left unaddressed can make the roots of the relationship weak until it finally reaches a breakpoint, very much like the way excessive monsoons weaken the root of a tree until it uproots from the trunk.

Now that we have established the importance of emotional intimacy in a relationship, let’s understand what you can do to improve the same in your relationship with your partner:

  • Spending quality time with your partner is a prerequisite. Do things which you like together, go out for a movie or a dinner date. Especially if you live in a joint family or have kids, having uninterrupted couple time is absolutely essential.
  • Be aware of your partner’s feelings. Try to find out why he/she feels in a certain way, instead of coming to conclusions based on your past experiences.
  • Do something new & be available for your partner. It’s ok if sometimes you have to do things which are outside of your comfort zone as long as it makes your partner feel cared for.
  • Make a Gratitude list. We often get caught up in all that is wrong with our partner but if you sit down and make a list of all things ‘nice’, about your partner, then you will realize where you ought to focus more than the negatives which have your attention now.
  • And lastly, invest in your emotional health. If you feel emotionally happy & satisfied, then you will invest more in your relationship as well. If you are unhappy with yourself, you will find flaws in your relationship as well and being emotionally intimate with your partner will be near to impossible.

So enjoy your relationships, because our relationships are who we are.

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