Humans are social beings. We thrive on social connections. These relationships provide us with better mental health, increased problem-solving skills, a sense of safety and belonging, and the ability to trust. You might wonder what happens when you’re missing emotional intimacy in your relationships and how to regain it.
First, let’s look at the basics of emotional intimacy. It is more than feeling a physical attraction. It’s a connection that makes you feel comfortable with each other, one where you can drop your guard in situations that might typically make you feel scared or tense.
Emotional intimacy allows you to have deep conversations while feeling secure and supported. Feeling emotionally connected to someone boosts your mood and gives you a sense of purpose. Every relationship has a sense of intimacy. The relationship suffers when there is a shift or a decrease in intimacy.
What Are Examples of Emotional Intimacy?
There are a variety of ways to assess the intimacy of your relationship. For example, do you share your day with each other? Does this sharing feel like a habit, or do you truly enjoy hearing what the other person has to say? The excitement that comes with sharing and wanting to hear about the other person is a key part of intimacy.
You take the time to learn about their hobbies and interests even if you aren’t interested in them for any other reason than supporting them. In a healthy relationship, you feel safe to share, knowing there is no judgment on the other end. There is simply support with no strings attached. Intimacy makes you feel empowered, peaceful and nurtured.
What Are the Signs of Intimacy Issues?
It’s important to understand that slight shifts in connection will occur in every relationship. An ebb and flow is normal and comes with our ever-changing lives. Sometimes these changes occur, and you’re not aware. However, there are a few things you can watch for.
If you notice one or more of these, and they seem to last longer than what you might consider normal, the relationship might need support.
- No longer sharing details of your lives
- No longer leaning on each other for support
- Not paying attention to one another
These are just a few signs that your relationship may be lacking. For example, you may notice that you are continuing to do these things, but your partner isn’t. Or you may notice that neither of you is making an effort.
What Does a Lack of Intimacy Do to a Person?
When you lack intimacy in your relationships, you might feel you’re on an island by yourself. You don’t have key people with who you share your highs and lows. You may not feel supported to take chances, leaving you feeling stuck.
Since we all desire connections, you may make poor decisions on who and where to get intimacy from, settling for a quick fix instead of a nurturing relationship. This can cause you to spiral, as the lack of connectivity can lead to depression.
How Do You Fix Emotional Intimacy?
If you notice a decrease in intimacy in your relationship, there are steps to take to get you back on track. First, talk about the issue. Your partner may not realize you’re feeling this way or that there is a potential problem.
Once you’re both on the same page, make a point to spend time with each other. For example, take off early and go on a hike or browse through your favorite store. Also, participate in an activity you used to do with each other but haven’t taken the time to do so lately.
Open yourselves up again. With the stressors and responsibilities of our daily lives, you may have withdrawn because of feeling overwhelmed. Talk about this and make a plan to support each other through the hard times.
Admit that you might need to put in more work. Relationships aren’t easy. If you don’t nurture them, they won’t grow. There’s no need to break down who’s to blame. Simply agree to do better for each other.
What Are the Three C’s in a Relationship?
We’ve mentioned these in the paragraphs above. There are three key C’s that every relationship needs to have:
Without them, you cannot possibly grow and develop a healthy bond. When you communicate, do so without judgment. Listen openly. Compromise goes hand in hand with communication. You will not always get your way. That’s not how a successful relationship works. There needs to be an effort on both parts. Finally, commit to doing better for one another.
Be patient as you work on increasing the intimacy and connection in your relationship, and always be mindful of how the other person is feeling. As you build and grow together, you will feel an increase in your self-confidence, mood, and mental health. Because together, we can do anything.