What Does Emotional-Intimacy Really Mean?
What does emotional-intimacy really mean? The easiest way to explain this is with the word empathy. There is a shared sense of it, a closeness, and whether you are in a romantic or platonic relationship, you feel able to show the other person affection, share your deepest feelings and darkest thoughts, and you don’t worry that they will jump to judgement.
Truly, emotional intimacy is present when someone is able to read you like a book and still want to continue the story. You are fully transparent to them and they’re happy to look at the view. If you have a romantic partner than also happens to be your best friend, well, this is a sign that you have created the perfect combination of intimacy, physically and emotionally.
It is possible to have emotional-intimacy with your friends, your romantic interests, and even members of your family. In fact, some people believe they have achieved this feeling with a pet. It’s an important aspect of physical and mental health – but it runs even deeper.
In terms of emotional intimacy, it can feel as though the experiences you go through are shared and understanding when you find yourself in certain positions how the other person would view them. That sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?
But, what if you find it difficult to get close to people? If emotional-intimacy is terrifying to you, there is hope – there are plenty of ways you can improve the emotional-intimacy in your relationships.
What is it that makes you push people away? What is stopping you from opening up and feeling intimacy with others? There could be a wide variety of reasons, whether someone has broken your trust before, you grew up in a home that wasn’t filled with affection, and you are just naturally cynical. No matter what your reason is, figure it out and think about it. Your reasons for it are very real, particularly to you, and it’s affecting your ability to get comfortable with others.
2.Take It Step By Step
When you start to behave differently, you can start to feel differently. So, while you may not feel relaxed or interested in intimacy, you can make little changes to improve that. If you are in a romantic relationship, you can start this by hugging them at moments where you wouldn’t normally hug. Perhaps before you, or they, leave for work or upon your return home.
When you think about it, there’s a good chance that the only time you physically touch others is during the act of sex. You can feel closer to each other if you increase your non-sexual touching. You will discover in no time that you feel closer and the non-sexual touching just becomes a habit. It may not feel natural initially but keep at it and it will become second nature. Take it one step at a time, a sudden change may be too much.
3.Understand The Difference Between Physical & Emotional Intimacy
For a lot of men, it’s easy to disconnect their feelings from the act of sex. Women, though, often feel that sex stems from intimacy. While this isn’t the same for everyone, it’s common for people to think that by being physically intimate they will be able to achieve emotional intimacy. While they may be related, that is simply untrue. It’s difficult to enjoy physical intimacy within a relationship when you and your partner aren’t truly connected. You must build that emotional-intimacy outside of the bedroom.
You have probably met someone who offered up big pieces of information about themselves and all at once. It’s like word vomit, and it is far too much way too soon. These types of people, though, are often strangers. They tell you all about their life, their hopes and dreams, even their anxieties, but they feel comfortable doing so because their expectation is that they will never see you again. You can rest easy knowing that person probably struggles with emotional-intimacy just as much, if not more, than you do.
You don’t need to drop your life story all at once – but you should offer up small disclosures over time. You should share what you think about things, and share information about who you are, and what led you to become who you are today. Don’t be afraid to share your hopes and dreams.
5.Don’t Try Too Hard
That being said… don’t get caught trying too hard either. If you overdo it you might just drive everyone away, be relaxed about sharing and making connections. Don’t go asking people a million questions, especially if you wouldn’t react well to those. Provide people with the space they need and allow intimacy a chance to build.
If you discovered that your root issue relates to previous hurt, this point is incredibly important. You are vulnerable and that can make you judge everyone by the same behavior that your past pain was caused by. It’s a bit like fight of flight – your unconscious mind is trying to protect you. Sometimes, though, it backfires and derails you from getting to know people. It leaves you with a belief that everyone will hurt you or let you down. Start training your unconscious mind to break the cycle by writing down all the ways a certain person is from the people who caused you hurt in the past.
It’s easy to feel hopeless when you label yourself as emotionally stunted or unable to achieve emotional-intimacy. These problems are rarely absolute, so think about when you have been close to someone else, whether it’s your dog, a friend from childhood or a member of your family. How did it feel to be so close to someone, what did it bring you? Imagine that feeling with others.