Valentine's Day 2022: How to build emotional intimacy in a relationship
Valentine's Day 2022: Often underrated, emotional intimacy takes more time to develop, especially in case of arranged marriages where partners are still trying to know each other.
Often underrated, it takes more time to develop, especially in case of arranged marriages where partners are still trying to know each other. Sometimes, it may go missing between partners who were once emotionally intimate due to lack of communication or some misunderstandings.
Spending time with each other
Partners, especially newly married ones, who are looking to build emotional intimacy must spend a lot of time together. They should also communicate and get to know more about each other.
"Spending more time with each other is one of the ways couples can develop emotional intimacy. Absence of a partner in a relationship can led to a person feeling unloved, uncared for and contribute to feelings of loneliness," says Dr Vihan Sanyal, Psychotherapist and Founder of Mind Factory.
Communication is the key
Sometimes partners who once felt emotionally connected no longer relate to each other due to lack of communication or holding of grudges against each other.
"One of the best ways to increase emotional intimacy is through intimate communication. Make sure that you are verbally communicating with your partner. Even if it leads to fights. Communication is the backbone of an intimate relationship. Couples need to learn ways to communicate in a supportive manner with each other with mutual respect and understanding. Open, honest and transparent communication is one of the key ingredients of a happy relationship," says Dr Sanyal.
Work on building trust
Trust is the foundation of any relationship. It may take some time to build, but it will prove to be the glue that bind the two of you together. Experts say one should not speed up the process and take things slowly when it comes to building trust.
Aamish Dhingra, Mental Health Coach suggests being available for your partner when they are distressed and allow them to vent out. Being a good listener to them will make them realise how much you value them.
"Trusting is not much of a big deal if we could substantiate the individual and be their go-to person for many situations they encounter on a daily basis. Also, there is no such shortcut or a bingo formula to gain anyone’s trust, it is a process which does take time and one should not speed up the process too," says Dhingra.
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Be genuine, express your emotions
"Expressing genuine gratitude towards a partner for the smallest contributions helps build strong relationships. Often couples don’t thank their partners or express gratitude towards their partner. The lack of gratitude in a relationship can make a person feel that they are taken for granted in the relationship. It’s always nice to feel appreciated for ones’ efforts in a relationship," says Dr Sanyal.
"Being genuine would never go out of style and fashion, and this means that you should be genuinely displaying raw-unfiltered expressions and emotions with your partner. This would help your partner to also feel at home, and it will strengthen your emotional intimacy and bond with the individual over a period of time," says Dhingra.
Say 'I love you'
Verbally say that you love your partner. This is often an unspoken need of people; they need to hear that their partner loves them. Buying expensive gifts and taking your partner for holidays cannot compensate for the lack of the words ‘I love you'.
"Say 'I love you' as often as you can to your partner and say it with all your heart. Verbal expression of love brings couples closer emotionally," says Dr Sanyal.
Make them feel special
Do something which you normally don't if you want to bring a spark in existing relationships. The intention to make them feel special should be genuine and something which you know they like.
"Help around the house, cook a meal, take your partner out for a meal, do everything you can to make life easier for your partner. Remember that you are doing it because you love and care for them. Do it selflessly. Don’t wait for a special occasion like a birthday, anniversary or Valentine’s Day to buy each other gifts. Buy thoughtful gifts randomly. It shows you care," says the expert.
One of the reasons why people grow emotionally distant is when they judge each other and do not try to understand them.
"Try to listen with empathy. Listening is a powerful communication and therapeutic tool. When people feel heard and listened to it creates a feeling of being nurtured and cared for. This is one of the best ways of building emotional intimacy within a couple," says Dr Sanyal.
Give them space
"Give each other space and respect their needs. No relationship should make a person feel caged and suffocated. At times couples can become overly controlling and possessive and this can result in conflict and negatively affect relationships. Understand that your partner is a different person and may have different wants and needs than you. Give them the space they may need and try not to be controlling," says the mental health expert.
Set a goal together
Set individual and collective goals each year and encourage each other to achieve these goals. Goals provide a direction and defined path to life. It helps a person to grow and experience life fully.
"Couples who help each other to achieve goals in life help each other to grow as individuals. This in turn helps the relationship to grown and increases emotional intimacy," concludes Dr Sanyal.