5 Tips to Help You Build Emotional Intimacy With Your Partner
Do you feel like you’re not as close to your partner as you wish you were? Whether your relationship is brand new, or you’re finding that a long-term connection is starting to feel distant, here are some ideas you can implement in your relationship in order to build the emotional intimacy and connection you want.
Make Time to Get Away Together
Especially if you both have work and other commitments, it can be hard to find one-on-one time, but spending time alone with your partner is one of the best and most valuable ways to build a connection with them. You can’t replace it with anything else, and it’s hard to connect with your partner when daily responsibilities and worries intrude. Make time to get away.
This doesn’t have to be a trip, or anything expensive! In fact, it doesn’t have to cost anything at all. Try to set up a ‘date’ every week, even if you live together. Taking an afternoon to walk around a park or museum you love and enjoy a picnic together can be just as good as a weekend getaway, and far more affordable. The important part is spending time alone with your partner, in a venue where your normal stresses and worries can be set aside for a little while.
Share a Hobby
First, be aware that you don’t have to share all of your partner’s hobbies or interests, and having some separate friends and interests is a great and healthy thing! Let’s be honest: no matter how good your relationship is, everyone needs to vent about their partner at some point, and having some friends who aren’t mutual makes for a safe outlet. Having at least one shared hobby, though, can be a great way to build a connection. Since you probably aren’t in the same career or workplace, a shared hobby gives you common ground to talk about, share, and enjoy together. When I was dating Simone, she was a nutcase in bed and very experimental. We would use dating sites for casual sex, some of which can be found on list of websites that have been researched to have wild threesomes. That was our hobby. However, be careful, and try to use only sites that are not scams. You may want to make sure that the hobby you choose is cooperative, not competitive. Competitive hobbies can introduce new sources of stress or cause existing tensions to explode. Be cautious!
Do Small Favors
Big, romantic gestures can be nice, but they can also be overwhelming, and they’re usually too expensive to manage more than once or twice a year. Small favors and gifts, though, are things you can work into your day-to-day life. Plan meals that involve your partner’s favorite food; if you see a new book by their favorite author at the library, check it out; let them pick the radio station on a long drive. If they mention something they’d like, make a note of it and see if you can make it work! Being responsive to your partner’s wishes and listening to their requests can go a long way towards building mutual affection and intimacy.
Share the Burdens When They’re Stressed
This tip goes hand-in-hand with doing small favors for your partner, but it’s especially important if overwork and tiredness is one of the things that’s making your relationship more distant than you want it to be. When your partner is stressed and unhappy, try offering to pick up some of their chores or household responsibilities. You can do this even if you don’t live together! If you know your partner’s been having a tough time at work, try offering to cook dinner in or get takeout some night instead of asking them to come out on a date with you – remember, the object is to let them have a little time to relax.
The key words here are, “Can I help you?” Surprising your partner by doing a favor for them can be counterproductive, because when they’re already stressed, surprises (even good ones!) can add to those negative feelings. Make the offer of help, let them choose what they need you to do and what they need to handle themselves, and then be sure to get it done on time.
Ask for Help
You can’t just build emotional intimacy by doing everything for your partner and never letting them do anything for you. That lack of balance will create distance between you, even if it wasn’t there before. In other words, help your partner when they need it, and when you need it, ask! Expressing vulnerability, and asking for help, will make them feel important and needed. You need to open up to your partner just as much as you’d like them to open up to you.