October 9, 2020
A few months ago, I was picking up a cup of coffee at a local mom and pop coffeehouse and as I will typically due, I scanned the walls to survey pictures, flyers, etc. and came across a quote that read “If your spirit is dampened, don’t be discouraged. Without moisture nothing will grow.” -Rob Ma. I thought this was such a powerful quote that can be applied to intimate partner relationships.
While it is common for couples to run into difficulties, or for relationships to become stale, you don’t have to wave the white flag and surrender to it. Quite the contrary, couples who put in the effort to work on reconnection often find a deeper more meaningful relationship.
If you would like to build intimacy with your partner, here are some easy ways to start that journey:
Be Curios About Your Mate
I see it all the time in counseling sessions with couples, I will ask a question and one of them will answer and then BOOM there it is that look of shock and the response “I never knew that.” Sometimes that’s good, and other times not so much. What’s important to know here, is that we either are married to, or in relationship with a person who had a whole entire life before we met them. Taking time to intentionally have conversations that include asking about what “makes you tick” are wildly informative, and help your mate feel seen, heard, and valued. A well-known Pastor in the Cleveland, OH area once shared a story that he noticed a mark on his wife’s arm and asked about how she got it. That turned into an all-night conversation that enriched their marriage and their friendship. If you want to build emotional intimacy in your relationship, be curious about your partner.
Be intentionally vulnerable
Even if you have been with your mate for years, it can still be hard to let down your personal walls. While you can not force one another to be more vulnerable, what you can do is be more vulnerable yourself. Often exposing our feelings can be scary, even if we are exposing them to ourselves. Yet, by acknowledging and accepting how we feel is critical to how we show up for ourselves, and for others. Start small with something like what was the best/worst part of your day and how you feel about it. If you want to build emotional intimacy, start with being willing to be intentionally vulnerable by sharing yourself with your partner.
So, who said building intimacy had to be all work and no play? When couples meet, they usually spend a lot of time together doing things that are FUN! If you all have not engaged in some good old fashion fun, then I encourage you to do so. Having fun together is one of the best ways to reconnect, and rediscover why you were attracted to your partner. You may even discover some new things about one another and refresh your relationship. If you want to build emotional intimacy, have some fun.
For some couples, building intimacy can require even more work, especially if there are trust issues. In these cases, working with a couples’ therapist can help partners feel safe enough to work through their issues so they can reconnect.
If you or someone you know is interested in exploring therapy, please contact me. I’d be happy to discuss how I can help.