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6 Steps to Improving Emotional Intimacy with Your Partner

Do something meaningful together

Connection-deepening activities are ones that get you focused on each other as people — and on your relationship. 

Take a scenic drive to get ice cream, clean the tub together, or take a cooking class.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

6 Steps to Improving Emotional Intimacy with Your Partner

6 Steps to Improving Emotional Intimacy with Your Partner

https://psychcentral.com/blog/6-steps-to-improving-emotional-intimacy-with-your-partner/

psychcentral.com

6

Key Ideas

Do something meaningful together

Connection-deepening activities are ones that get you focused on each other as people — and on your relationship. 

Take a scenic drive to get ice cream, clean the tub together, or take a cooking class.

Be curious

Appreciating the why of where your intimate partner is coming from is a powerful means of building empathy (without giving up your own opinion) and empathy is deeply intimate. 

Making the effort to understand another person demonstrate a deep degree of caring even in the context of disagreement.

Be available in a new way

Surprise them by agreeing to take care of a chore you usually protest/avoid; offer to accompany them on something you usually take a pass on; or surprise them with something they care about. 

Surprise generosity is a huge intimacy booster.

Make a “Nice” list

Try sitting down individually or with your partner and creating gratitude or “Nice” lists, detailing as many things as possible that you appreciate and/or enjoy about your partner. 

Even if you do it on your own, it will help you refocus on points of connection that drew you to them initially and regardless of all the irritations we inevitably face in the course of intimate relationships.

Invest in yourself

Investing in yourself, your wellness, and your personal development are an important part of your health as a couple. When you are feeling your best and in touch with how you are thinking and feeling, you can participate more fully, mindfully, and meaningfully.

Be brave, not aggressive

Avoidance destroys intimacy. If you and your partner are mutually or individually avoiding a challenging topic that needs to be addressed, you are slowly eating away at your connection.

The vulnerability required to start a difficult conversation communicates to your partner that you are more invested in the health of the relationship than avoiding personal discomfort.

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The aim of Gaslighting is to deny the other person's reality or experiences. It is a sign that you don't really believe your partners' feelings are real. 

For example, if your partner says: "I'm really upset that you canceled our date", you respond with something like: "You're not really upset, it's your fault I canceled and you're just trying to blame me for it." 

You are known as a "serial dater"

You break up with partners on the slightest of issues, only to start dating another person right away and repeat the cycle. 

You don't want to be seen as a "player" but you can't seem to find someone who you can commit to.

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Make small talk

You communicate a genuine interest when you inquire or listen to the small details that make up your partner’s day. It’s those insignificant moments that make up the reality of our lives.

Shared experiences
We feel closer to others when we can talk about the experiences we have in common. 

Words are not necessary for shared feelings to improve a relationship. Just doing something at the same time—riding bikes, watching a movie, or eating dessert, intensifies both pleasant and unpleasant experiences.

Listen carefully
Knowing that you are being heard is one of the experiences most likely to cement a feeling of connection to another. 

Use a technique called “active listening” - a form of listening in which you acknowledge that you understand what is being said. 

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Responding To Urgency

Stay-in-love couples are authentic, open, and self-reliant, but they also urgently need one another at times. They trust each other won’t take advantage of their availability but know&n...

Dealing Constructively With Control

Stay-in-love partners know that the need to feel in control at times is natural and that it offers an opportunity for learning and helping each other. Partners have confidence in their own autonomy to not react defensively or take it personally. 

Parenting Each Other

As relationships mature, many begin to feel less willing to give that kind of unconditional nurturing, and might not be as available. 

Stay-in-love couples understand the importance of not letting those special “sweet spots” die. They know that their partner sometimes needs to feel that guaranteed comfort and safety, and are more than willing to act as the good parent when asked. 

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What Emotional Fitness is

It's the idea that in order to lead healthy, happy emotional lives we need consistent habits and exercises that support our mental health and wellbeing.

The Benefits of Emotional Fitness
  • Decreased stress: you learn to manage your triggers.
  • Better communication in relationships: it helps you to tolerate and manage difficult emotions and then find more productive ways to work through difficulties.
  • Decreased anxiety: you train your mind to stop fearing its own emotional reactions.
  • You stick with your goals: you learn to deal with emotions like anxiety, shame, regret.
  • Increased self-awareness: you learn to build a better relationship with your emotions.
Get to know your emotions
  • Emotional clarity: Taking the time to deliberately reflect on our emotions, to observe and label them.
  • Emotional myth-busting: Eliminating myths and misconceptions floating around people’s minds about emotions. 
  • Emotional tolerance: Learning to resist short-term gratification and instead invest in long-term values.

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Decompress from your day

The brain is preparing for sleep about two hours before our actual bedtime. That waking system has to slowly come down to allow the sleep system to take over.

S...

Don’t wind down with your gadgets
If you do decide to catch up on your favorite show, don’t do it on your computer or tablet. 

Even just a few seconds of exposure from a blue light-emitting device an hour before bed can disrupt the melatonin rhythm, a rhythm that is so critical to helping us fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

Eat a light, pre-bedtime snack

In our perpetually dieting world, it’s not uncommon to lie in bed hungry, but not wanting to eat in an effort to save calories. However, hunger is stimulating and fragments sleep.

Eating a light carbohydrate or protein snack prior to bedtime will stave off hunger without causing you to crash and awaken later in the night. 

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Keep the conversation going

If you are planning your first date with somebody, make sure to pay a special attention to the topics you want to engage in throughout the date. Keep the conversation smart and the exchange of experiences alive.

Shape your mindset

When going on a first date, make sure your mindset is a positive one, no matter what your previous dating experiences felt like. Embrace the fear of a possible failure while hoping for a pleasant outcome.

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Getting To The Root Of Your Reluctance

If you find it difficult to share your past experiences, ask yourself why you are reluctant to open up. Getting to the root of the reluctance is key.

Work Out Your Feelings First

Before you talk to your partner about something difficult, find the right words to express it first. Until you can verbalize it, it remains unknown to you and to your partner.

If you do not feel safe enough to talk through these issues, consider journaling, or talking with a counsellor until you are clear about how you are feeling.

Open Up In Small Steps

When you decide to open up, start by taking small steps to test the waters first.

The more you practice and see that you can do it, the easier it will get for you to open up.

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Interdependence

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Codependency

A codependent person tends to rely heavily on others for their sense of self and well-being. There is an enmeshed sense of responsibility to another person to meet their needs and/or for their partner to meet all of their needs to feel okay about who they are.

Traits of a codependent relationship
  • Poor/no boundaries
  • People-pleasing behaviors
  • Reactivity
  • Unhealthy, ineffective communication
  • Manipulation
  • Difficulty with emotional intimacy
  • Controlling behaviors
  • Blaming each other
  • Low self-esteem of one or both partners
  • No personal interests or goals outside the relationship

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Loneliness And Loss Of Connection
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Ambiguous Loss

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