Here’s something to ponder: Do you feel emotionally intimate with your partner?
Achieving emotional intimacy is never easy — it’s a process of creating a safe environment where partners feel empowered to let their walls down and be valued for who they really are.
In this article, we’ll talk about the signs that could indicate whether you have a deep, emotional connection with your partner.
We’ll also look into the ways you and your partner can build a tough, emotional bond that will get your relationship through any conflicts.
Let’s get started.
1) Showing affection
If you and your partner are comfortable being affectionate towards each other, and not just because any of you is looking for sex, it’s a sign of trust on a deeper, emotional level.
Of course, sex is important, but it’s not the only sign of intimacy in a relationship.
All the small, day-to-day ways of expressing love also add up — from giving those sweet compliments to giving each other hugs out of nowhere, making each other a cup of coffee, and more.
Being able to show how much you care and how much you want to be close to each other is key to creating an emotional connection that lasts.
2) Being vulnerable
Emotional intimacy requires a higher level of transparency and openness. The relationship won’t grow if you struggle to let your guard down and be honest with your partner.
Think about this for a minute: Do you and your partner have serious conversations about….
- Failures and mistakes
- Embarrassing moments
and all those tricky, sensitive topics?
When you and your partner are vulnerable enough to share your innermost thoughts and feelings and talk openly about anything, that’s a sign of a deep, emotional connection.
It means you’re at peace with each other, and you’re both willing to open up your heart even if the truth feels upsetting or scary.
3) Active listening
When it comes to emotional intimacy, revealing your true self to your partner is just half of the battle.
A deep, emotional connection also requires a willingness to listen to each other without judgment.
That means you and your partner go above and beyond to give each other your full undivided attention — observing all the verbal and nonverbal cues to make each other feel heard and understood.
It’s about maintaining eye contact, asking follow-up questions, and responding thoughtfully.
Sometimes, it’s about sitting in silence — giving the other person a safe space to vent their thoughts and feelings and honoring those emotions.
4) Fighting fair
How do you and your partner handle heated arguments?
When one or both of you end up freaking out, criticizing, or wanting to win at the other person’s expense, it’s a sign that emotional intimacy is lacking in your relationship.
All couples go through disagreements. Knowing how to manage and navigate those conflicts can determine whether your relationship will last in the long run.
If both of you can agree to disagree and argue without disrespecting each other or reacting with hostility, you’re more likely to move past conflicts.
In a healthy relationship, partners are willing to work through the issues and take concrete steps to repair the relationship after a fight.
This brings me to my next point….
5) Taking responsibility for mistakes
A sincere apology goes a long way in avoiding resentment and strengthening the emotional connection in a relationship.
If partners are quick to point the finger at each other every time something goes wrong in the relationship, that’s a recipe for disaster.
But if you and your partner admit wrongdoing instead of shifting the blame or making excuses for poor behavior, it makes a huge difference.
Being willing to say sorry for missteps is a sign of emotional maturity and connection.
It takes a lot of courage to recognize a problem in a relationship and take responsibility for your part in it.
6) Mutual respect
Respect can mean different things to different people.
In a healthy relationship, however, mutual respect means valuing each other’s individuality, embracing differences, and seeing your partner for who he or she truly is.
You’ll know that you have a deep level of respect and emotional connection with your partner when you treat each other with acceptance, kindness, and consideration no matter what.
And it doesn’t stop there: Emotional intimacy in a relationship also shows when you and your partner set and maintain healthy boundaries.
This means knowing the things that make each other feel uncomfortable and not violating each other’s “no.”
Can you confidently say that you trust your partner more than any other person?
Trust is an important sign of emotional connection in a relationship because it gives partners a sense of security and peace.
There’s trust in a relationship when you and your partner….
- Have each other’s backs
- Don’t keep secrets from one another
- Don’t feel jealous or suspicious
- Believe in each other’s loyalty
- Consistently show up for one another
- Follow through on promises
Creating trust in a relationship is a lifelong process. But when you and your partner commit to working on trust, you also allow emotional intimacy to grow and flourish.
8) Shared values and goals
I believe that partners’ differences can keep a relationship together and make it stronger.
Yes, two people can have very different personalities, hobbies, interests, and pursuits and still be very happy together.
But if you want to keep the emotional connection alive and make the relationship last, you and your partner’s values and goals must be closely in sync.
In other words, partners must be on the same page where it matters most — financial goals and habits, lifestyle, desires to start a family, spirituality, etc.
It’s about sharing the big picture of how you would want your relationship to unfold — dreams, wishes, and common goals.
When you and your partner cultivate empathy in your relationship, you’re also developing deep, emotional intimacy.
Here’s the deal: Empathy in a relationship means more than just putting yourself in your partner’s shoes.
It’s also about validating each other’s emotions and experiences, and seeing the other person’s perspectives even if it’s different from your own.
Think about it this way: You’re creating greater safety in the relationship when you and your partner give each other the compassion, respect, and acceptance you’d like in return.
10) Emotional support
The thing is, it’s easy to love your partner when everything in the relationship is going smoothly.
But it takes a lot of strength to see your partner’s true self — all the good, the bad, the flaws, the insecurities, the shame, and the guilt — and still stick around and love them harder.
A surefire sign of deep, emotional connection in a relationship is when you and your partner provide a safe space for each other to express yourselves without fear of judgment.
More importantly, you can consistently rely on each other for support and encouragement.
You share a bond so emotionally strong that it gives you the confidence to overcome all challenges.
Building emotional intimacy in a relationship is a long and difficult process but it’s always worth it.
The more you practice staying emotionally connected with your partner through all the highs and lows, the more you’ll enjoy a fulfilling and healthy relationship.