22 March, 2024

Emotional intimacy can be a bit like a battery. The early stages of a relationship are often spent charging it up with deep conversations, dates, affection, spontaneous gifts – the list goes on.

We tend to rely on that charge as life inevitably gets in the way and we’re too distracted or stressed to recharge the battery.

But when we let our emotional intimacy decline, our relationship suffers. We might feel a lack of understanding, support, and overall connection with our partner.

It’s crucial to pay attention to the emotional intimacy in your relationship and make an effort to keep that battery level where you need it to be to feel safe and loved.

Whether you’re looking to build emotional intimacy with a new partner or you’d like to recharge the supplies in your long-term relationship, there are some simple techniques that can help you feel closer.


Ask Open-Ended Questions

Asking your partner “Did you have a good day?” might feel like a nice gesture. But as a closed question, it can feel more like a ticking of a box than an invitation to share. They can easily answer “Yes”, and the conversation is over.

Instead, try asking “What did you get up to today?”.

An open-ended question invites them to really share their experience. If they had a good day, they might share their wins. If they didn’t, they might let you know what’s troubled them.

Either way, you’ve just created an opportunity to connect that would have otherwise been missed.


Actively Listen to Their Answers

When your partner does open up, do your best to engage positively with them. You can do this by giving them your full attention, asking follow-up questions, and offering support where you can.

Open-ended questions aren’t just a chance for your partner to share – they’re a springboard to open you both up to a meaningful discussion where you can learn more about each other and grow closer.

We offer more tips to be a better listener here.


Add Rituals to Your Routine

Adding rituals to your daily routine increases opportunities for interaction and gives you something to look forward to together. These could be grand events or small moments of connection, such as:

  • Evening walks
  • Jigsaw puzzles
  • Weekend picnics
  • Trips to the markets
  • Phone-free movie nights
  • Cooking together with music playing.

What you choose should be reflective of what you and your partner enjoy doing.

By scheduling in a ritual, you can reduce the mental load of planning emotional intimacy while reaping all the rewards of shared experiences.


Share Your Favourite Traits About Each Other

One of the best ways to build emotional intimacy in your relationship is by sharing what you love about your partner.

It’s common for compliments to dwindle after the honeymoon phase. But don’t underestimate the power of some thoughtful words of affirmation to make your partner feel appreciated.

Let them know you admire their dedication to their family, passion for nature, sense of humour, or any other trait that makes them who they are.

Instead of telling your partner “I love you”, you can show it by saying “I really love how committed you are to helping others” or “I love that I’m always laughing when I’m with you”.

Being more specific in why you love your partner will help them feel seen and give your emotional intimacy battery a boost.


Write Bucket Lists Together

Having shared goals and experiences can help you build emotional intimacy through your day-to-day activities.

Take some time to talk about your vision for the future together, and write a bucket list of short-term and long-term goals.

Your bucket list items might include:

  • Finishing renovations
  • Travelling to certain countries
  • Mastering a new hobby or skill
  • Signing up for a sport or fitness class
  • Helping support your child through tertiary studies.

This exercise allows you to learn more about each other and bond over shared interests and values.

Plus, you can refer back to your list for motivation and conversation-starters when you crave connection.


Improve Communication with Counselling

Healthy communication is critical to a strong relationship. If you and your partner aren’t communicating effectively, you can experience misunderstandings, conflict, and emotional distance.

The good news is healthy communication skills can be learnt.

Counselling can be a positive step to improving the communication and closeness in your relationship.

And you don’t need to be running on an empty battery to benefit from counselling. Every couple can learn practical tools that strengthen their partnership and give their emotional intimacy a welcome recharge.

You can call 1300 364 277 to make an appointment, or learn more about our counselling for individuals and couples here.

It’s not uncommon to feel lonely in relationships where emotional intimacy is low. We explore what causes – and cures – loneliness in relationships here.