How to Build Emotional Intimacy in a Relationship

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When we enter a relationship, we want to ensure that we establish emotional intimacy with our partner. Emotional intimacy is part of any relationship that is looking to lead to greater growth and longevity. It is defined as this closeness where both individuals feel safe, secure, and loved. Lacking any one of these can result in a lack of trust and confidence in the other person.

To help establish the foundation of emotional intimacy, we share quick tips that many relationship counselors recommend. Look no further when finding ways to build emotional intimacy in your relationship. 

Make Time Together

Date nights are important. If you are looking to establish more than just a dinner and movie routine, try making time together on a more day to day basis. This can include having coffee together on the weekends, going on nightly walks, or sharing what you did during the day. 

Making time together is an excellent way of establishing more than just physical intimacy but also emotional intimacy.

Be Transparent

If we feel our partners or spouses are hiding something from us, this can lead to feelings of distrust. Being transparent is an integral part of a relationship. When we feel we can’t trust our partner or think they are lying to us, we can feel as though they don’t respect or trust us enough to share. Building and becoming emotionally intimate with your partner requires being 100% upfront about the issues that they may sometimes feel uncomfortable discussing.

Non-Judgmental Listening

For some, practicing non-judgmental listening is as easy as one-two-three, while for others it is not so easy. Sometimes, when we are in the middle of a discussion with our partner, we don’t realize that we are sharing our personal judgments and thoughts. Doing this can sometimes negate what our partner is feeling or expressing. Practicing non-judgmental listening means holding back the desire to interrupt, maintaining eye contact, and allowing for silence. Silence can be useful, and it can sometimes help both parties to collect their thoughts. Silence is also helpful as it can prevent us from saying things we may regret in the heat of the moment. 

Be Their Biggest Fan

With any relationship, there are bound to be both highs and lows. Sometimes, we can take the accomplishments and achievements of our partner for granted. Regardless of how long you two have been together, always be their biggest fan. Show your support, either explicitly or implicitly. To be emotionally intimate means being supportive and showing them, they can trust you with anything. It also lets them feel that no matter what they do, they can always count on your support.

Demonstrate Gratitude

For some reason, we sometimes find ourselves forgetting to show our partners how much we appreciate them. Sometimes even forgetting to tell them we love them because we think they already know. When we express gratitude, we are taking the time to consciously show our appreciation. The mere act of taking the time to say “thank you” or “I appreciate it” can go a long way for your partner. These simple phrases can deepen the connection between you and your partner. It can help build, if not improve, emotional intimacy between the two of you.

Talk It Out

Once we begin to feel distant from our partners, don’t be afraid to talk it out. This means taking the time to sit down with your partner and express your feelings or concerns. Having a heartfelt conversation can sometimes be challenging to initiate; however, over time, having hard conversations can lead to long term gains in your relationship. For example, if you have noticed your partner is no longer talking about their days, initiate a discussion by explicitly showing interest. Say something such as “How is work going? It feels like forever since you shared what you are working on.” This opens the lines to communication and shows your interest in genuinely engaging with your partner.


Being emotionally intimate is not about one partner or the other; rather, it is about both individuals wanting to take their relationship to the next level. Demonstrating emotional intimacy in your relationship means being vulnerable, trusting the other person, and being open to sharing and hearing what they have to say. For some individuals, it can feel as though they are out of their element. Remember, wanting to have emotional intimacy in your relationship means you are wanting to let your partner know they are loved for being them. When you can be with someone who has that deep and emotional connection, anything is possible.

John S.

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