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The non presence of emotional intimacy in our relationships is really no surprise. So, if we add the fear factor to lack of experience and skill deficits we have in this area, What can we do about it?



If we want to develop more emotional intimacy with someone, we ourselves need to become familiar with how we truly feel. How can we share our authentic feelings, wants and needs if even we are not aware of what they are?



The solution is to become consciously connected to the feelings we have pushed down and buried for so long, and to explore them more completely until they are well known to us.



We can begin by stepping away from the hectic world, finding a quiet place and just sitting with ourselves. At first you might notice that it is hard to switch off the mind's chattering and get quiet within. But the mind's chatter might be a valuable aid at this beginning point, in that its content can give us our first insights into our deeper self.



The mind's commentaries that can inform us, the ones we ordinarily disregard or hardly even notice, can go something like: "I can't let the softer side of me show or I might be seen as a pushover and may not be respected, or I might be taken advantage of". "If I voice my true opinion and it's very different than my mate's, I'm afraid they will judge me, or maybe it means we are not right for each other". A very common one is "I don't feel good/deserving/smart enough for xyz".



What are some of your familiar running self commentaries related to you partner and your relationship?



We start by observing these statements neutrally, without self judgment. We just let them teach us about what has been going on inside. As we continue to take advantage of this wonderful source of information during our quiet times, we become more familiar with how we truly feel underneath of the layers. We begin to see connections that have eluded us before. We might realize for instance, that we became a workaholic to avoid getting close. Perhaps we used inappropriate anger or other damaging non cooperative attitudes to create distance within our relationship, out of the fear of emotional intimacy.



Eventually we will want to move beyond the thoughts of the mind into a more deeper place where we can address our feelings without mental interference. We can sit quietly, and still the mind by closing our eyes and focusing mentally on a peaceful image, or repeating a soothing phrase. We quiet the thoughts and focus solely on the feelings we have. We allow ourselves to experience all of our emotions fully, without retreat. This can be a very powerful and yet a difficult experience because our feelings of fear, anger, frustration, pain, sadness etc., might be very intense. In fact, we might only be able to remain engaged in this state for short periods of time at first.



It is an exercise that takes practice and patience, but is crucial to the knowledge and growth of our inner selves, which is crucial to our intimate relationships.







Something else that many find helpful with the process of inner connection is keeping a daily journal. Not a journal in the sense of the circumstances of daily events, but one that places emphasis upon the feelings or emotional elements of the situations.







Practicing Emotional Intimacy In Relationships:







Once we have begun to know our inner selves, how does this translate into emotional intimacy within our relationships?



We need to consciously create the environments and opportunities for emotional intimacy to be present:

-Time!



The most common way that emotional intimacy, and even general communication is lost, is by not spending enough time with our partners. She works days, he works nights, and they pass one another in the hallway between shifts. Classes on the weekends for her, playing on the local sports team for him. In a typical family household, it is often taking the children to umpteen activities and trying to run a household on top of two partners working full time.







Many of these things that keep us so preoccupied with everything else but our partners, are unnecessary to the degree we engage in them and are sometimes set up (unconsciously in some instances) by us as a means of avoiding closeness. On the other hand, some things may just be poor planning & can be remedied through better organization. . It is essential that changes are made in the necessary areas to allow for the development of bonding time with our partners. As we become more aware, we can make changes accordingly. Without emotional intimacy you are walking a path of probability. One of being added to the disturbing statistics of failed relationships.







Spend time alone together each day. Set aside at least half an hour daily and begin to talk from the place of your authentic selves. As you do so, you begin to experience being more vulnerable with each other. At times you may wish to be in each other's company in complete silence. Perhaps laying together and just relaxing quiet. This nourishes a more profound connection at the level of the soul, and is an incredibly powerful builder of emotional intimacy as you hear nothing but the breathing of your mate, feel the chest rising up and down, the heartbeat, etc.







- Deal with relationship issues immediately, as they arise.







Do not drag out issues by ignoring them, outright denying them, giving silent treatment, or holding grudges. This only creates resentment and further emotional distance. Be emotionally present and prepared to share your true feelings. Encourage your partner to do the same by listening well, and accepting and understanding their truth(though it might not be the same as yours) when they do.







Rather than having conflict tear down your relationship as is so commonly the case, allow the working out of these issues to become a tool for actually building emotional intimacy!








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