What is emotional intimacy? And why is it important to your relationship?

What is emotional intimacy? And why is it important to your relationship?

SYR Podcast # 3 Session Notes

(Scroll down to end of notes for podcast audio)

What is emotional intimacy? And why is it central to a healthy relationship or marriage?

Emotional Intimacy Primer

What is unique about intimate relationships, as compared with the other relationships in our lives, is that emotional connection and closeness are central to the experience of relating. Intimate couples expect something more from their partner/spouse: a level of connection and closeness they can’t find anywhere else. It is intimacy in marriage (or the intimacy in a committed relationship) that has the potential to elevate the relationship above all others.

The couples who come to marriage or couples counseling are often struggling to emotionally connect with one another. The pain of emotional disconnection is a driving force behind seeking professional help for many couples who come to see me. Emotional intimacy is what’s lacking for these couples.

In Today’s Strengthen Your Relationship Podcast, We’ll Explore:

  • Why emotional intimacy is so vital to healthy relationships;
  • How your definition of emotional intimacy is based upon your ability to connect with your own emotional experiences;
  • The inherent differences that many couples face in trying to forge and maintain connection;
  • How the concepts of closeness-distance (and moving toward or away) can give you the words needed to discuss your intimacy needs;
  • Common barriers that may be preventing you and your partner from connecting emotionally;
  • Why it is important to talk about the different ways in which you and your partner achieve emotional connection;
  • The importance of effectively addressing ruptures or breaks in intimacy.

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Emotional intimacy is an important topic. And, as you probably know, achieving and maintaining a vibrant emotional connection with your partner isn’t always easy. But there is hope. Understanding each other’s unique needs and the blocks to creating a meaningful emotional connection is an important step in creating a healthy relationship or marriage.

As you’ll discover in today’s Strengthen Your Relationship Podcast, emotional connection, once established, doesn’t remain frozen in place, requiring no further attention. Rather, intimacy is a dynamic experience that is constantly in flux. It requires our periodic attention. And it requires a mutual understanding of what feeds it and what causes it to fade.

As you listen to today’s intimacy primer, take a moment to reflect on the following questions:

  • What is my emotional intimacy definition?
  • How can I identify my own needs for emotional connection and effectively communicate these needs to my partner?
  • What are my barriers to emotional intimacy?
  • In what ways does my need for connection differ from my partner’s?
  • What are my partner’s pathways to greater emotional closeness?

The ultimate goal is to become increasingly mindful of the unique dynamics of your relationship as well as the different intimacy needs that may exist between you and your spouse/partner. Mutual understanding and the increased empathy that it creates will go a long way in creating a healthy relationship.

Wishing you and your partner a deep emotional connection,

Dr. Rich Nicastro

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