Emotional Intimacy is Essential for Thriving Sexual Intimacy
Whether you’re dating or in an established relationship, this is important conversation, there are skills here for all of us to learn and integrate.
I share here from my experience working with a lot of couples during these challenging times and also from my own personal experience.
Without emotional intimacy, sexual connection can feel empty, boring or difficult.
A lack of emotional intimacy inevitably leads to a sexless connection. Without emotional intimacy the connection is purely physical – two bodies sharing speed and friction. This might initially be interesting and enjoyable because we all desire to feel desired, and we enjoy physical affection on some level, however, a purely physical connection doesn’t stand the test of time. Once we’ve explored our physical potential with this person our interest begins to fade. If we don’t take action to broaden the intimacy we share, we are left feeling bored, malnourished and disconnected.
When this happens some people might remain in the partnership while deeply grieving the lack of deep intimacy, feeling stuck and unable to find the language they need to express the despair they’re experiencing.
For those in committed relationships, some might seek outside of the relationship to fulfil their need for intimacy, and when this happens without integrity the relationship fails. For those who are dating, they’re likely to “ghost” the person, get back on the dating app and swipe right on someone else.
We CAN share emotional intimacy without being in a committed relationship with the person. Emotional intimacy and commitment are NOT the same.
Emotional intimacy is the foundation of deep physical intimacy. Emotion intimacy is the getting to know each other outside of the bedroom. We can feel we know our partner so well, yet we may not feel seen, heard, loved or cherished. We can be in physical proximity yet feel miles away emotionally.
We’re all playing roles based on the unconscious messaging we received from our parents, caregivers, family and society. Many of us didn’t grow up in homes where we witnessed emotional intimacy. Learning how to share emotional intimacy is something most of us need to learn as an adult.
Authentic communication is essential! If we desire a nourishing relationship with our partner we need to communicate.
Emotional intimacy involves:
Attunement – the understanding of another person’s inner emotional state and the awareness of how to respond.
Presence – Actively listening and sharing full attention. Listening involves using all of our senses to feel what is not being said. Listening is more than just hearing.
Authenticity – Expressing truly how we feel, our desires, needs and sharing our inner worlds beyond duties, assets and opinions.
Value – Communicating to another how special, cherished and loved they are not for what they provide but for who they are on an emotional and spiritual level.
Communication creates understanding and understanding is one of the highest levels of intimacy. Sharing yourself vulnerably with another leads to a deeper connection.
For those who are dating, here are some questions you can ask to get to know someone on an emotional level.
What do you like about being single or non-committed?
What do you miss most about being in a relationship?
What is it that you wish you had someone to share it with?
What does your perfect day look like?
What do you value most in friendship?
What’s one thing that you’d change about the way you were raised?
What is your favourite childhood memory?
What is your most terrible childhood memory?
How is your relationship with your parents?
I’ve created a list of conversations that create a deeper emotional connection within intimate relationships. If you’d like a copy of this free PDF here is the link: