The first step to emotional awareness is to pay attention to your feelings, identify them, and think of possible reasons for them. Identify the differences between strong emotions such as terror and fury and the differences between more subtle emotions such as anxiety, insecurity, and irritation.
Emotional intimacy can occur once individuals know what they are feeling, convey those feelings to each other, and express concern and understanding of their feelings to each other.
Intellectual intimacy involves a mutual understanding about the important issues in your relationship, and sharing information/thoughts/convictions regarding life issues. Setting goals together is one way to further this intimacy. For example, you might set goals to improve your communication, to save a certain amount of money, or to work-out together. Spiritual intimacy involves sharing religious or spiritual beliefs and observing these practices together. As you share spiritual experiences, you will become united in your attitudes and goals.
Recreational intimacy is enjoying activities together, like running, golfing, or reading. Things as simple as watching a movie, planning a trip or preparing a meal together can be good ways to build recreational intimacy. Sexual intimacy is one of the most important dimensions of healthy romantic relationships. Healthy sexual intimacy includes sexual frequency that both partners are satisfied with, sexual activities both partners enjoy, and an open dialogue. A common sexual concern is differing levels of interest in sex. Happier couples tend to agree in their definition of sexual satisfaction and have fewer worries about their sex lives than unhappy couples. Many couples have difficulty discussing sexual issues.
Relationships with healthy intimacy have several factors in common, including the following:
Tenderness includes gentle expressions of caring. Through touch, emotional presence and conversation you can express your love to your partner. This affectionate contact is essential in building intimacy. Acceptance is unconditional approval in a relationship. No one is perfect, but acceptance means not holding weaknesses against one another. If you find yourself frequently pointing out your partner’s faults, work on focusing instead on the qualities you fell in love with.
Open communication is the ability to discuss anything with each other. It includes sincere expression of thoughts and feelings as well as careful listening. Signs of poor communication include feeling reluctant to share the events of your day or being unwilling to listen when your partner is explaining how he or she feels.