By The Raquel Peel Editorial Team
Family counsellor Suzanne Degges-White PhD believes that a successful relationship is made healthy by doing more than simply “showing up.” Degges-White also ascribes to the beliefs of Aristotle, who suggested that a truly happy life requires healthy intimate relationships. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/lifetime-connections/201702/6-essential-traits-healthy-intimate-relationships).
The importance of a healthy emotional connection cannot be overlooked, especially regarding anything that is expected to be long lasting. A relationship based on purely physical intimacy has its limitations, and a failure to connect emotionally will often lead to the relationship failing. There are many indications that let you know if the relationship is connecting on the emotional level.
1) The Relationship Has Meaning
Every relationship, no matter how long or short, has some level of meaning, even the elicit one night stand has the sense of fleeting gratification. A healthy relationship, however, requires meaning that lasts and endures, it has a depth that is pleasing to all individuals involved. When all feel loved, respected, and needed; emotional intimacy is being built.
2) Personal and Relationship Growth
A healthy emotional intimacy happens when partners are supported and enabled by each other. For instance, if one partner wants to try a new career and make a better life in the long run, then supporting is mutually beneficial. Try to find ways to make individual plans work for the relationship growth.
As each individual’s needs are met, the partnership’s goals become more substantial and can be tackled with energy and a teamwork mentality.
3) A Give and Take Foundation
A healthy emotional intimacy should be built on give and take. There cannot be a partner who gets everything while leaving the other unfulfilled. Hara Estroff Marano, the long time editor of Psychology Today, believes that all relationships require give and take, not just romantic ones. (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/200303/give-and-take-mutual-caring-among-partners).
A sense of knowing what makes your partner happy and making sure to do whatever you can to please them shows wonderful emotional intimacy. When relationships work best, both partners are willing to give of themselves as much if not more than they expect in return.
4) An Ability to Be Ourselves
Healthy emotional intimacy is only possible when both people feel comfortable to be their true selves. When we feel like we have to act a certain way and alter who we are to please someone else, we are lessening ourselves. In pleasing someone to the extreme that they believe you are someone you are not will not be sustainable or worthwhile, we are cheating ourselves and each other.
Strength in a relationship means that we are not afraid to show our true personality. In the long run, it allows us to truly know each other.
5) Freely Express Gratitude
As a relationship progresses and the early glow fade, some of the basics courtesies start to wane and be forgotten. Partners can start to take things for granted that were once deemed significant factors in each other’s needs. This often means that gratitude and appreciation are not as freely shared as they once were.
A sign of a strong emotional intimacy is never forgetting to appreciate all the things a partner does for you, no matter how small. It is not a difficult thing to maintain and creates a deep connection where you both feel valued.