Emotional intimacy is one of the core tenets of a healthy, functioning, and loving long-term relationship. But what exactly does emotional intimacy mean, and how can couples create more of it in their lives while raising children?

Generally speaking, emotional intimacy can be recognized through trust, open communication, shared empathy, and a desire to understand the complexities of your partner’s and your own emotional needs for mutual benefit.

There are many different ways to express emotional intimacy in a relationship, and they can change when you’ve had kids. Here are ten tips to help you cultivate deeper emotional intimacy, trust, and empathy while still prioritizing your family.

10 Tips To Help You Deepen Your Relationship:

1. Spend Time Together 

 Quality time is one of the best ways to reconnect with your partner after periods of emotional distance and refocus on what you love about each other.

It’s no secret that kids (particularly younger ones) require constant attention and energy. However,  handing that responsibility over to a trusted babysitter or family member can be a powerful way to rekindle an emotional connection with your partner without the responsibility of keeping one eye on the children.

When you do manage to get some time alone, use it wisely. Scheduling can help. Taking the occasional time out to focus solely on each other’s emotional well-being will benefit your relationship and your ability to parent as a team.

2. Spend Time Apart

 Healthy relationships are all about balance. As important as time together is for developing emotional intimacy, time apart can give you the time and space needed to reflect on personal emotions and come back to each other with fresh insights and solutions to the challenges you face as a couple.

Most parents crave a bit of solitude now and then, and that’s completely natural. Taking turns to watch the kids while the other has a solo outing or spends time with friends is an act of kindness and respect for one another’s mental and emotional health.

3. Surprise Each Other With Thoughtful Gestures

 You may not be in the early stages of your relationship anymore, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still court your partner with loving, romantic gestures. Unexpected gifts, acts of service, and outings are all great ways to show your partner you still appreciate and adore them just as much as you did when you first met them.

4. Learn New Skills Or Hobbies Together

 Emotional growth and emotional intimacy go hand in hand. Studies show that parents who learn new skills or get out of their comfort zones are likelier to stay together in the long run.

This is due to several reasons. Not only does trying new things stimulate a spirit of cooperation and excitement, but it also invites you to see different sides of each other, adding more dimension and depth to your relationship.

5. Have Regular Date Nights

 Spending fun, romantic, and leisure time with your partner is important for any healthy relationship—and when it comes to married parental life, the need for it becomes even greater.

Life gets stressful, and setting aside “you and me” time to unwind, dress up, and do something special together can work wonders for personal relaxation and relationship bonding.

Making date nights consistent helps develop a stronger culture of connection in a relationship. Instead of waiting for the “perfect” opportunity for a dinner or outing, which tends to be rare once kids enter the picture, just put down a weekly or monthly date night in your calendars and commit to it each time. Take turns picking what you do to keep things balanced and sentimental.

Tips To Deepen Your Relationship

6. Practice Multiple Forms Of Communication

 Verbal communication is important, but it’s just one way of expressing how you feel. Other approaches, such as writing, singing, silent eye contact, dancing, or even artistic expression, can all be incredible catalysts for developing a deeper emotional connection with your beloved.

7. Discuss Your Love Languages

It’s rare for a person to have just one love language, and everyone has different ways of expressing love and wanting to receive it from their partner. Some people prefer acts of service and deeply compassionate kisses, while others prefer words of praise and warm hugs.

Learning more about the various ways you give or receive love is a fun bonding exercise. It can also unveil key information about how to love one another in the most impactful and valuable ways.

8. Create Safe Spaces Together

 Emotional intimacy thrives when people feel safe expressing their true emotions. Creating that kind of environment takes time and effort. When having important discussions, put your loved one at ease by being sensitive to their current emotional state.

9. Don’t Depend Solely On One Another To Satisfy Emotional Needs

 As much as parents need to be each other’s pillars of emotional support, exclusively relying on one another for this function can lead to resentment, co-dependence, and emotional fatigue.

By keeping friends, family, and other trusted loved ones close, you can cultivate a more balanced approach toward emotional regulation. This will give you both the space needed to process emotions more dynamically.

People’s emotional needs can be complex, and it’s unrealistic to expect your partner to meet all of them all the time. Plus, a little bit of external support and perspective can be very healthy in the long run.

10. Embrace The Messiness Of Life

Raising a family together is no small feat, and sometimes things can get messy—emotionally, physically, and otherwise. Kids act out, financial problems arise, and balancing work and home life gets difficult. But you’ll stick by each other’s sides through it all, and that’s what counts.

Embracing the inevitable chaos of life is integral to deepening the emotional bond you share with your partner. Life isn’t perfect, but with enough communication and a little bit of schedule-shifting, it can be beautiful and authentic.

Make Emotional Intimacy A Cornerstone Of Your Relationship

Relationships thrive when intimacy is abundant. But in between raising your children, professional responsibilities, and the endless natural busyness of life, finding time for practising emotional intimacy can be a challenge.

Fortunately, with enough intention and dedication, deepening your relationship can become a part of daily life that benefits your relationship in many ways.

By working on your active listening skills, surprising each other with thoughtful gestures, learning new things together, and practising various forms of communication, you can cultivate a deeper, more loving, and more rewarding relationship that both of you feel energized and supported by.

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