Before emotional intimacy comes back to a relationship, the basics of love should be discussed. Was there true emotional connection to begin with, what do people really understand about emotions, and the most important question of all, what is love?
Everyone experiences love differently and has various thermostats to gauge love. One might describe love as the affection toward another person, an admiration, a state of mind, but my favorite is unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another (Webster.com).
Love has a language of its own with various dialects. Oftentimes two people do really love each other, but they don’t understand that they are vibrating at different frequencies and speaking different love languages. Love takes patience, compassion, dedication, time, effort, perseverance, nurturing, honesty, and an awareness of your own inner being and forgiveness. It’s a choice, hence a decision to fulfill a commitment in a bond between two people.
The love energy can’t be denied since it’s a natural emotional need that has to be met, at the end of the day everyone wants to be loved, accepted and understood.
When it comes to connection, what was the basis of that connection, was it just lust, emotions or true love? Have you ever observed anyone madly in love when they are just on Cloud 9 wearing those rose-colored glasses? They seem to glow from the state of love or the chemistry of their psychology of being in a chemically induced state. They seem to have a buffer or a filter to either see beyond their loved one’s flaws or not even see them at all. Lovers can talk all night until the sun rises; share revealing thoughts and experiences; go across country by train, plane, and a boat to see each other; act like little kids playing; and even when they are not physically together, you see them dazed out with a smile.
Wearing these rose-colored glasses can allow us to put our own worth and value behind the shades. Wearing these glasses puts us in a chemically induced state where our psychology makes it okay to accept things that are really not true (if brought out of the shade and held against what we truly value). On the other hand, it allows us to also see past the other flaws in our partner that may seem bothersome but not detrimental to the foundation of the relationship.
To bring in the emotional piece to love and relationships, do people really know how to interpret their own emotions let alone someone else’s? We grow up in a society where emotional health is not emphasized as being valued and important for our development; there’s emphasis on physical health, mental health, but when it comes it emotions, that’s often seen as “fairy tale”. Maybe the paradigm shift should happen now considering divorce rates are higher than the success of healthy marriages.
With any relationship, whether it’s business or personal love, there’s always an exchange of meaning and value. One way to determine what the other person values is to observe what drives their emotional response.
Our emotions allow us and others to tell what’s in our hearts; this means whatever you value and treasure is going to trigger an emotional response.
Here are a few examples:
- If you treasure love, what would your emotional response be if you lost love?
- If you treasure the security of money, what would your emotional response be if you lost your job, your business wasn’t growing, or you couldn’t cover your expenses?
Adults should watch the kid’s movie “Inside Out” to get a picture of how each emotion has a role in our lives.
So to bring back emotional intimacy to a relationship after it died, ask yourself what your/your partner’s definition of love is, what’s your and his/her love languages-dialects are, what was the connection based on and do you know how to interpret each others’ emotions? Part of the emotional intimacy is having this dialog of communicating.
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Loneliness expert April J Ford is the best-selling author of “You are Not Alone.” She also hosts a radio program with the same name on Voice of America. She offers her book and story as an example for people who feel alone showing it can be overcome. The 4 Step Formula she created has been the cornerstone of a system that’s served thousands of people dealing with loneliness. Her dedication expanded to the 501c(3) non-profit, Joy’s G.I.F.T. (Global Illumination Foundation Thrives). The non-profit empowers women and youth experiencing loss or sexual abuse on how to transition from tragedy to triumph by providing them with a support system and an infrastructure of wrap-around resources for services.