Emotional Intimacy and Romantic Relationships

If love is a thoughtful consideration of the other person’s feelings and needs, it seems obvious that emotional intimacy – not only romantic love – is a crucial element of the foundation for joyful relationships.

Yet, in the dating phase especially, many people approach romance pick up on cues that are far from clear. They may not be totally honest with themselves about what feelings they might be experiencing. Instead of gauging the quality of their feelings, they try to force a relationship to fit into the pictures they have developed about him or her.

If you are experiencing resistance, you might want to ask yourself these questions:

Is this normal for you to feel?

Is this normal for him to feel?

Are you making it up?

Is it an indication of unresolved issues that need to be resolved?

Can you ever be sure what his or her feelings are unless you have conversations and activities that give you indication of what he or she is feeling?

Sometimes it can be very hard to determine the quality of a couple’s intimacy. If you suspect that something is out of place, even though you can’t put your finger on it, there is reason to be cautious. But if you can’t determine what is normal for you, you should refuse to act on your assumptions.

At the same time, you should recognize that relationship expectations and fantasies are usually not the same. If you have difficulty figuring out what you should expect, you can get some idea from the questions above. You can use them to figure out your needs in as far as emotional intimacy is concerned. Then, use your lists of demands / boundaries to decide whether or not you can compromise.

In romance, expectations often vary from day to day. However, it can be helpful to think about what you would like from your partner, and what you would like not to experience in a romantic relationship.

Would you prefer a lover who:

ERSES to be with you, but you get no enjoyment from being with him or herbecause they’re too impatient with you, or irresponsible with you?

Are you Spanish in the body language department, and your partner is very strict with you?

Are you obsessive-compulsive, and you can’t stand to be away from each other for brief periods?

Does it bother you to see your partner hanging out with friends, or wanting to be alone?

How do you feel about sharing interests with your spouse, but both of you are otherwise very individualistic?

Are you extreme opposites in terms of certain personality traits? For example, you are very outgoing and independent, while your partner is very shy and reserved.

One of the things that might be a good indicator of what you can offer to a relationship is your willingness and ability, especially in the early stages of courtship, to be open, honest, and not afraid to try new things. It’s important to be outgoing and adventurous, but your partner may want something else altogether.

It’s wise to be clear about your intentions as you get closer to a committed relationship. If you are dating because you’d like to never be alone again, then you may be perfectly happy staying at the early stage. But it’s possible to develop a close, loving relationship, and stable, lasting passions, when you are open and honest about what you require.

It is possible to attempt to be what you ARE not – to try to attract a man / woman whom you think will like you with all the wrong personality traits and behavioral norms. And if that is the direction that you are heading, then you are setting yourself up for a lot of heartbreak, pain and disappointment.

Another thing that you need to be clear about early on is your relationship boundaries. Although many women / men are strong-willed and have no problem telling ‘the truth’ about where they are in a relationship, some people are more afraid of ‘falling out’ of the relationship. If you are the one who is a bit reluctant to be more up front about where you are in a relationship, then be aware that some people will take it as a sign of disinterest, or try to make you into someone you are not. So beware!

Tip Seven: Look for behavioral unconsity

Most relationships that fail are found to be one- sided with respect to one party having more to gain than the other. That means that there was some behavioral irritant that was not shared by the other person. Is there any evidence of repeated problems with anger, drinking, or lying on one side of the relationship?

Tip Eight: Be watchful for these six relationship warning signs

One of the most important things to look for early on in your courtship with a new person is the distinction between infatuation (a state of being helplessly attracted to another person) and true love. Although it appears that you ‘kind of like’ or