A Man’s (Brief) Guide to Creating Emotional Intimacy in a Relationship
If you are quick to define a woman’s role in a relationship (and if you are truly honest with yourself you do – we all do) ask yourself this: “Do I put the same energy into defining my role?”
Here are some things that I have discovered:
- Women have stronger emotional and nervous systems than men.
- Women desire to be truly felt, seen, and heard. Do not attempt to fake it – they can see right through this. It may be helpful if you explain what you are doing so that they will be patient and understanding as you learn – and stumble.
- Create an emotional space for you both to open up your feelings in and an emotional container to put them in. Encourage her to express what she is really feeling and embrace them. They are as precious as anything that she can share.
- Awareness: As a leader, not dictator or dominator, in the relationship, men’s role is to learn to discover the issues and to help clean out the space between each other; to unearth the issues on her heart and listen to and feel them. Try to check you ego and your response, not all of them are a based on you – some will be from the outside world.
- A woman’s rage and anger is not a bad thing, it is a portal to connect deeply with her heart – an opportunity to gain her trust and love through acknowledgement, understanding and empathizing.
- Men often tend to rise up (the hero) to meet a woman’s mood. Don’t. Don’t go Alpha, don’t explain, justify, or try to make logical sense of it. Don’t be afraid. Just feel. All too often we try to make logical sense of emotions and they are the on the opposite end of the spectrum from logic.
- When she sees you constantly trying to improve and learning to create a safe space it will contribute to the dynamic leader she longs for you to be and she will not grow bored with you.
She will begin to trust you when:
- She sees that you are learning that she is connecting emotions and feelings that you don’t.
- She feels you learning to truly empathize and learning to feel and see what she does – instead of what you do.
- That you are truly putting her first.
3 key factors to creating a safe space:
- Free Range – allow her to say whatever she wants to say – you don’t have to necessarily agree. Remember you cannot listen while you are thinking about what or how to respond – clear your thoughts – or you are responding. Be quiet, verbally and mentally – connect with her. Ask for more. “Is there more?”, “Am I getting it?”, “What else?” Listen and be able to repeat word for word what she said. Encourage. “I feel so close when you share.”, ” I love it when you share.” Mean it!
- Acknowledge – Her feelings are real regardless of how factual or logical they are too you. This is real and should not be minimized or invalidated because you may not agree. You may be wrong! “I understand.”, “That makes sense.” , “Now I get it.” are the things you want to be acknowledging and saying.
- Empathize – Put yourself in her shoes. A man must die to himself. Feel the impact of the situation on her. Feel and connect to her anxiety. Trust is a major factor to emotional intimacy. Do not assume – the issue may not be about you or may only be partly about you.
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Thank you and God bless you on your journey.
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