It’s official! You’re a couple. You snuggle on the couch, popcorn in hand while sipping wine. Even better? This arrangement feels as warm and cuddly as your favorite sweater.
A true feeling of contentment and ease is a relationship milestone. Shouldn’t every couple ultimately strive for that ‘comfort’ zone? It’s so Ross and Rachel.
Well, yes and no.
There’s a difference between comfort and emotional intimacy.
A really great relationship needs a dose of both. Comfort can be an unspoken understanding. An effortless and endless form of hanging out with one another. It is an innate acknowledgement that you ‘get’ each other. It might even involve physical intimacy.
On the other hand, emotional intimacy is sharing one’s self with one another. It could be referred to as ‘emotional correspondence.’ The act of sharing your heart, your worries, your hopes, and your dreams.
Of course, many romances begin this way but often veer off course. The ‘comfort’ evolves into a ‘relationship rut.’ There isn’t anything particularly alarming about a good rut but there is absolutely a danger to a relationship devoid of emotional intimacy.
Ask yourself, does your relationship temporarily lack emotional intimacy or has it nearly always lacked it?
1. Phone Whores
Everyone does it, right? Why should it matter if this is the way we choose to spend our time together?
We talk all the time. Who needs ‘meal’ chatter? Because a great deal of daily chatting is logistics and not true conversation. It involves asking questions such as, “Did you make coffee?” or “Did you take the dog out?” or “What show do you want to watch?”
On the flip side, breaking bread so to speak, prompts more meaningful dialogue.
2. Monotony Masters
You have standard conversations about the same people and topics. Perhaps it’s talking about the cute things your kids or dog did. Maybe it involves the same person at work who is driving you crazy.
You trade routinely monotonous exchanges. Things such as, “How was work?” – “Fine.” or “Did you have a good time?” – “Yes, it was fun.”
There you have it. No real sharing of any details, just rote responses. Thus, Danger Will Robinson.
3. Couple Clingers
You spend pretty much all of your time with other couples.
Hey, you’re social! What’s the big deal with wanting to hang out in a crowd? It’s not a big deal if it’s balanced. However, if you predominantly prefer being with couples over being alone with one another, there’s a good chance you are lacking intimacy. Furthermore, if you are insisting to yourself ‘you are always with each other’ so it makes sense you constantly hang out with other people, well that is more than likely a red flag. To keep a relationship healthy, their needs to be close emotional intimacy between two people. There’s going to be a reduced likelihood of this the longer the relationship continues in this manner.
Think of it this way. Nothing is good in extreme measure. Don’t just make time for other people. Make time for one another and make time to hang out with couples.
4. Lonely Hearts Club
You love this person but secretly you feel alone. There may be times you feel physically close yet you don’t feel understood or truly loved. It could also feel as though you are simply roommates.
This is an indicator of a relationship which lacks emotional intimacy. This isn’t a rut it is a monstrous red flag.
Some relationships evolve into routines that erode intimacy while sadly, others may never have possessed it, to begin with. There is a difference between physical and emotional intimacy and healthy, thriving romances need to ensure both are present.
If you love someone, put down the cell phone and mail that critical ‘emotional correspondence.’