Couples

Increasing Physical Intimacy Increases Emotional Intimacy

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If you’ve started to feel emotionally distant from your partner it’s more than likely that the frequency of physical contact has gone down dramatically too, obviously in the realm of sex but also in the more commonplace realm of touching, caressing, hugging, etc., all of the various visible physical manifestations of the underlying emotional intimacy found in healthy romantic relationships.

It’s easy to visualize why when you’re feeling emotionally distant it will lead to physical distance. But the reverse is also true, that when the frequency of physical intimacy decreases, for whatever the reason may be, the perfectly healthy emotional connection will start to deteriorate as well. The two are inextricably intertwined and they feed off one another. For human beings, whether we’re consciously aware of it or not, physical connection acts as a symbol for emotional connection and emotional connection acts a symbol for physical connection.

Therefore if you feel like emotional intimacy in your relationship is in jeopardy due to your own feelings of distance you can either approach the problem directly by trying to reaffirm and strengthen your emotional and spiritual ties, banking on the fact that this will in an of itself lead to more physical contact, or you can increase the frequency of physical contact, on all fronts including the vital sexual front, despite the fact that you might not particularly feel like it, which will ultimately lead to stronger emotional ties.

From our psychological point of view the most effective way to go the physical route, if you are indeed committed to making it work with your partner, is to purposefully starve yourself of any and all outside inputs currently filling in for the lack of physical intimacy in your romantic relationship. At the top of the list are cutting out affairs or cheating of any kind, pornography, and masturbation. In the context of this article cutting out these inputs is not about morality or ethics but is rather a practical way to make sure your sexual needs can only get met within the confines of your relationship. You might be surprised by how much better you feel about your partner solely through increased physical intimacy, which in turn will make physical contact of all kinds occur more often, which will further strengthen your emotional ties, and so on.

Greetings I'm Michael, the owner of Evolution Counseling and the author of all the articles on this site. I got my master's degree from Seattle University in community mental heath counseling and have committed myself to advancing my knowledge of psychology and my own theoretical system ever since. The content here represents my personal evolution of thought. I've also become a big fan of photography and I take all the pictures you'll see at the top of articles. We don't advertise to get traffic so this site's increasing popularity is grassroots, it's based on you and people like you deciding for yourselves that these articles are a good source for psychological insight and that they're worth sharing with others.