Intimacy doesn’t always develop between the sheets, it also grows between two hearts. You may have passionate sex but the next morning, but if you leave the apartment without so much of a good morning kiss, what does it say about the connection you share? And if you don’t confide in each other and let your problems pile up one on top of another, how long do you think you can sustain a relationship without a tinge of emotional intimacy?
It’s safe to assume that when you get into a relationship, the objective is not just to procreate, keep up appearances in society, or hang out and go to restaurants. You are potentially looking for lifelong companionship. When you seek something so meaningful, you need to put in the effort to nurture it. Without effort and consistency, even the most beautiful connections fizzle out or you end up feeling lonely in a relationship.
Even if your relationship is fairly happy and wholesome, you can still work on enhancing your emotional intimacy as a couple, and improve the quality of your connection manifold. That is exactly why we’re here today, to offer you a lineup of some very thoughtful questions to increase emotional intimacy. Give them a chance and you will discover a whole new side to your partner.
What Is Emotional Intimacy?
When a couple comes together to live, laugh, and love, a complex web of emotions is created, which helps both partners feel closer to one another. This energy in a relationship is emotional intimacy. Communication, closeness, and security are its three very important components. Couples who have these things in their relationship and constantly strive to make it better have a healthy emotional bond. So, how do you build an emotional connection with someone?
It stems from mutual understanding and empathy for each other. Partners who are emotionally intimate share each other’s aspirations and are willing to help each other soar. Their connection is such that they can actually foretell each other’s thoughts and actions. They know each other thoroughly and are open books to one another. It is possible to develop such a connection with your loved one by asking several emotional intimacy questions that allow you to know your partner even better.
Related Reading: 12 Ways To Build Intellectual Intimacy In A Relationship
How important is emotional Connection especially when there is no physical intimacy?
Emotional intimacy is the backbone of a relationship. Without it, you may end up feeling distant from your partner. You cannot expect to explore the full potential of physical intimacy with your partner unless you connect with them emotionally on some level. It becomes even more essential to build an emotional connection when a couple is going through a physically dry patch.
The physical distance could be a result of underlying issues between a couple, for instance, if they stop feeling attracted to each other for some reason. Or it could be forced, which is what happens with long-distance couples who have no other choice but to stay apart. Either way, the first step toward overcoming the gap has to be through affection, warmth, and new-found attachment.
Now you know why emotional affairs become more prevalent in a loveless marriage and why they are deal breakers for many of us. In this article, researchers have found that among the 90,000 people surveyed, 91.6% of women and 78.6% of men said they have indulged in emotional infidelity. Another study shows that women are more likely to break up due to a shortfall of emotional accessibility in their partner.
What does lack of intimacy do to a relationship?
Lack of emotional intimacy could lead to the end of a relationship. When couples who have been together for a long time stop making an effort to create new connections within their existing equation, they may start feeling distant from one another and eventually drift apart. The love, care, and concern – the essence of an emotional connection – fizzle out.
Like a child needs to be held, cuddled, and talked to, in a relationship also, partners need to do that with each other to nurture their bond. Studies show that not only a lack of meaningful connection to a romantic partner escalates breakups, but it also results in lesser emotional attachment to an ex-partner post-breakup.
Describing the pain of an emotionally starved person in a relationship, a Reddit user says, “It looks like the back of their head while they play a video game and you just want to talk to them about your day. It looks like anger because you somehow couldn’t telepathically tell them what was going on, and now they’re mad because you’re mad at them for not helping you. It looks like their sleeping body on the couch because they have decided to punish your emotional needs by denying you the chance to sleep beside them.”
A new relationship has its share of romantic spark and intimate conversations. But if the partners fail to build upon it and connect on a deeper level, a huge space might slowly creep in between them, which can end up splitting them permanently. Here’s what a relationship or marriage without emotional intimacy looks like:
- You have stopped sharing your lives with each other
- Non-sexual touch and affectionate words and gestures are absent
- You don’t spend quality time together anymore
- Chances are the bridge of communication between you and your partner has entirely collapsed
- You don’t feel safe being vulnerable or open about your innermost emotions to your partner
- You feel distant, disconnected, and lonely in a relationship
- A lot of misunderstanding, trust issues, and assumptions fester in your bond
Take this emotional intimacy quiz
Before we get into the deep relationship questions, here’s a quiz to test the strength of the emotional bond with your significant other. If you get more than five ‘yes’, you are nurturing a happy and healthy partnership. Any less than that is a matter of concern. And you need to think about how to repair emotional intimacy between you and your partner.
- Does your partner value your opinions and suggestions on important matters? Yes/No
- Would you describe your partner as a good listener? Yes/No
- Do you look forward to spending your weekends together? Yes/No
- Do you often talk about future plans that include you both? Yes/No
- Do you feel safe sharing your vulnerable thoughts, insecurities, and problems with each other? Yes/No
- Do you remember when was the last time you said “I love you” to each other? Yes/No
- Do you cuddle often? Yes/No
- Do you fight respectfully sans any verbal abuse or name-calling? Yes/No
- Do you trust your partner? Yes/No
- Do you never feel the need to tiptoe around them? Yes/No
Like we said, if you got less than five out of 10 in this quiz, you could use a few deep questions to ask your partner to reconnect with them. However, even if your score was near-perfect, it isn’t an excuse to be complacent in the relationship. Try using these questions to kickstart deep, intimate conversations on your date nights or make a fun game of it to put a lazy Sunday afternoon to good use, and get to know your partner even better.
Related Reading: 10 Signs You Are In A Loveless Marriage
20 Questions To Ask To Build Emotional Intimacy
So, let’s learn how to build emotional intimacy with some questions to ask your significant other. Every couple (be it in a budding romance or a long-term relationship) should focus on emotional intimacy without physical intimacy once in a while to keep the love and warmth alive in their relationship.
In fact, it could be one of those beautiful things to do with your boyfriend at home when you are stuck at home on a rainy Saturday evening or just want to spend a weekend lazying in bed, talking to each other. We have some great questions to ask a guy to connect emotionally with him.
Now that doesn’t mean that the onus of using deep relationship questions to fortify the emotional connection lies with the women alone. Guys, you too could put these to good use to connect (or reconnect) with your partner. I assure you it will build a feel-good and much-required emotional connection with your SO. Have a look at some of the best questions to build emotional intimacy:
1. Tell me about your childhood
If you are already married or in a long-term relationship, you would know a lot about your partner’s childhood. However, if you’re still in the honeymoon phase, learning about your partner’s childhood could be a great way of fortifying your bond. After all, our childhood experiences shape who we are as adults.
While these experiences don’t always completely define us, more often than not, they can explain many of our behaviors. For example, being abused by a stranger or a family member can have long-standing effects on our personality or your interactions with your primary caregivers determine your attachment style. Knowing your partner and understanding what made them the way they are is important in empathizing with them.
2. Do you love yourself?
Research has proven that people who express love for themselves and who have healthy self-esteem make better partners. This makes it one of the important questions to ask your significant other to understand their emotional availability in the relationship. This question compels your partner to get in touch with their own emotions and insecurities, and that can help you relate to them.
3. What do you like about me?
Asking this to your partner can result in adorable and profound responses. Partners often say, “I love you” or “I like you”, in different ways but rarely do people make the effort to compliment specific traits of their significant other’s personality. This is one question that can make you and your partner admire each other all over again. It’s like counting your blessings and it can be beneficial in rejuvenating the emotional and even physical intimacy between you two.
4. What are our emotional needs?
This is a difficult conversation, so let’s first establish what it is not. This is not an invitation for you to tell each other what you could be doing ‘more’. It is not a criticism fest or a trigger that leads to finger-pointing and fights. What this conversation is about, however, is what exactly you both think you need emotionally.
It could be loyalty in a relationship, a sense of appreciation, gratitude, respect, more verbal expressions of love, more attention, less attention, and the list could go on. We suggest, instead of asking your partner, “What more can I do for you?”, ask them, “What do you think you need emotionally from me?” It will provide you both with a clear picture of what you consider important for yourselves.
5. Can you call a spade a spade?
If you both or one of you has felt that your relationship is going through trouble, can you look at it without dismissing the other’s view? Can you have uncomfortable conversations without gaslighting, manipulating, or trying to have the upper hand? Are either of you in denial about your relationship problems?
The first strategy for solving a conflict is to admit that there is a problem and not turn away in pretense. The ability to do so can make you go from two opposing parties to one team against the problem. And that’s why this is one of the most suitable questions to ask for deeper intimacy.
6. What are the 10 things you want to do in life?
This is a great question to ask your partner to develop an emotional connection. You will know if traveling to Peru, becoming the CEO of a company, then retiring early, and having their own farm are a part of their bucket list. This will give you an insight into their aspirations and dreams. You would be able to figure out how you fit into their plans and how you can support them.
7. What movies make you cry?
They could say they never get emotional watching movies or they could rattle out a list that could match yours. Then you will know that Forrest Gump is their comfort film or The Fault in Our Stars is what draws out the tissue box. Talking about films is a great way to bond. If you love the same kind of films, then you definitely share an emotional wavelength, which means there is a great scope for an intense connection. Questions to build emotional intimacy don’t always have to be deep and serious; sometimes even the most innocuous revelations can make you feel closer to your partner.
Related Reading: 25 Questions To Ask Before Marriage To Be Set For The Future
8. Would you be okay sharing a painful childhood memory with me?
This could be the demise of a grandparent, moving out of their childhood home, or the divorce of their parents. Or simply losing their pet to a road accident could have left a traumatic scar that they hide carefully from everyone, even you. You will know deeply about your partner’s feelings and stressors when they talk about a childhood memory that’s really painful. Yes, it took you some time to learn about the hardest thing your partner ever had to endure as a child, but now that you know, they don’t have to bear the pain alone anymore.
9. Which friend do you feel most connected to?
Your partner could be the kind who has two very close friends or ten friends from school who have been by their side through thick and thin. But there will always be one friend they feel more connected to. Once you know why that friendship is so special to them, you will have a new-found respect for that person and will be able to build a rapport with the person who’s so important to you SO.
With this emotional intimacy question, you can get to know your partner a lot better. Knowing more about the friend they love and establishing a connection with them will deepen the connection in your relationship too. And if your partner confesses you are that precious friend they hold so close to their heart, it will simply make your day!
10. What is your idea of a perfect date with me?
They would get to say a lot. It could be the usual movies and dinner, an exotic couple’s trip for the weekend, a spa date, or drinks at a swim-up bar. This already sounds great. Their answer could give you so many more avenues to build on the intimacy in the relationship. We strongly recommend that you don’t just sit on their gold mine of information, instead use it to plan special date nights with your partner, exactly the way they like it.
11. What is the one thing that changed your life forever?
Almost everyone has had life-changing experiences. It could be something traumatic or it could be the great memory of winning that national creative writing competition that pushed them toward a career in journalism. What they say will give you an insight into their lives before they met you and what experiences molded them into who they are today. If you are looking for deep questions to ask your love, this is a great one.
Related Reading: 12 Signs Of Unconditional Love In A Relationship
12. What are the things you are most thankful for?
If you, for once, want to prioritize emotional intimacy in your relationship, this is the question for you. Ask your partner what they appreciate the most in life. They may just go ahead and say that they are thankful for your presence in their life. That is sure to make you blush and could lead to a kiss and a cuddle. I mean that’s a great intimacy-building question, don’t you think?
13. What’s the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
This is one of the best intimacy-building questions. If they tell you it was a bungee jump, then you would know how thrill-seeking they are. Or maybe their definition of adventure is the memory of them sneaking out of the house through the backdoor for a night out with friends at the age of 17. Share your adventures with them too; it might lead to exciting and spontaneous plans that strengthen your bond.
14. What are the things I do that make you the happiest?
It could be as simple as making the bed in the morning since she is in a hurry to get to work. Or he could mention the head massage that you give him every Sunday. Either way, it is one of the best questions to ask for deeper intimacy. The answers will make you feel care, concern, and love for each other. One of the simplest yet effective questions to build emotional intimacy.
15. Is there something you want to try in bed?
Emotional intimacy is closely linked to the sexual connection a couple shares. Being able to communicate to your partner what you want in bed makes you feel more connected to them. Couples who can discuss what they liked in bed and what they want to try next are the happiest. You should always try to create a safe space for your partner to express all their fantasies and sexual concerns.
16. How do you look at our future together?
This is a wonderful intimacy-building question. Not only that, it is one of the most effective questions to build trust in a relationship and foster a sense of security about your future together. This question could pave the way for endless discussions and planning, and get you excited about your future together. You could have plans to travel the world or settle in a log cabin in the mountains. You may wish to reach the zenith of success side by side. There is a lot to dream about – together.
17. Which parent are you like?
This is among the great questions to increase emotional intimacy as it will give you an idea about which parent your partner relates to and feels closer to. You could also tell them which parent you are like. You could both come up with revelations about your parents that would help you both understand each other better and may even improve your relationship with each other’s family to some extent.
Related Reading: 22 Interesting Questions To Ask A Girl To Know Her Better
18. Would you want to time travel with me?
This would tell you what’s on their mind. Now, they can let their imagination fly. If they say they want to time travel like Mr. Peabody and Sherman, then we can assure you there are a lot of adventures in store for you. Or they might say that they would want to travel back in time to change something in their childhood or see how many kids you both would have in the future. It may not seem like one of the deep relationship questions but the revelations can be truly insightful.
19. What’s the thing you enjoy doing every day with me?
Speaking of questions to deepen intimacy, here’s one you cannot miss. Your partner’s answer could range from having morning coffee together to making out on the kitchen table or going on a solitary walk holding your hand, or cuddling on the couch and watching movies. No matter what the answer is, there’s intimacy waiting to happen.
20. What is the best part of our relationship?
Yes, out of all our questions to increase emotional intimacy, we have kept the best question for the last. At this point, you both may have a lot in mind to share with each other and you better pay attention when they are speaking their heart out. Then, this will be followed by kisses and cuddles. (No, we are not imagining any further)
- Emotional intimacy between partners is all about communication, trust, and affection
- Lack of closeness and transparency can slowly push a relationship toward its end
- You should be feeling emotionally safe and comfortable being who you are around your partner
- You must strengthen the emotional bond in order to be satisfied on the physical front
- Asking the right questions to build emotional intimacy can pave the way for a deeper connection
If you want to work on love, commitment, and security in your relationship, then we have got the intimacy-building questions sorted out for you. Just go ahead and ask and let us know how it worked out for you in the comment section.
The article was originally published in 2020 and has been updated in 2022.