Expert advice

How to Build Emotional Intimacy With Your Partner This Valentine's Day: 10 Expert Tips

Last Updated:
February 14, 2024

Emotional intimacy: the connection between two people who feel safe and secure with one another. And while it might sound pretty straightforward, many of us have barriers that can make deepening our emotional connection with a partner difficult. If this is the case for you or your partner - know that there are steps you can take to help build emotional intimacy and create a more profound connection.

This Valentine’s Day, go beyond the chocolates and roses and consider incorporating some of Ritual’s expert tips to help ignite passion, strengthen your bond, and improve your emotional intimacy with your other half.

10 tips for building emotional intimacy in a relationship 

#1 Communicate openly and honestly 

We have said it before, and we’ll say it again (and again), communication is the foundation of any successful relationship! To enhance your emotional intimacy, prioritize open and honest conversations with your partner. Share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and no matter how scary it may feel - allow yourselves to be completely vulnerable. By expressing your true selves, you create a safe space for emotional connection.

Where to begin: Commit to communicating more openly. Set aside dedicated time to talk and truly listen to each other - this Valentine’s Day and every other time of the year. 

#2 Practice active listening 

Listening is just as important as speaking in effective communication. Show genuine interest in your partner’s thoughts and emotions by practicing active listening. Reflecting on what your partner shares not only strengthens the emotional connection but also demonstrates your commitment to understanding and supporting them.

Where to begin: Put away distractions, maintain eye contact, and listen attentively to what your partner has to say. 

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#3 Cultivate empathy 

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Strengthen your emotional intimacy by cultivating empathy in your relationship. Make an effort to see things from your partner's perspective, acknowledging their emotions without judgment. 

Where to begin: Make the time to connect on a deeper level by expressing empathy and fostering a sense of mutual understanding.

#4 Share personal goals and dreams 

When was the last time you spoke about your plans for the future? Building emotional intimacy requires not only sharing your present but also your future. By aligning your visions, you can create a stronger sense of unity and purpose in your relationship, deepening your emotional connection.

Where to begin: Steer the topic of conversation on Valentine’s Day to your personal goals, dreams, and aspirations and encourage your partner to do the same. Get excited at the thought of building a future together!

#5 Engage in meaningful rituals 

Rituals can hold sentimental value and enhance emotional intimacy in a relationship. This might be a weekly date night, a morning coffee together, or a monthly adventure - create rituals that are special to you both. These shared experiences contribute to a sense of togetherness. 

Where to begin: Consider starting a new tradition on Valentine’s Day that signifies your commitment to each other.

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#6 Show affection and appreciation

Physical touch can play a crucial role in building emotional intimacy. Don’t forget to show affection and express appreciation for your partner regularly. This can be anything from a simple gesture like a hug or a kiss to a heartfelt compliment. 

Where to begin: Shower your partner with love and gratitude! Whether it’s a morning coffee in bed or an old-fashioned love letter. 

#7 Be mindful of nonverbal cues 

Nonverbal communication can often speak louder than words! Pay attention to your partner's body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Being attuned to these nonverbal cues allows you to connect on a more profound emotional level. 

Where to begin: Use this Valentine's Day as an opportunity to be more mindful of each other's subtle signals, enhancing your understanding and connection.

#8 Prioritize quality time 

Quality time has become a precious commodity. Remember to dedicate meaningful time to each other by engaging in activities that you both enjoy. Disconnect from any distractions and focus on being present with your other half.

Where to begin: Prioritize quality time that you know you will both enjoy - this might be a romantic dinner, a leisurely walk or a cozy night in with your favorite take out. 

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#9 Explore shared interests

Nurture the shared interests that may have brought you together in the first place! Rediscovering these can bring you both closer together and reinforce the idea that your relationship is a partnership built on mutual enjoyment and companionship!

Where to begin: Use Valentine’s Day as a chance to explore new activities or revisit old hobbies as a couple.

#10 Seek professional support 

If emotional intimacy remains difficult to grasp despite your efforts, consider speaking with a professional. A couple’s therapist or counselor can help provide valuable insights and guidance to help you navigate challenges and strengthen your connection.

Where to begin: Find a relationship expert who has experience with your needs and can meet you where you are. If you and your partner would prefer guidance that works around your schedule, consider online relationship guidance with Ritual

Ritual is on a mission to make good relationship care accessible to all. Our model was designed to remove barriers like cost, tight schedules, and partner participation. We do that with scientifically validated methods, supported by the most up-to-date research from the strongest names in the field.

Here’s how it works: 

  • You will work with a trained professional who can offer a wide variety of evidence-based interventions.
  • In between your sessions, you will receive weekly videos with tried-and-tested knowledge and exercises focused on your specific needs and goals. 
  • The sessions with your dedicated expert will help you integrate what you learned into everyday life.

Start your journey with Ritual today.