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Three ways to improve emotional intimacy in your relationships


1. Curiosity


Curiosity shows that you're interested in your partner and their inner world. Curiosity can lead to a sense of openness, which helps you feel more safe and connected to your partner.


Hold a curious stance towards your partner; that is, ask them questions about their experiences and thoughts, be open to learning new things about them, and show interest in their inner world.


2. Make Bids for Connection


A bid is any attempt from one partner to another for attention, affirmation, affection, or any other positive connection. Bids show up in simple ways, like a smile, and more complex ways, like a request for help. In relationships with strong emotional intimacy, both partners are comfortable making all kinds of bids.


Examples of bids include: smiling at your partner, leaning in for aa hug, asking a question, sharing something about your day, asking for help.


3. Turn Towards Instead of Away


When your partner makes a bid for connection, be responsive to them.


Dr. John Gottman conducted a study with newlyweds, then followed up with them six years later. The couples that stayed married were much better at one thing: Turning Towards Instead of Away. At the six-year follow-up, couples that stayed married turned towards one another 86% of the time.


For example, if they ask you a question, answer it; if they're trying to show you something, pay attention; if they're excited about something, share in their excitement.

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