Do you want more happiness, intimacy and depth in your relationships? Learning how to build emotional connection can help you feel more connected with your partner, family, friends and coworkers.
What is emotional connection?
Emotional connection may mean different things to different individuals, but there are certain commonalities which can be found in general. It can be defined as a collection of individual feelings which lead to the formation of a relationship between individuals. According to Everyday Health, it refers to a bond you share with someone based on certain emotions and how secure they make you feel in the relationship. Without a strong connection based on emotions, a relationship cannot sustain for a long time.
“Being in a relationship means so much more than feeling the connection of a relationship. That’s because connection is something you maintain and work on every day while being in a relationship is the result of that work and not a given,” writes Irina Damascan on Medium.
Want to know how it feels when you are spiritually connected with someone? Check this piece here about the signs of having a spiritual connection.
Bestselling author and empowerment coach Shani Jay explains that feeling connected with someone on an emotional level means that we are attracted to them on a more psychological level that is beyond mere physical attraction. She writes “It means you value their mind and spirit, and can have deep and meaningful conversations with them. You feel like they understand you in a way that not many people do.”
This forms the very foundation of a healthy and successful relationship. However, it is crucial that we cultivate these connections and feed our emotions throughout our lives. Jay adds “Without either of these components, a relationship is very unlikely to last. To a certain extent, an emotional connection can be built and strengthened over time if both partners are willing to work on it.”
21 ways to build emotional connection
Learning how to develop an emotional connection can enable us to create a secure bond with someone and feel emotionally safe. This can help to boost our sense of self worth and self esteem. Therapist Teresa Maples-Zuvela explains “Safety and developing a secure bond in the relationship can be created by improving true emotional connection with your partner. That means doing some things differently to improve your relationship.”
If you wish to build a healthy, secure and deeply connected relationship with someone, then here are a few ways you can create an unbreakable bond through emotional connection.
1. Develop trust
Creating a sense of solid trust is crucial for any relationship. When you want to develop a connection with someone, whether it’s your partner or a friend, you need to focus on building trust naturally. Trust will lead the way to developing secure feelings.
2. Understand them
Observe and understand the person you want to be emotionally close with. Try to look at things from their perspective and imagine why they behave and act the way they do. Trying to put yourself in their shoes will help you know them better and respect them more. Be more empathic in your approach.
3. Accept them
Real emotional connection occurs when you unconditionally accept the person for they are, including their flaws or imperfections. Be non-judgmental about them. Although you may not like certain aspects about them, you should accept them in their truest form. That means you don’t make it your mission to “fix” them according to your perception of what they should be like. Just remember you’re not perfect either.
4. Allow them to be their genuine self
When you accept her as she is and realize that they might not do everything that you like or prefer, you allow them to be themselves around you. When they feel they will not be judged or criticized for their actions or behaviors, they will feel confident about opening up and being vulnerable. Let them know that you appreciate them as they are. This will deepen the emotional connection and both of you will be able to share your hopes, dreams and fears with each other.
5. Be your genuine self
Be your truest self around them. When you’re being honest and share your dreams and passions with them, they will feel instantly connected with you even though they might not share the same interests. Your passion and your authentic being will show them who you are and create a strong bond that is based on your personality and mentality. By being natural and upfront you will allow them to accept you as you are.
6. Be emotionally available
Make sure you are emotionally available for them, especially when they need you the most. When they can share their innermost feelings and deepest secrets with you, an emotional connection will form naturally. However, it is also important that you open yourself up and share what’s inside you as well.
7. Be supportive
According to YourTango, as a friend or a partner, you need to have their backs at all times. They need to know that they can trust you and rely on you when they need you the most. This means you can’t criticize them unnecessarily or talk behind their back. Although it doesn’t mean that you can’t tell them if they’re wrong, you need to make them feel safe and protected in your company in every situation.
8. Make them a priority
This person should be your top priority in your life, especially if you want to be together romantically. Make sure you are never late during dates, always call them back promptly, send texts that make them happy and make them feel good whenever they are with you. You should be their go-to person.
9. Know their dreams
Find out what their needs, wants, dreams and desires are. Learn what they truly want to achieve and accomplish in life. The more you understand what they want from life, the more you will be able to find shared interests.
10. Listen actively
Paying attention and actively listening to the person you want to build an emotional connection with is imperative. When you listen actively, you can ask relevant questions to show that you’re interested. This will also encourage them to open up more and share what they feel. Apart from listening to their words, you also need to pay attention to their body language. Active listening is essential for communication and a strong relationship.
11. Express your feelings
If you love them, then show it. Whether you love them romantically or as a friend, do not hold back in expressing your affection for them. When you prevent yourself from showing love, it damages the connection. Effective communication forms the basis of every and all relationships.
12. Spend more time together
If you want to build a deep connection with a person, then spending quality time with them can help you directly. The more you spend time with each other, the more comfortable you will become. However, you need to make sure that you make the most of your time together and be present in the moment physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
13. Argue smartly
Fights and arguments are a natural part of every healthy relationship. However, it is crucial that you fight clean and fair. Do not lose your temper in the heat of the moment and start fighting dirty. When you say things you don’t mean during a fight, it creates cracks in the relationship that can be very hard to heal.
14. Do adventurous and exciting things
A study on attraction found that there is “a significant positive correlation between adrenaline and attraction, which means as the level of adrenaline increased, so did the level of attraction.” When you share experiences that are exciting and adventurous with someone they instinctively feel more connected to you.
In a Psychology Today article, Wendy L. Patrick, JD, Ph.D. writes “Apparently adrenaline and excitement stimulate attraction, as well as enhance interaction.” Engaging in exciting and somewhat risky activities produces chemicals in our bodies that result in infatuation and attraction. And this is not just related to romantic partners. Exciting activities can even bring strangers closer. Wendy adds “The arousal-attraction dynamic is not limited to romantic partners. Feeling excitement can enhance attraction to strangers as well.”
15. Solve problems together
Every relationship goes through ups and downs. We face several challenges and obstacles in life that can often leave us wondering what to do next. However, you should use this as an opportunity to develop an emotional connection by working at the problem as a team. When you find a solution together and overcome the obstacle, you will feel closer than before.
16. Be positive
People are attracted to positivity because it is rare to find. When you share your positive energy with them and encourage them to develop a positive attitude, they will become emotionally attracted to you. By motivating them to be their best, you will motivate yourself to be the best you can be.
17. Accept your mistakes
Yes, it’s difficult to admit when you’re wrong. But when you own up to your mistakes and apologize, you will show them that you care about them. It shows that your emotions for them are bigger than your ego. However, you should learn to apologize from your heart, explains integral psychotherapist, counselor and author Robert Augustus Masters, Ph.D.
He writes “Don’t settle for shallow or emotionally flat expressions. If you’re not sorry, don’t say you are – but if you’ve done something that’s hurt another and you feel bad about this, and the words “I’m sorry” get stuck in your throat, say that you’re having a hard time saying it. Such a confession will usually soften you enough to allow your remorse a fitting voice.”
18. Use humor
Being funny may not come naturally to some of us, but it can surely help you develop an emotional connection with someone. When you make someone laugh, they become more emotionally and mentally attracted to you.
According to a 2015 study by Laura E. Kurtz and Sara B. Algoe, shared laughter can lead to relationship well being. The study revealed that “voiced laughter elicits positive emotions in the listener.” It also found that “shared laughter independently predicted closeness and social support. Specifically, individuals belonging to couples with higher shared laughter durations reported feeling closer to and more supported by their partners.”
However, it is also important to have depth in your conversations that goes beyond small talk and funny jokes. The key is to have deep conversations while using your humor.
19. Love yourself
Before you can create a strong emotional connection with someone else, you need to first build a connection with your own self. You can’t give love to someone unless you learn to give love to yourself. The more you love and respect yourself, the more your partner will appreciate you. Treat yourself and value yourself enough if you want someone else to start loving you.
Also read: When You Love Yourself, You Love Others
20. Respect them
Love cannot exist without respect. In fact, trust and respect are sometimes more important than love. So make sure you give them the respect they deserve. When you respect someone and hold them in high regard, it shows that you respect yourself and feel secure with yourself. Give them the space they need, accept their views and perspectives, be tolerant and compromise when necessary. Mutual respect is one of the main pillars of any relationship based on emotional connection.
21. Let it happen naturally
Developing emotional connection and creating a meaningful relationship that lasts a lifetime takes a lot of effort and patience. It’s not going to happen overnight. Some days will be smooth while other days can be rough beyond your imagination. The strength of your bond depends on how well you cope with the ups and downs of the relationship.
Social scientist Lucio Buffalmano explains “Trying to force the connection is a common mistake. Forcing a connection early almost always will link you to superficial elements of the personality.” He adds “Instead, you want to give time to people to come out of their shell and then connect. Then it will be a deep connection.”
The joy of emotional connection
Developing emotional connection may need some effort and the process might appear complicated, but it is crucial for making a healthy and successful relationship last. Your relationship will reach the next level only through the strong bond you share with the other person.
We often tend to over-complicate things and shy away from putting in the effort that can lead to greatness. Now that you have gained some clarity on how to develop emotional connection, dig deep within and decide to form the bond that will tie you and that special someone in a meaningful relationship for a lifetime.