Why is Emotional Intimacy So Hard?
Emotional intimacy is hard because it requires vulnerability and personal disclosure. You have to let down your guard and trust someone with your true self. Which can be difficult if you’ve been hurt in the past or struggle with self-esteem issues. It also requires a specific set of communication skills.
The truth is, schools don’t teach us those skills. We often rely on what was modeled to us growing up. And if you’re anything like most people, that wasn’t always the healthiest.
And even though emotional intimacy is a core need, most of us end up developing plenty of blocks (aka emotional baggage) that prevent us from getting the intimacy and connection we crave.
We know this, because we’ve each lived it:
Before we met, we were both in relationships where we struggled with a lack of connection. We didn’t have the tools to fix it. And to be honest, we didn’t even have the words to describe what we were feeling:
While Jodie craved deep connection, she also had a fear that emotional intimacy would smother her freedom and autonomy. This led to an anxious-avoidant, push-pull dynamic in her dating life.
Meanwhile, Reece had a bucket load of past hurt and trauma that made him hesitant to commit and open up.
This all meant that we had a lot of work to do before we felt confident we could make this relationship work.
And when we first launched our coaching practice, we quickly realized that most couples faced similar challenges:
From a lack of communication skills and healthy role models, to unresolved hurt and outdated coping mechanisms.
So if you’re struggling with emotional intimacy, or you find it challenging, know that you’re not alone.