How to Feel Close and Connected in Your Relationship Again

Close couple

“Intimacy is not purely physical, It’s the act of connecting with someone so deeply, you feel like you see into their soul.” ~Unknown

When we’re feeling disconnected and unfulfilled in our relationships, we often believe that we need something more from the other person.

We think that in order for us to be happy, the other person needs to be or do something different. While it may be true that sometimes there are some changes we need to make, oftentimes being happy and getting what we desire has more to do with our own awareness. 

The problem is that we don’t understand what intimacy really is, and how to experience it more in our relationships. We think that we have to spend a lot more time together and have long deep conversations to bring out the level of intimacy we truly desire.

We think back to the connection we felt in the beginning and wish it could feel like that again.

Why Things Are Different in the Beginning

In the beginning of my relationship I felt really close to my partner and we loved learning new things about each other.

We spent a lot of time together, walking hand in hand and fully enjoying each other’s company. I felt a deep connection just by looking in his eyes and not saying anything. Everything felt good, easy.

Then I couldn’t help but notice that something had changed. I didn’t feel as close to my partner as I’d felt in the beginning.

Soon I realized what had caused this disconnect.

What Makes Us Feel Disconnected

In the beginning of a relationship, we live more in the present moment. We appreciate our partners. We want to get to know each other and fully enjoy each other’s company. However, when we get used to the other person, we start to live more in our heads.

Instead of experiencing our relationship, we experience our thoughts of the relationship and the other person.

We start to think that we already know how the other person is, and we take them a bit for granted.

Instead of truly listening to our partners, we make our own assumptions about them and what they are telling us. We don’t realize that we are experiencing our own thinking and not the real relationship.

Especially in today’s world, we often get distracted. When almost everyone has their own smartphones and tablets, we often forget the art of listening. We might be too busy checking our emails or checking the Facebook to give the other our full attention.

“Okay darling… Sorry, what did you say?”

We think that we are able to do the two things at the same time: listen our partner and read our emails. This simple act stops us from feeling the closeness in our relationship.

What Intimacy Really Is

We experience intimacy when our mind is in a natural state—peaceful. Intimacy is simply being with each other with a clear and relaxed mind. It is all about having our focus on the other person and not thinking about anything else. It is about fully enjoying each other.

This means that we are not thinking about work or texting when we are together, but we are truly listening to each other.

It is all about the quality of the time we spend together. When your mind is calm and relaxed, you are able to take in life fully and appreciate your relationship more.

The Importance of Being Present

When I feel a lack of closeness in my relationship, I know that it is time for me to quiet down. It is time to calm my mind and start to listen to my partner again.

Am I really hearing what he is saying, or am I listening to my own thoughts and judgments about him?

For example last week I found myself dwelling on how he didn’t make enough time for me. I caught myself quickly and realized it was more of my mood than me talking.

In that particular week he had been exceptionally busy, and if I had been more present in the moment, I would have felt more compassion instead of judgment.

Taking a moment for myself and letting my mind relax helps me see the relationship and my partner in a whole new light again. Instead of feeling like I need something more from him, I am able to appreciate him and our time together.

I immediately experience more love and intimacy. This creates a positive spiral in the relationship.

Of course, there are times when the other person simply isn’t willing to reciprocate our attention, and sometimes you may realize the best decision is to walk away from a relationship. In those times, being fully present will also help and guide us to make the right decisions.

But oftentimes, simply quieting our mind and showing up fully opens the door to a deeper level of connection. It helps us to find, again, the closeness and intimacy we often innocently lose after being in a relationship for a longer time.

When we listen to and appreciate our partners, they can feel the appreciation we have toward the relationship. This will help their mind quiet down, which helps them feel close to us again. The upward spiral makes it possible for us to experience even more love in the relationship.

To bring out the best in each other and to experience more love and intimacy, we need to learn to come back to the present moment again. Even though we cannot change the other person, we can learn to bring out the best in them—and ourselves.

Close couple image via Shutterstock

About Heidi Paavilainen

Heidi helps women to find that greater sense of well-being so they can have relationships that feel good. Join her free 3-day challenge Learn what are the 3 limiting beliefs that stop us from finding love and how to build stronger, healthier relationships.

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  • lv2terp

    Wonderful post!!! Valuable and thought provoking message, thank you for sharing your insight and wisdom!! 🙂

  • Tammy Blomsterberg

    Great post! Thank you so much for sharing! I love what you said about how we experience our thoughts about the relationship instead of experiencing the relationship. We can get caught up in the story we tell ourself instead of just being present in it. I agree that intimacy is about being present with each other in a clear and relaxed state. I always feel connected and closer to my husband when we do simple things like going for a walk while holding hands and talking with each other. 🙂

  • Thank you so much for sharing Tammy! Exactly! I love hearing that. 🙂

  • Thank you lv2terp! I’m so happy to hear you found it valuable. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Giovanni Andrew Roverso

    Thanks! This affects all my interpersonal relationships!

  • I love that! Thank you so much for sharing that Giovanni!

  • Wow!
    I have read many articles on intimacy but never read something so profound but simple.
    When I think about what you said it is our thinking that separates us.
    We must be careful of what we tell ourselves because it’s what we will see even if it’s an illusion.

  • Thank you so much for sharing your insights Vernon. That’s exactly how I’ve come to see it. You put it perfectly into words!

  • Sophia

    This couldn’t be any more true. For so long I’ve lived in my head – I almost lost my husband because of it. Just one day of being conscious, of letting go, and being aware of my surroundings and relationships changed everything. I’ve never felt so much love and serenity before.

  • That sounds beautiful Sophia! It’s amazing how fast our relationships change when the change happens inside-out. Thank you so much for sharing that.

  • Liz Bet

    I love this particular post. This is exactly something I’ve been struggling with for a couple of years now with my spouse. My question is this: If I am willing to take the moments and quieten down…how do I get him to do it? Very often the statement is: “I am paying attention, I can multitask”. Yet, he won’t put down the device or turn off the tv, he insists on dividing his attention. Me begging for intimacy has become a sore spot between us and I’d like to fix that.

    Thanks for a great post!

  • Hi Liz, thank you for sharing! I see this happening a lot. The first thing for us to realize is that our experiences are not coming from the other person — they are coming from inside. Therefor for us to be able to feel more intimacy has not so much to do with the other person, and all to do with our own thinking. When we have a calm mind, free of stressful thoughts, we automatically feel more connected to others. This helps the other person to relax their mind and feel more close to us. I hope that helped Liz? Feel free to send me a message if you have more questions.

  • LilMoo

    So how does one “quiet the mind”? Because I can tell you, mine never seems to shut up, regardless of how many – or few – distractions there are around me.

  • Thank you for sharing LilMoo. That’s an excellent observation. How busy or calm our mind is doesn’t depend on the “outside world”. It has more to do with our ability to see where our experiences are coming from. A quiet mind is something we all have naturally when we have a mind free of stressful thinking. The less we pay attention to our stressful thoughts and the more we see how we’re self creating our own experiences, from moment to moment, the more we’re able experience a peaceful mind.

  • Girls love

    Hello… I want to get into a relationship with my best friend. But he’s unsure of his feelings. And quite fickle minded. I have made it clear about my feelings. I have no idea how to make him realize my worth and make him have
    true feelings for me? He’s already gone through a real bad break up with his love.

  • Raymound

    Love it. I’m definitely going to try this. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Hi Girls love and thank you for sharing. In your situation I’d spend some time questioning where do you believe your happiness is coming from, and allowing the answers to come to you. When we begin to see that the love and happiness we look for we already have we can begin to love life as it is and that is when our outside circumstances also change effortlessly.

  • Thank you so much for sharing Raymound. I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  • Chyann Penton

    So I have a question… If my bf and I have been together for 5 yrs we just had a son a little over a year ago (so he’s one now). He works 7 am till when ever he finishes his job. I’m a stay at home mom. But lately I keep having anxiety attacks toware I feel alone most of the time… Toward I have thoughts in my head (one minute) saying your loved your happy you wanna marry him nd spend the rest of your life with him and you dont wanna ever loose him (when I say you I mean I)…. But then I have other thoughts of, oh he’s gonna cheat on you what’s the use of getting married what’s the use of doing anything in life if your gonna die nd it won’t matter anymore…. Like I sometimes have thoughts saying oh he’s annoying or you and him should take a break because you seem happiest when its just you and you son or you alone…. So ig my question is, is there anything that you would recommend that I can do to get out of this state of mind or to help me feel closer to him?…. Like I feel like when he’s here I just wanna hit him nd love him but then again I feel so alone nd scared most of the time….
    (Sorry for ranting…. I moved almost 2 yrs ago nd still have no good new friends yet….)