In the first few months of a relationship, couples naturally feel a general sense of emotional intimacy because of what I call the euphoria of the “in—love” experience. It’s that feeling of closeness and connection we all long for. Yet, when the euphoria subsides, these same couples may begin to feel estranged or distanced from one another.
To feel loved is to have the sense that the other person genuinely cares about your well—being. Respect has to do with feeling that your partner has a positive regard for your personhood, intellect, abilities, and personality. Appreciation is the inner sense that your partner values your contribution to the relationship.
Evidence of genuine love includes speaking each other’s primary Love Language™ consistently. Some people choose express love only in the way they want to show it, but true love will seek to express love in the ways that their significant other prefers—even when it doesn’t come naturally. This also shows you respect that person because you are recognizing and honoring their freedom to be an individual (i.e. they have their own primary love language).
Appreciation kicks in when individuals in a relationship begin to notice and express gratitude for one another for the energy and abilities expended in ways that benefit the other or the relationship as a whole. Appreciation can focus on a particular act, ability, or personality trait you recognize. The key is to observe these things, and then express your gratefulness.
True emotional intimacy is feeling loved, respected, and appreciated, while at the same time seeking to reciprocate. If you are in a relationship and want to confidently grow closer to your loved one, share with each other what makes you feel most loved, respected, and appreciated. In doing so, you’ll help to set clarity and pathways for greater connection
– HG Govind Das