How to Become Emotionally Closer With Your Girlfriend

Building emotional closeness is worth the effort.
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Being emotionally close to your girlfriend benefits you personally as well as your relationship. Not only will you feel more fulfilled as a couple, you will build a loving foundation that is the basis for a healthy long-term relationship. However, building emotional closeness with your girlfriend happens in stages, rather than all at once. Although there is no substitute for time with regard to creating a close bond, you can focus on a few key elements to make the process speed along.

Disclose personal and relatively confidential information to your girlfriend, such as information about your background, family relationships, hopes and dreams. A 2010 study in the psychology journal "Personal Relationships" found that couples who regularly shared personal information with each other liked each other more than couples who did not. This is one of the most powerful ways to build emotional closeness. In fact, in the same study, when strangers disclosed personal information to each other, they tended to report greater closeness. So, self-disclosure is a very powerful tool.

Listen actively. Use nonverbal communication cues to signal to your girlfriend that you are not only listening, but actively engaged in the conversation that you are having with her. Active listening involves nodding your head to communicate that you agree with her and asking questions. An appropriate question that lets her know you are listening is one that helps her go deeper into the discussion. For example, if your girlfriend is describing a negative incident with her mother, nodding in agreement when she says that her mother treated her unfairly would demonstrate active listening. Additionally, asking something like, “What did you do after you went back to your room?” also signals that you were listening closely. When your girlfriend feels that she has been understood fully by you, this builds emotional closeness.

Support your girlfriend by being a source of social support for her. Encourage her when she doesn’t feel her best, such as giving her a pep talk after she receives a disappointing grade. Coming to her aid when she has a flat tire or needs some other kind of help also makes a difference. Of course, giving her a hug when she needs one, especially before she even has a chance to ask for one, contributes to emotional closeness.

  • Make plenty of eye contact when you are with your girlfriend. This simple act alone can build emotional closeness by signaling to your girlfriend that you are open and have nothing to hide.
  • Touch your girlfriend lovingly and appropriately on a regular basis. This builds emotional closeness and signals to her and everyone else that you are a couple, which helps build emotional closeness.

Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.