One way to have a strong relationship with your partner is to
build a deep emotional connection with them. Unlike things like physical attraction which you can't really control, dating and relationship coach, and host of the podcast "The Man Whisperer", Laurel House, tells Bustle, having an emotional connection with someone is a choice. "It's similar to how we don’t 'fall' in love," House says. "Instead, we choose to open our heart to the possibility of love, and emotional connection."
And across the board, what causes someone to open their heart up to the possibility of love can be different. For some people it may be the emotional support that a partner gives them, and for others it may be the feeling of connectedness they get, especially from feeling comfortable enough to be vulnerable.
experiences emotional connections in their own way. But it's important to note that while emotional connection can't be defined across gendered lines, society often assumes it's harder for men to be vulnerable, based off of social constructions of masculinity. But this certainly isn't the case for everyone who identifies as male. Below, seven men share how they knew they felt emotionally connected to their partner.
Chad, 45: There Was An Intellectual And Spiritual Intimacy
"I knew that I had developed a deep connection when I first prayed with my special friend. We graduated from high school 27 years ago, developed our careers, and our life course did not bring us back together until this past December. I knew a deep connection was emerging when I found myself not only listening but listening with my soul. It was intellectual and spiritual intimacy. Sexual intimacy was never part of the conversation. Our connection is so very surreal as we have this consistent moments where we are thinking the same thing and texting one another at the same time. I have found myself discovering my inner humanity to a point where I am more reflective and more conscious of who I am within the context of the world. The connection is on deep level because we started as friends who allowed things to be organic, fluid and never scripted. She makes me great and I trust her with my total being."
Aaron, 35: The Feelings Were Unexplainable And Overwhelming
"Our emotional and deep connection spans over our childhood and during our teen years in high school. We tried to date after high school but I made a costly mistake that pushed me seven to eight years away from what I call my 'God's Gift.' From 2007 to 2010 my life was in an uproar and in shambles mentally; I was depressed and emotionally dead. After coming out of that dark emotional storm, the universe reconnected us in April 2012 and it was an overwhelming feeling. It was unexplainable like the air we breathe. Now after being married for five years going on a lifetime, that unexplainable feeling is still just as refreshingly powerful as the first time. Being committed to someone that is specifically designed for you is different. They don't complete you, but add to your wholeness."
Bryce, 28: He Hoped The Relationship Would Survive Anything That May Get In The Way
"The strongest emotion I’ve ever felt in my entire life was on the day that I left Minnesota to study abroad in Spain for four months. My wife and I were in college then and had been dating for only about six months. At the airport, I said goodbye to my parents and they left to give the two of us some space. We didn’t cry or anything but there was a heavy sadness hanging over the whole terminal. As I entered the security line, I saw her walking toward the exit and decided I wouldn’t look back again. After about 20 minutes of standing in line, I was finally about to go through the checkpoint and took one last glance over my shoulder toward the exit doors. I wasn’t expecting anyone to be there but I just sort of needed to make sure. Sure enough, there she was jumping up and down and waving at me ... She’s generally a very quiet and introverted person. So when she started yelling loudly, 'Bye! I love you!,' it felt like a brick appeared out of thin air and hit me in the stomach. I knew from that moment on that if the world was a good place, this time apart wouldn’t mean the end of our relationship."
Fred, 52: He Trusted That They Wouldn't Ever Let Him Down
"I saw very early that he would be by my side, was always willing to show his love and devotion and would never let me down. He never has."
Ben, 83: He Had A Feeling Early On That They've Known Each Other Before
"In 1967, I walked into a rehearsal (
Carousel) and the director introduced me to the assembled company. There were probably 20 folks there, principals and chorus, but I saw only one of them. I didn’t know who she was but it was as though there was a spotlight on her and all the others in the room faded from view. Her presence hit me like a velvet sledge hammer. It was confusing ... I asked if I could take her to lunch. With some reluctance, she accepted and we went to the snack bar across from the Inn. As we were eating, I told her that I felt like I knew her. She replied that she knew we’d never met. ... That wasn’t what I meant. I just had the feeling that I knew her. This was the absolute truth. We never did actually get formally engaged. After a few weeks we just started figuring out when to do the wedding. We were married four months after we met, divorced in 1999 and remarried in 2010. Still (re)married and more in love that ever."
Brian, 51: He Really Likes Spending Time With Them
"I met my fiancee through a mutual friend. Neither of us were looking for anything. Actually just the opposite. But we had both gone through tough ends to our marriages, both of us had difficult exes, and our friend thought we would be good friends. 'Texting buddies' is how she put it. We began spending more and more time on the phone. And there was one night — I remember it clearly — I was lying on the couch talking with her, and I realized she was my favorite person in the entire world. I just couldn't imagine wanting to spend time with anyone as much as I did with her. She was my person. And that's how I knew. I've been in love before, madly even. But this was new."
Eric, 34: He Appreciated The Effort They Put Into The Relationship
"When I was nine years old, my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Over the next 15 years I saw my dad undergo numerous brain surgeries, max out on chemotherapy and radiation until his body finally couldn’t take it anymore. Throughout that timeframe I met the woman I now call my wife. There were so many selfless acts that my wife committed in an effort to support me throughout my dad’s struggle to live. Before we even got married I knew we were connected on a deep level by the way she invested in not only our relationship, but the relationship with my family. Every time my dad would see her, his eyes would sparkle and it would give him an extra spark. Towards the end of my dad’s life we would travel to check in every other weekend. This was a busy time for us, but she encouraged me to stay an extra day one weekend. That would be the last time I spent with my dad. She knew exactly what I needed, even though I didn’t know I needed it myself. Because of her selflessness, I was able to be by my dad’s side as he took his last breath."
Sometimes you might not realize the emotional connection until life decides to give you two a second chance at it. Sometimes it may happen instantly. But overall, being a selfless, supportive, and loving partner can help you build that emotional connection with the one you love.