Healthy Relationships: Are You Intimate with Your Partner?
When you are able to share of yourself with no fear of judgement or disapproval and need for approval, this is intimacy. When you feel open and welcome to touch your partner whenever you want to, that is intimacy and when you share an implicit trust that you can not only believe them but also depend on them, then you are intimate. Sharing means to share of body, emotion and language. You are not ashamed of the way you look naked and you are not afraid of the words you may utter when you are willing to share things.
Intimacy = Into-me-you-see
Think about some of your most intimate relationships or friendships, many of them would go back in your childhood when you shared so much more of yourself and your feelings, your life which included your wins and losses, challenges and accomplishments, dreams and desires, no bars.
How intimate are you with your partner? Don’t underestimate the power of touch and scent, spend the next few weeks getting to know your partner intimately, the texture and feel of their skin all over, their hair and the scent of them, to the point that if you were blindfolded, you would be able to pick them out.
If you think you would fail such a test, then you are in for a lot of fun while you spend some luxurious hours in discovery.
I strongly believe that physical and emotional intimacy, support each other. I am not saying that sex can make two people closer, but if thy are already very close, it will enhance the connection and the intimacy they share. While the lack of it, will reduce that emotional intimacy as well. We are physical, feeling, sensing and touching beings and when physical intimacy is lacking, we are unfulfilled and feel a sense of emptiness which can wedge a gap between two lovers.
Unfortunately though as we grow up we lose that innocence of openness, we start to guard ourselves, and often we don’t share too much, thinking to ourselves, “Oh he/she has no time for my stories”, “They won’t care anyway”, “It is not important and we have so many more serious and urgent things on our plate”, “What if he/she is not in the mood”, “What if they push my hand away”, “What if he/she laughs at my dreams or shoots them down?”
How to re capture and build intimacy?
Physical: Try this NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) technique called Love Strategies, as outlined in this video:
[Excerpt from upcoming book:] “If you knew how easy and almost effortless it would be to make the person you love feel good, wouldn’t you just do it? Especially when you were aware of the good feelings it would invoke in the other and therefore infuse back to you?
It sounds so easy and almost mechanical, but it is so effective and not doing it can be so detrimental to the relationship. I have had people ask me why their partners don’t instinctively know what to do to give them joy and that it takes the romance away if you have to tell them, but I think that if you are going to wait around for someone to come along that is “special” because he or she happens to be familiar with the particular brand of love strategy you desire, you may miss out on the one that is right for you when all you need to do is communicate.”
Emotional Intimacy [Excerpt from upcoming book:] A common thing that happens in the early stages of young relationships is that the two of you start to emulate each other and want to please each other. You suddenly start to change some of your own likes and dislikes to match the other person’s. Favourite songs and food are sometimes forgotten and replaced. There is a fine line between being accommodating and caring versus giving up your sense of self. If your partner inspires you to change some of your habits which were disempowering and unhealthy then that’s great, if you learn to do some things differently so as to have a more peaceful relationship, that is also great. There is a difference between giving up who you are just to be with this person and making some changes out of love.
As a verb "intimate" means "to state or make known". “Into-me-you-see.”
Intimacy is to be able to be our true and authentic self when we are in a relationship, and allow the other person to do the same.
“Being ourselves” requires that we can talk openly about things that are important to us, emotionally and sexually and that we are comfortable to stand up for our personal preferences, our values and set our boundaries.
“Allowing the other person to do the same” is the willingness to remain emotionally tied to someone who has different thoughts, values, preferences and boundaries. Wanting to change the other person is not intimacy.
Making eye-contact often, kissing often, holding hands when you can and being spontaneous when our partner least expects it – all this builds intimacy. Surprising your partner letting them know you are thinking of them intimately, through a text message or even by sneaking around to a quiet corner when in company just to steal a kiss or pinch, all this creates intimacy. You create a world that is only yours even when you are with people. Particular gestures, winks and code-words also do a lot to built intimacy. I cannot stress the importance of kissing, and of being present when you are kissing your partner. If you don’t have much time together, spend that time slowly kissing rather than rushing through sex.
There is a fine line between being independent and being intimate but one does not take away from the other, in fact being intimate means to allow yourself to be vulnerable, and guess what, it takes strength and independence to be able to let your guard down and keep yourself “open” to your partner, especially if you've been hurt before. Excuse the pun, but the only way to let your partner penetrate you and fill you up is to be willing to share your deepest feelings of greatness and of weakness when you want to, allowing each other to see different facets of yourselves.