Intimacy is encapsulated by the emotional closeness you feel towards your significant other. It’s about being able to be yourself with your partner… rather than having to feel that you need to be on guard…or protect yourself.
True intimacy means being able to be free…To be yourself …To let your guard down, and let your partner know who you really are and how you really feel.
How Does Intimacy Develop?
Intimacy develops when you’re both able and willing to accept one another for who you are and openly share and support one another’s feelings. It develops as a direct response to feeling deeply connected…
True intimacy is being able to stand together naked…fully exposed so to speak and to know that despite all of your weaknesses your true inner beauty is appreciated and valued in every way, every day.
That doesn’t mean that the relationship won’t have hurdles to overcome or that both of you will agree to seeing eye to eye on everything. All healthy relationships face challenges and hurdles…
But the manner in which those hurdles and challenges you’re thrown are dealt with is what differs in a healthy, loving, successful relationship.
Intimacy involves being able to share the full range of feelings and experiences we as human beings experience…the pain and the sadness, as well as the joy and love.
To be able to share your ‘inner-world’ with your partner knowing that you’re accepted for all that you are, is one of the most rewarding aspects of a deeply loving relationship.
While true intimacy often doesn’t need words…being able to articulate your feelings and experiences in words means that intimacy is more likely to develop.
So for the moment…consider how comfortable are you sharing your feelings and most intimate thoughts with your partner.
How easy do you find sharing your feelings with your loved one? Being truly open and honest about your feelings?
Don’t Expect Your Partner to be a Mind Reader
Most of us rather than sharing our feelings as we experience them, expect our partner to mind read how we’re feeling…and that’s unrealistic… No one can mind read another person’s feeling. And Ladies…Men have enough challenges getting in touch with their own feelings, let alone being able to accurately mind read someone else’s!
So don’t even go there…
Expecting your partner to know how you feel is a heavy burden to give someone and worse…counterproductive in developing true intimacy. Doing so creates barriers to true intimacy.
I recently heard of a couple that broke up after what my male friend had believed was four blissful years together. In the break up his partner revealed all the times over the past 2 years that he had not understood or responded to her feelings.
Totally bereft, to what he was hearing and stunned by the accumulation of two years of resentment…he said to his partner that he didn’t know that that was how she was feeling. To which she responded… ‘but you are supposed to know…’
I loved his response…’but I am a mere male. How would I know what you’re feeling if you don’t tell me, I’m not a mind reader…’ And ladies that is SO true.
Get Comfortable With Being Open
How often do you tell your partner how you really feel…? Or share how important he or she means to you?
Saying ‘I love you’ is important. And reminding yourself and your partner of this on a regular basis is extremely important in keeping the relationship and romance alive and fresh. The sizzle you enjoyed in your early days together.
Assuming your partner knows… because of the way you behave isn’t enough. Don’t take one another and your feelings for one another for granted.
In an earlier post I mentioned Chapman’s Five Languages of Love… and explained the importance of using your partner’s love language to express your feelings of love and intimacy… so that you’re using a language that your partner hears and understands.
That said it’s important to express and share your feelings with your partner on all matters that are important to you. And for you both to feel comfortable with one another expressing those feelings, openly and honestly…
For true intimacy to develop you need to be able to bear your soul, demonstrate how you feel…and know that whatever it is…your partner will hear and respond without judgment…supportive that you’ve shared your deepest, most innermost feelings… So no mincing of words or assuming that your partner understands what’s left unsaid…
Imagine for a moment standing on the edge of a rock face that overhangs a significant drop into the valley below…You can’t see what lies beyond, and your partner says…
‘Jump – Trust me. It’s safe to jump – there’s water below…’
What would you do? Would you jump?
Would you trust that your partner could see beyond the overhang and would not put your life at risk – in other words that it was safe to jump? Or would you question your partner’s motives?
I like to use this example as means to demonstrate the importance of trust and what it involves… An intimate bond of trust and connection has to exist for you to unquestioningly jump at the sound of your partner’s voice? Trusting that at the deepest level he cares for you and supports you in all that you do and think about.
…That he holds your welfare at heart and would do nothing to lead you into danger…and the knowingness or bond between the two of you leaves no words or room for doubt.
Those very same conditions and rules apply to intimacy. That’s true intimacy!
Total Love & Acceptance
When true intimacy exists the fear to be yourself, to expose your innermost feelings and desires disappears. In its place is total trust, total love and total acceptance.
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