Emotional Intimacy

Emotional Intimacy

The Essential Daily Requirement for The Health and Longevity of Your Relationship

 Without intending to stereotype the genders, as soon as I sent out a “survey” and asked people to share their views on intimacy, somehow most of the women sent in their feelings of what Intimacy means to them on an emotional level and most of you guys out there sent me stuff that made me blush.

So what is emotional intimacy?

As a verb “intimate” means “to state or make known”. “Into-me-you-see”.
Intimacy requires an ability to be both separate and together participants in an intimate relationship. This is called self-differentiation.

 A professionals definition:
 Intimacy means that we can be who we are in a relationship, and allow the other person to do the same.

“Being who we are” requires that we can talk openly about things that are important to us, that we take a clear position on where we stand on important emotional issues, and that we clarify the limits of what is acceptable and tolerable to us in a relationship.

“Allowing the other person to do the same” means that we can stay emotionally connected to that person who thinks, feels, and believes differently, without needing to change, convince, or fix the other.

Intimacy is not the same as intensity, although we are a culture that confuses these two words. Intense feelings ” no matter how positive ” are hardly a measure of true and enduring closeness.

In fact, intense feelings may block us from taking a careful and objective look at the dance we are doing with significant people in our lives“ Harriet Lerner PH.D, Psychologist and Psychiatrist, author of “The Dance of Intimacy”.

What is not as easy as it sounds is, navigating the delicate balance between separateness and connectedness. It is an art that we all need to cultivate if we want to remain intimate with our partners.

If you use the analogy of “dancing” when you start to change your steps and your moves, and your partner picks up your nuances, and starts to dance with you, that is making responsible and lasting changes that enhance your capacity for genuine closeness over the long haul. It is not about changing the other person, which is not possible; it is though about changing yourself. What you are willing to accept in the other person and how autonomous you are willing to be in the relationship.

Often, we fear being independent at the risk of losing the other. We have to have faith that the relationship is serving them as much as it is serving us. Human beings are self-preserving, we automatically choose the option and path that leads to an easier way to preserve a way of life that works. The fear of losing the partner is often mutual. And when there is love, our need for each other is usually mutual. So, have faith in the love.

 Are you still in love with your partner?
  • Have you stopped talking and sharing your days with each other? Has silence crept in?
  • Have you stopped touching and feeling each other with genuine desire. Is the passion alive? Do you kiss passionately like you once or is it now replaced with occasional pecks?
  • Are you listening to each other?
  • Are your own responsibilities greater then your partners responsibilities? As a result, is one of you left feeling unappreciated?
  • Have you stopped eating together? Or do you eat in front of the TV?
  • Do you find yourself calling your partner names to them and complaining about them behind their backs?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your relationship is lacking intimacy.

Relationships quickly deteriorate into a boring, cold, and lonely existence for one or both mates when the couple loses emotional intimacy in the relationship.

The relationship can grow silent, angry, or resentful. This is where extramarital affairs can begin or when divorces occur. When emotional connectedness, also known as emotional intimacy, deteriorates the consequences are detrimental on the relationship.

Maybe you have heard a close friend or family member confess. I feel all alone in my relationship. What this person is saying is I am hurting, I feel lonely, I feel depressed, I feel angry, I feel resentment toward my spouse. I feel insignificant and unloved.

You have the ability to rediscover the desire and passion for each other that was once burning if you take the first step to make a difference. However, you cannot work on the emotional intimacy for a day and expect lasting change, you must work each and everyday from this day forward. You must feed your relationship every day so it does not starve.
Why remain in a loveless or sexless relationship, when a few changes, can save your relationship and renew desire for each other.

I am going to share with you a magical secret. Something you wish you knew long ago. Something that I usually only share with my clients if they specifically showed a need for it.
It is so simple and many of you guys out there would be wishing you had this sort of “cheat sheet” on all the girls you ever went out with“ it would have guaranteed you more “action” on your dates.

So here they are, Love Strategies.

Think of a time you felt truly and completely like you were being loved.

 Was it something you heard, saw or felt?

A couple, John and Jane went in to see a hypnotist for some marriage counseling.
They were feeling like they had lost the magic in their relationship and they were a couple that were once madly in love with each other.

So the Hypnotist asked John first to think of a time when he felt like he was truly and completely being loved.
“Think of a time, perhaps in your childhood”
Was it something you heard being said to you? A touch? A gesture?

John answered that he felt loved when“

  1. He heard the words, i love you John He loved hearing his own name being uttered out loud.
  2. He also felt loved when he was cooked for, when he knew that the woman he adored, cared enough to go to the shops, buy ingredients, chop, marinate and spend time and effort in the kitchen for the sheer pleasure of satisfying his palate.
  3. and when someone ran their hands through his scalp, his hair. Almost scratching with nails, through the top of his head, the neck, the sides of his head, he felt cared for, nurtured, loved… adored.

Jane was asked the same question and she said that she felt truly loved when –

  1. She heard the words you are so beautiful, Jane whispered in her ear. Her name being said to her made her feel loved.
  2. When she was given thoughtful gifts, flowers or chocolate, basically when someone spent their precious time and money on her. She wanted to know that they were willing to give up something precious to make her feel good.
  3. When she was held firmly around her waist and kissed on her neck. Especially from behind her. Her waist is a pressure point that made her feel sexy, feminine, beautiful and desirable. She felt like she could lose herself in wild abandon and relish in the sensations of pleasure and hedonistic satisfaction when help that way.

When either of them felt, saw or heard these things, they were like buttons being pushed which made them feel loved. When they first met, as most new loves, both were randomly doing everything for the other as you do in the early stages of a relationship.
So, by default, they happened to press the right buttons as well, unknowingly, of course, like a child pressing all the floors in the elevator and hitting the right floor in the process.
So, by mistake John was holding Janes waist facing her, from behind her, he was holding her hip too and her shoulder too, but he got the waist sometimes, just like even a broken clock gets the time right twice a day!
Jane too was hitting the spots when she ran her hands through Johns scalp and his back and arms as well, she too like the clock, got it right a few times a day.

The thing though is that after a relationship gets over the honeymoon stage, we humans tend to become comfortable and then we relax and revert to either not pressing buttons, or maybe pressing our own buttons on our partners.
 So what was happening in John and Janes case is that, of late, John was saying, I love you to Jane and he even cooked for them some nights. And Jane would hold John around the waist and buy him stuff. Both of them were missing the spot Think about having an itch on your back and having your hands tied up holding a heavy box in front of you, and you ask your partner to scratch it for you and they just cant seem to scratch the itch, missing it by centimeters all the time! Very very frustrating!!!!

They had both reverted to their own love strategies and unfortunately this left the other feeling totally unfulfilled, lonely and unloved.

If you knew how easy and almost effortless it would be to make the person you love feel good, wouldnt you just do it? Especially when you were aware of the god 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 is so detrimental to the relationship.
So if you were to take one thing away from this article, find out what your partners love strategies are.

Tip for the wives out there that some of us were given a few years ago by a workshop trainer:

Treat your man as if he were a tree. You and your children, sit under the tree in its shade. Nurture the tree, and it will grow, give the tree space to spread its branches and ground its roots, and it will bear sweet, luscious fruit and a thick and protective shade the fruits will fall for our children and us and we get to bask in the love and security of the shade.

Nurture the tree!

And guys, find all our buttons and press them often. Make us feel that you are thinking of us all the time, even if you are not. Schedule little surprises for us to let us know we are the centre of your world.

Why? Because, if you give a woman a little, she will shower you with love and affection like you never knew she was capable of.

Another wise man I know held out a bunch of pens and pencils to me and asked me to take one. I did and then he handed me the whole bunch telling me that in his years of experience with women and couples, he knew without a doubt that, if a man gave a woman a single gesture of love, she will reciprocate by giving him her all.

Lets get Intimate!

Malti Bhojwani

This is what you said about the definition of Intimacy.

Intimacy is honesty and affection. Faith and vulnerability.

Intimacy is one of our most intimate pastimes is sharing failures and/or downtimes and knowing that there is unconditional love/support“ even someone else to take the fall. Or on the other side, sharing the good things that are treasured by one, and in turn“ the other. Intimacy is as it were – a friends second self. That type of closeness is rare and real intimacy is only shared between those with a deeper bond.

Intimacy is the feeling you share with someone close to you on a mental, physical and emotional level. The more time spent with this person, intimacy grows stronger and more intense.

Intimacy is a look that you both understand and but no one else even notices, his hand on your cheek as a song that you had your first kiss to comes on the radio, a squeeze of a hand when a comment is let fly and that person knows it would have hurt your feelings. Intimacy is knowing someone and loving someone wholly and truly. It is a closeness that is very rare and priceless. Intimacy is being intertwined and locked together as you fall asleep. A kiss that stops the rest of the world around you, only your eyes watching each other you lips touching softly is all that is real in that moment.

Intimacy with my girlfriend is holding hands in a sad movie, a text or a phone call saying I love you, a hug where you can feel them taking your tears away and giving you their happiness to you.

Intimacy = Into-me-you-see.

Intimacy with the comfort level you experience with another person, so as to be able to include them in your life.
Most of us never really grow up or mature all that much-yes we laugh less & play less and wear uncomfortable disguises like adults but beneath the costume is the child we always are, whose need r simple, whose daily life is still best described by fairy tales. Intimacy = willing to accept this very true fact and stop disguising.

Intimacy is meeting of the minds first and than body!

Intimacy is when two become one, through an experience of trust, they feel as one, and they connect without the need of a thought process.

Intimacy is trusting each other, not being too possessive and giving space to one another.

Intimacy is knowing that you wake up in the morning and the first thing you think about is your partner, and they are the last thing you think about before you go to bed.

Intimacy is a profound connection between 2 people based on a deep level of trust & communication where people can see each other at their worst & best. But rare these days, I guess due to fear of rejection, gender socialization men avoid it like the plague, lack of time, being pre-occupied with other things, fear of not being respected, accepted. Inability to verbalize our true emotional wants & needs. Being aware of our needs. Requires a lot of patience, practice & planning.

Depeche Modes song Somebody (Thank you CC and CB)

I want somebody to share
my innermost thoughts
Know my intimate details
… who will listen to me
When I want to speak
About the world we live in
And life in general
Though my views may be wrong
They may even be perverted
Shell hear me out
And wont easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact shell often disagree
She will understand me

Intimacy is “The man you fought with this morning, the same one you are going to make love to tonight, thats love, thats true” “ Charlene “Never Been to Me”

Poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
The Invitation

It doesnt interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. it doesnt interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure of being alive. It doesnt interest me what planets are squaring your moon… I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by lifes betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human. It doesnt interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes”. It doesnt interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It doesnt interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesnt interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.