I was lead to do couples counselling training as the majority of the individual clients I was seeing would come to counselling about a number of issues, and the most common was relationship problems. I wanted to learn the skills to work with couples, but also understand more about relationships (after all every client has some sort of relationship) and to also work more effectively with my individual clients.
For this reason I have chosen the subject of improving our intimacy with our partner for my first blog. I hope you enjoy reading it, and can make even one small change that could result in improving your relationship.
If you feel your relationship has gone too far for you to make the changes, and you would benefit from individual or couples counselling please contact me on 07401 331521 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why Intimacy is Essential
Most of us have experienced situational intimacy when gazing into our partner’s eyes during sex or over a candlelit dinner.
If you’ve experienced those sweet moments, you know how truly fleeting they are — leaving you wanting more. However situational intimacy, alone, does not allow a relationship to thrive.
When life gets busy, daily tasks get in the way of intimacy. When work, chores, and child rearing are top priority, cultivating intimacy is probably the last thing on your mind. And if you try to connect with your partner and don’t get the response you hoped for, you likely hesitate to try again.
The reality is, successfully cultivating daily moments of intimate connection results in a deeply fulfilling relationship by:
Keeping romance alive
Helping both individuals feel understood, connected, cherished, and loved
Having each other’s backs and knowing you’re on the same team
Reducing conflict and misunderstanding
Increasing sexual satisfaction
Creating an overall sense of well-being
Increasing each partner’s self-esteem and self-worth
Cultivating intimacy also reduces the chances for cheating and divorce. And ultimately, intimacy is essential to a happy and healthy relationship.
The Deeper Meaning of Intimacy
Intimacy is more than just great sex after candlelit dinners. It’s about letting your partner experience the real you — the good, the not so good, and self-perceived bad. When you’re hiding imperfect parts of yourself, you’re rejecting yourself and showing up as someone else. Real intimacy can’t exist when one (or both) are trying to appear a certain way and showing up as someone else.
The deeper meaning of intimacy happens when you release yourself from the expectations of what you should fully be and embrace being your true self — warts, flaws, imperfections, and all. When you’re your true self, you’re comfortable in your own skin which also helps your partner feel comfortable in his skin. By showing up as yourselves, you get to know each other at a deeper level, and in turn, cultivate a more intimate connection.
The deeper meaning of intimacy is found in the journey, not in the instant gratification mentality cultivated by society. This journey is a process of time and patience. You’re beautifully simple and complex at the same time — simple like the shape of an onion and complex like the many layers of an onion’s anatomy. Peeling back these layers of being, to reveal the core of who you are fosters a deeper sense of intimacy.
How to Cultivate Real Intimacy
If real intimacy is missing in your relationship, it’s not your fault. Intimacy wasn’t a subject taught in school. Here’s the main lesson you should know: real intimacy is more about who you’re being and less about what you’re doing (i.e. situational intimacy).
If you desire a happy, healthy and fulfilling relationship; here are six ways to cultivate a deeper sense of intimacy.
1. Say what you mean
Censoring your words or concerns, because you’re worried about how your partner is going to react, doesn’t allow you to feel heard and causes misunderstanding. Since real and lasting intimacy is about letting your partner experience the real you, say what you mean. Doing so helps your partner feel comfortable in saying what they mean, and brings you two closer.
2. Be vulnerable
Real intimacy doesn’t always feel good. It includes letting the one you love inside, even when you don’t feel great emotionally. If feeling hurt, instead of shutting down or being passive aggressive, explore the emotions coming up and share them with your partner in a loving manner.
3. Show compassion
Real intimacy is messy sometimes because the raw, uncut aspects of you and your partner usually surface. Have compassion when this happens. You’re both doing the best you can based on where you’re at, the lessons you’re meant to learn, and growth you’re meant to experience.
4. Listen openly
When you don’t agree with what your partner is saying or doing, don’t judge them or and make them wrong. Instead, listen openly by finding the grains of truth and let different perspectives exist (unless they’re truly immoral or unethical).
5. Be fully present
If you find yourself preoccupied with other things when you’re with your partner, nudge your attention to the present moment. We experience intimacy in the present moment, and being present as much as possible deepens your connection.
6. Focus on your partner’s wonderful qualities
After years of being together, your partner’s quirky habits and characteristics likely drive you crazy! Instead of letting those quirks get to you, see them as your partner’s unique, highly lovable imprint. What you focus on is what you experience more of — so focus on your partner’s wonderful qualities.
You don’t have to wait for your partner to show more intimacy in order to have a happy, healthy and fulfilling relationship. Start cultivating intimacy and you’ll influence your partner in a positive way. Because of the nurturing environment you’ll be creating for your relationship to thrive, they will likely feel inspired to reciprocate the intimacy in their own way.
Taken from https://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/six-powerful-ways-to-be-more-intimate-with-your-partner-fiff/