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UNDERSTANDING AND CREATING INTIMACY

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We believe intimacy between two people is the glue that keeps a relationship connected, vibrant, and alive.

To start with, intimacy between two people includes—and goes way beyond—whatever sort of physical or sexual connection that is generated by a couple.

Yes, the sexual needs of any couple are very important and legitimate. But sex can only sustain a relationship for so long before the emotional connection must also be acknowledged and talked about.

Sexuality often gets confused with intimacy but the quality of a sustained sexual relationship directly correlates with the quality of emotional intimacy in a relationship. Steamy sex can exist without emotional intimacy, but it cannot sustain a long-term intimate relationship without an emotional connection.

The best way to describe creating emotional intimacy is having the courage to vulnerably express one’s thoughts, feelings, and needs to another person. And having needs is NOT the same thing as being needy!

Being needy is something altogether different and involves an ongoing sense of feeling insecure. Becoming needy occurs when a person looks to and even expects, some other person, place, or thing to fulfill his or her own personal needs—as opposed to taking the time, energy, and courage to learn how to satisfy and “fill in” one’s own sense of wholeness.

EVERYONE has needs.

As humans, we have physical needs, we have intellectual needs, we have spiritual needs, and, yes—we have emotional needs! And it is a healthy thing for a woman and a man to look to their intimate relationship as the place to get their emotional needs met, as long as there is no expectation created by either person that their “job” is to be the sole resource of getting each other’s needs met.

Women look for intimate sharing with their girlfriends, and then quite naturally look for that same type of intimacy in their relationships with men.

But because “having emotional needs” is nowhere to be found on the chart of “masculine traits” that we learn as boys, we as adult men are confused about how to give that very thing back to our spouses. Knowing—much less expressing— his emotional needs is every man’s journey into the unknown!

We believe that men don’t have to talk about their needs and their feelings the same way that women do. There is no way men can. But men still have the responsibility in their intimate relationships with adult women to somehow, someway learn how to express themselves emotionally.

Both men and women need to understand that until they get better at doing this, that their ability to be real is very limited, and their ability to create and sustain intimacy will be very limited.

Here are a few more things to remember that I think will help:

1) Stay committed to understanding who you are (being emotionally aware) and being as honest and forthcoming in sharing your feelings, thoughts, needs and expectations.

2) Genuine intimacy requires dialogue, transparency, vulnerability, and reciprocity.

3) Listen to and be non-judgmental, empathic, compassionate and understanding of your partner’s feelings. This will help you know your partner. Knowing your partner and yourself also helps you resolve conflict more effectively which leads to deeper intimacy!

4) Feeling and expressing trust, loyalty and respect are important to enhancing intimacy. Knowing that the emotional and physical aspects of your unique relationship are private and exclusive to the two of you building intimacy.

5) Being affectionate and romantic is another level of physical and emotional intimacy. Developing comfort and ease and an ability to laugh and be playful are also important to intimacy.

6) The relationship needs to have a purpose that makes sense to both of you and feels supportive of each other’s individual and mutual goals. This also helps you get through life’s tough challenges as a team which in turn creates deep intimacy.

I wish you the best in developing and maintaining intimacy in your relationship!

Hope you got value?

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