Intimacy is the Key to Lasting Relationships

Intimacy is about being emotionally close to your partner, about being able to let your guard down, and let him or her know how you really feel. Intimacy is also about being able to accept and share in your partner's feelings, about being there when he/she wants to let their defences down. To be able to share our 'inner-world' with a partner we love and to be able to share our partner's experiences, is one of the most rewarding aspects of a relationship.

Intimacy often doesn't need words, but being able to put feelings and experiences into words makes intimacy more likely to occur. Intimacy involves being able to share the whole range of feelings and experiences we have as human beings - pain and sadness, as well as happiness and love. So Most relationships fail to last because of various reasons emanating from both partners.

Could be differences that can be reconciled if the partners put their minds to doing that. Some will say that their relationship failed as a result of the following reasons;

  • Infidelity,
  • Addiction
  • Lack of attention,
  • Abusive behaviours or
  • Severe financial difficulties.

And while the above could be legitimate reasons for a relationship not to work, the real reason behind failure in most relationships is due to differences in the desire and ability to create intimacy, the other reasons mentioned above are just symptoms of the real reason. We all have our own amount of desire, tolerance, ability and commitment towards creating intimacy.

Some people have a higher level to create intimacy and desire while so many others have a lower level, and for some others, this level of desire and ability will fluctuate throughout their life time. Some relationships stay intact, despite how functional or dyfunctional they may look to others because the two individuals involved have same comfort levels and desire the same amount of intimacy or lack thereof, that exists in their relationship.

That is why some people will stay with an alcoholic for years, others will tolerate infidelity and still others will accept rather superficial and emotionally empty relationships. They do so not because they are masochists, they do so because the degree of intimacy that exists within that relationship is congruent to their own need and desire .

Couples get into trouble when one person wants and is capable of creating deeper levels of intimacy than their other  person whether the argument is about money, sex or any other thing. The person that craves intimacy will address and attempt to work through the conflict in a certain way. This person will seek understanding, self-reflect, self-disclose with authenticity and seek to find solution that moves the relationship forward. The person that repels from intimacy will address conflict in quite a different way.

This person will defend, attack, ignore, deny or act out passively or aggressively in order to avoid understanding. Meanwhile, Intimacy does not happen by magic. It must be built up over time and it takes some people longer than others. Often the harder you work at intimacy, the more valuable and rewarding it is. You can create intimacy with your partner by;

  • Being open and communicate with your partner concerning what you actually want. Put it into words, don't assume they already know.
  • Creating opportunities for intimacy. Make out time when you can be alone together in a situation where you can focus on each other do unimaginable things.
  • After an argument, look at the deeper feelings behind the anger, hurt, anxiety or your sense of being let down. Talk to your partner about these feelings and ask about their feelings.
  • Finally, Practise making "I" statements about how you feel. This avoids putting your partner on the spot, and may help him or her do the same. For example "I feel hurt you didn't ask me before you decided" instead of "Why didn't you ask me first?".

Just work on intimacy in your relationship, it will go a long way in preventing your relationship from hitting the rocks.

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