Jane was frustrated; she could not understand why she and Ted were so distant from each other. Every time she tried to talk to him they ended up fighting.
She had almost given up trying. Ted was irritable and closed off from her. All she wanted was to feel close, loved, and supported, the way it used to be.
Tom felt like he could never make Jane happy. No matter what he did she had something negative to say. He felt like a failure and it was no fun being around her. Where was the Jane that used to be so much fun, who was so happy to see him?
Does this sound like an experience you have had? Are you are feeling disconnected, wondering what happened to the fun, closeness, and intimacy that you used to enjoy?
I have been a psychotherapist for over 25 years and specialize in working with couples. This is what I have found. The following information is true, to some degree, for men and woman. These ten tips will be of value.
When the two of you met was it fun spending time together? Did you enjoy each other’s company? Is that still true? Sometimes you get so busy with life that you forget to put fun on the schedule.
- Date each other
- Plan get-always
- Make time to remember why you got together in the first place
- Discover new areas of interest to share
Your partner wants you to be happy.
- When you do not express gratitude, you do not appear satisfied (happy). Your dissatisfaction causes distance
- Your partner will feel anxiety until you appear satisfied(happy)
- Since you want to feel close and loved, expressing you gratitude will help you to be closer to your partner
- You will both feel more satisfied
3. Express positive feelings and thoughts
Sharing positive feelings and thoughts is another way for you to build intimacy.
- When your partner feels that you are attracted to them and happy with them, they will feel relaxed and open with you
4. Learn to listen deeply
Do you get defensive when you partner speaks? Are you preparing your response?
- Listening means you do not interrupt
- Listening means you do not give advice
- Listening means you don’t correct the facts
5. Accept Differences
Stop trying to change your partner, do not try to get them to act or think according to your standards.
- You can express what you want or how you feel, but how your partner thinks, feels or acts, is not something you can “fix”
- You can choose to respond in various ways to their actions, but it is not going to work to try to fix or change your partner
6. Be clear and direct when setting boundaries
Speak simply and concretely.
- Be specific about what you are asking your partner to do. Instead of asking for “more romance”, ask for flowers, or cards or something that means romance to you
- Tell your partner why this is important to you
- Tell them what the benefits will be if they choose to agree
We all like to be “in the flow” and have things go smoothly. When you are flowing in the direction of fun and relaxation, and your partner brings up stressful things, the flow is interrupted.
- Do you bring up business when you are together during leisure time? This may be when you start to think of all the things you were meaning to talk about, like the call to the bank, the sprinkler that needs fixing or some other stress of life
- Agree to set aside some separate time to talk about these subjects
- When you are sharing leisure time together focus on being mindful and present. Enjoy the moment!
Learn to apologize. Acknowledging your part in a situation makes things a whole lot better in a relationship.
- A lot of people complain that their partners never say they are sorry
- Not apologizing builds resentments and interferes with intimacy
There are many areas of intimacy in a relationship. Sexual, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual and so on. At times if sexual intimacy is not satisfying, the root can be traced back to the lack of intimacy in other areas (like emotional, social and so on). The same is true of the opposite, problems with sexual intimacy can impact other areas of intimacy in a relationship.
- When talking about a sensitive topic, tell your partner why you might hold back on talking about this subject. What are you are afraid will happen in this talk?
- Talk about what you want. This is best done in a series of conversations over time. This is not a onetime conversation
- You need to understand your own patterns and motives. You need to be able to offer causes and possible solutions to the blocks of intimacy that you contribute
- Do not give up on building a connection. Seeking the assistance of a licensed therapist can help facilitate deeper intimacy. You may not be aware of the information and solutions the therapist could suggest
Do you feel respect for your partner? If you cannot say yes, or you have doubts, your partner is probably feeling your lack of respect. Do you feel a lack of respect from your partner? People are very sensitive to feeling a lack of respect from their partners.
- If you have these feelings it would be wise to explore them and make a decision to heal the situation in some way
- Are these feelings coming from a past trauma that you can heal?
- Is it time for you to reevaluate the relationship?
- Disrespect in a relationship slowly eats away at intimacy
These ten practices will set a solid foundation for safety, trust, and love. Finding someone who is “on your side” is a wonderful feeling. In order to build intimacy, you create the foundation, by following the practices above.
These are “practices”, perfection is never expected. Follow these practices, and your intimacy will deepen.
THE GOOD NEWS IS: Reading this article has stimulated you to think in a new way that will deepen the intimacy in your relationship.
Now, when you follow through, by acting on these thoughts, you can build an ever deepening intimacy.
About the author
Recognized as a leading counselor, educator, and writer in the South Florida area for over 25 years, Debra specializes in counseling individuals, and couples. She offers Dream Groups and groups on special topics.
She holds a Masters Degree in Counseling, is licensed since 1990 by the State of Florida as a Mental Health Counselor, and has continued her post-graduate training with a certification from the American Institute for Mental Imagery.
Her informative book Love in Action: A Manual for Lasting Love, has taught many people how to have satisfying relationships. For over 18 years Debra has studied and taught Kabbalah. Debra has a private practice in North Palm Beach, FL.
Visit her web site at www.debrajoygoldman.com for free articles about relationships, dreams, and more.
Copyright @ Debra Joy Goldman. All Rights Reserved.