"The Real Secret To Intimacy." - Could it be this simple?
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Each week without fail, I receive requests to talk about intimacy between partners. The principals are the same, regardless of gender. Therefore, make no mistake. This is NOT a gender-specific related topic. Truthfully, I could write a blog each week about this one topic with the number of requests I receive. However, you can only beat a subject to death for so long, hence, why I write a diversified blog.
However, I try to cover the essential details when I choose a topic. The elements that matter and leave out all the fluff. Fluff is warm and fuzzy but usually takes up a great deal of word space and has very little meaning. For example, intimacy is frequently confused with romance. Although they are two separate forms of emotional bonding, they are also intertwined. Try to look at romance as a component of intimacy. So let's get rid of the fluff and address the topic directly, and you will understand.
WHAT ARE INTIMACY AND ROMANCE?
INTIMACY- a private cozy atmosphere, an intimate act, especially sexual intercourse.
ROMANCE - a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love or remoteness from everyday life.
Courtesy of Google
We can get critical and discuss the four psychological types of intimacy, but I don't wish to get too technical. That clouds the issue and makes things confusing. The bottom line is the basics are the same.
Dictionary definitions for words are for basic understanding but frequently not taken so literally. When you look at these definitions, you can see how they look different, but in the real world, they are not. For example, many confuse intimacy with sex. However, intimacy goes much deeper than just sex, and believe it or not; sex is the smallest part of intimacy. Therefore, we look at intimacy as a total package when talking about intimacy. I say a complete package because there are components that are different for each of us within that package.
Let me give you an example of each. Romance could be when you go out for a special dinner, get all dressed up, and have flowers on the table at the restaurant for your partner. This creates a romantic atmosphere but also promotes INTIMACY.
Intimacy could be when you are just sitting on your favorite chair together, all cuddled up and enjoying a feeling of closeness. This also promotes ROMANCE.
Therefore, you can see how both are intertwined. You might say they are synergetic. For those of you that are not familiar with that word, it means; working together or cooperative. One builds upon the other. Therefore, I promote the concept that romance is a component of intimacy. Can you have intimacy or romance without the other? I do not, so. Intimacy without romance is lust, and romance without intimacy is shallow. Meaning you feel something is missing.
In both cases, these come under the heading of emotions. Part of what triggers our emotions are the acts we do for our partners. This can become complicated because each person is different. How they express or do not express themselves is different. This is the most critical reason each partner needs to know one another. No one can understand anything they do not know. Therefore, strong communication is essential. Sharing thoughts and feelings is paramount.
Yet, this further complicates the issue because not everyone is a strong communicator. Some people do not communicate these things at all. My father was like that. Very soft-spoken and did not communicate well with my mother. He rarely bought her a birthday card. It simply was not his way. Yet, he felt that he showed her how he felt daily as a husband and a father. Was that right?
There is no right or wrong. However, it is wrong not to express these emotions in some way. My mother knew this about him, so she took it with a grain of salt. However, I am sure deep down it bothered her. Wouldn't it bother you? In their era, you were who you were and would change. We have learned that change is paramount to healthy development in today's world. Yet, there are still those that will not change. Hence, the reason why I get so many email requests about this topic, and counselors make a great deal of money counseling these individuals.
SO WHAT'S NEXT - REALITY?
I mentioned two things earlier. 1., we should look at intimacy as a total package, and 2., everyone is different. Everyone being different further complicates the issue. However, if we were all the same, life would be boring. Allow me to explain. Each of being different is what keeps life interesting. However, not all exciting things bring enjoyment. That is the compromise. Being different allows us all the need to express ourselves and communicate. Learn to compromise and other life skills. This is the primary reason intimacy should be viewed as a total package because someone may be vital in some areas and not so strong in others. To get any point across, any emotion, or have anything hold any meaning requires three words.
ACTIONS - WORDS - DEEDS
These are synergetic. One has very little meaning without the others. It is good to say I LOVE YOU to someone if you don't follow it up with actions and deeds. At first, the words will have meaning. However, in a short time, they will lose their meaning. There is another word I want you to think about because you will see how it all comes together very soon.
Now let's face reality. The dictionary definitions are great for the basics, but the real test is reality. We have established and know that people are different. Some people can be fulfilled by sexual intercourse without intimacy and/or romance. Others need one or both. In an attempt to keep this non-gender specific, in most cases, one of the partners is the more dominant partner in every relationship. Therefore, that partner will probably not need as much.
In comparison, the less dominant partner will need more emotional reinforcement. This is perfectly normal. This does not mean that either partner is not independent or cannot function without the other. It simply means that when it comes to their relationship's emotional aspect, one has more needs than the other.
No matter what type of relationship is involved, regardless of relationship status, the human condition dictates that we all share one common need, regardless of gender, race, color, or creed. Although you may not want to admit it, you will agree if you think about it. EVERYONE WANTS TO FEEL APPRECIATED.
APPRECIATION is the keyword. I cannot tell you how many counseling sessions I have sat in on, and in almost every relationship issue, one of the parties states, "I DON'T FEEL APPRECIATED." We all need to feel appreciated. Whether at work, at home, or play, it makes no difference in our relationship. When we feel appreciated, we feel rewarded for whatever we have done or are doing. It is a necessary emotion for us to move and continue to achieve and continue what we are doing. When we fail to feel appreciated, we lose a sense of purpose. We think to ourselves, 'why bother. No one appreciates it.'
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
I stated earlier we need to look at intimacy as a total package. Here is how it all ties in together. If you were to look at intimacy this way:
What do you think the outcome would be? Those five simple things will most likely solve all of your intimacy issues. Showing appreciation is simple. It could be as easy as saying thank you, helping a bit with the kids, or around the house. Simple actions such as a hug for no reason. A kiss on the cheek before you leave or get home. Hold hands while walking, spending some quality time together. You see, it's not the quantity; it's the quality that matters. Simple phrases to enforce how you feel or appreciate the other person. Whether family, friend, or partner. Your deeds. Such as going for a walk, out to eat, a movie, sitting out on the porch on a nice night and talking. Maybe a card from time to time for no reason. Romance should be the easiest part to achieve. In my book Making Partnership Choices, I make two very accurate quotes.
ROMANCE DOESN'T DIE; PEOPLE KILL IT.
RELATIONSHIPS DON'T END; PEOPLE END THEM.
People have stopped doing many of these things because the fact is, life has just gotten so hectic. People are working more than one job and sometimes are like two ships passing at night. However, these are the basics—the building blocks of INTIMACY. We get away from them, and that becomes our new normal after a while. However, if it was never that way from the start, which I am sure it was not, it should NOT be that way, nor should you allow it to become that way.
It is said we are the reason for our demise or the tools of our destruction. That is very true. We can all help ourselves or become our own worst enemy. The trick is, and it is a simple one. Understand your partner. Know what to and what not to expect. And by all means, COMMUNICATE and DON'T CHANGE.
Therefore, it is that simple. There is no magic pill you need to take to regain your intimacy. Like everything in life, it all revolves around what we do. For ourselves, for others, and our partners. Then, and only then, will intimacy not only be fulfilled, but it will also be an emotional bond between two people that cannot be broken.
Stay safe and be well,
Check out my new private investigator series coming soon.
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