How can I increase intimacy in my relationship?
In our last post, Be Smarter than a Smart Phone, we emphasized how crucial it is to “disconnect yourself” from social media. Why? To create more opportunities with your partner to connect emotionally. For those of you who enjoyed the clip Look Up, my hope is that you are practicing being mindful in your relationships with your phones. How do we increase intimacy in our relationship?
Check out this Lacoste commercial for inspiration on increasing intimacy in your relationship.
This commercial captures what intimate relationships are all about – taking risks to have a deep connection. If we want to increase intimacy sexually and emotionally, we have to take a risk and show our partner who we really are.
In fact, a favorite Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy saying is that intimacy can be defined as “into me, see.”
Why do we avoid vulnerability when we want to increase intimacy and have more closeness?
You might wonder then why we sometimes avoid taking that risk of being truly vulnerable and open when we really want to increase intimacy and closeness in our relationships. Perhaps if we are afraid that there is a part of us that won’t be liked or accepted by our partner, then taking the risk of being authentic truly does feel like the Lacoste commercial—like jumping off a skyscraper.
As a result, we try to cover up or hide our true selves, hoping that we might be “loved more” in this perfected version of ourselves. However, eventually, and especially at times of distress, our true self comes out. When that happens, maybe we feel ashamed of reacting the way we did, or we feel angry and resentful that we cannot be ourselves and loved just the way we are.
So, we try again to hide or assert ourselves in ineffective ways that further increases disconnection between us and our partner. When that happens, couples usually get stuck, resulting in less satisfying sex, communication problems, fights, and a great deal of pain.
What were you taught about sharing feelings and being vulnerable?
Sometimes, we may have been criticized or ridiculed in the past for being ourselves or sharing our feelings. Or, very commonly, we are told that showing certain emotions such as fear or loneliness is weak or shameful.
As Emotionally Focused Couples Therapists, we slowly help couples build safety with each other, so that they can take more and more risks of being authentic and vulnerable, ultimately connecting with one other in deeper and more satisfying ways.
Deep connection and increased intimacy fosters healthy, happy, and satisfying relationships. One of my favorite moments in therapy is to witness people taking great risks, showing up with their whole hearts, and experiencing being accepted, loved, and appreciated for their courage and vulnerability. In those moments, they say things like,
“The risk was so worth it –it feels so good to show my real self and be loved in return.”
If you feel stuck, disconnected and alone in your relationship, take a risk, reach out for help, find a qualified couples therapist, and start working towards increased intimacy, an improved sex life and truly meaningful relationship you want with you partner.
To schedule a Couples Counseling appointment with Thrive Couple and Family Counseling Services in Greenwood Village, call 303-513-8975, or use our online scheduler
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Contact guest author, Marta Kem, Westminster Marriage and Family Therapist, to start increasing intimacy in your relationship today.