What is Intimacy?
Intimacy is probably one of the most misunderstood concepts in relationships. At some time intimacy and sex became interchangeable words and now many people believe they are the same. While intimacy may include or lead to a better sexual relationship, it involves much more. Intimacy consists of an entire way of being, acting and thinking. It is a place where both partners are willing to commit to each other, be vulnerable, and trust. In an intimate relationship both partners understand each other while simultaneously feeling understood.
Most of us carry childhood or other wounds which hold us back from permitting ourselves to trust or be open with our partner. While desiring a partnership in which we can be without fear or mistrust we often behave in a way which is guarded and shaped by old behaviour patterns of reacting and closes the door to our partners and so creates a growing lack of intimacy. This leads to feelings of being unwanted, anxious, lonely, inadequate, depressed, rejected, resentful and angry in one or both partners. Sometimes we unconsciously relate to each as did our parents – even if this may not have been constructive. Relationship therapy can teach you how to better relate to each other and open the doors to true communication and intimacy.
How do we develop Intimacy?
To develop intimacy usually means to gain an understanding of our fears. It involves vulnerability and trust – reaching into our core and allowing the other person in without walls of fear, mistrust or potential regret. Given our individual scars of life this can be a very scary undertaking. To develop true intimacy means a willingness of letting go of our fears wile seeing our partner with an understanding for their fears. As both partners engage in this process simultaneously a new basis for true intimacy can develop and you can finally open the doors to a satisfying and intimate relationship.
This healing process may involve some individual work with each partner as well as joined sessions. We will be working with the separate hurts of each partner but also with those that may have built up during your relationship together. We will do this within a space of safety and mutual respect.
Sexuality and Intimacy
While it is possible to have a satisfying sex life without intimacy this usually will not last endlessly without the existence or creation of intimacy. As couples create their foundation for intimacy and emotional closeness this is often accompanied by a growing enjoyment of their sexuality. As each person’s inner fears dissolve and a deep emotional bond is formed, sexuality can be explored on new levels and transcend from the mere physical to a deep spiritual connection.