ARE YOU ABLE TO DO THIS WITH YOUR PARTNER?
When couples come into my office, upset and bereft of hope in their relationships, I look at several warning signs. One of the strongest is a lack of intimacy in their partnerships. I’m not talking about sex; intimacy and sex are often used interchangeably. I think of intimacy as Into Me See. It is a feeling of being deeply known, cherished, validated, and accepted as the person you are, even if your partner doesn’t always approve of the actions you take. At those times, your behavior may be wrong but you don’t feel that you are wrong as a person. One can have a sexual encounter without any intimacy whatsoever. Of course, a deep sense of knowing is sex with intimacy. But they are not the same word.
So, when I see couples in my practice with intimacy difficulties, I assign a simple exercise that I challenge you to have some fun with in your relationship. Here it is:
Sit cross legged on the floor with your partner, fully dressed, knees touching. Hold each other’s hands lightly and just gaze softly into each other’s eyes. No talking. No staring contest. No giggling. Don’t look away or make faces at each other. Just gaze softly and deeply. Do this for as long as you can; ideally 3 or 4 minutes.
If you are able to withstand the discomfort of the first minute or two an interesting feeling will come upon you: that of being relaxed, calm and very close to your partner. You may cry or otherwise feel very emotional. That’s okay; as a matter of fact, it’s perfect. You are experiencing intimacy.
I’d like you to try this exercise and pass it on to your friends. See if you and your partner can complete this exercise a couple of times each week. I can promise you that your relationship will grow in ways you hadn’t imagined.
Take good care.