“Those who have never known the deep intimacy and the intense companionship of mutual love missed the best thing that life has to give.” Bertrand Russell
Nina and I began our coaching session together with her sharing how she’s not feeling as optimistic as she had been:
We’ve fallen back into our old patterns again.
We’re still missing passion, connection and intimacy. It’s just not there.
I know I am capable of having that kind of a relationship (…because I’ve felt it before with someone else). Maybe my husband and I just can’t be that way together.
I completely understand why she feels that way. I used to feel that way myself about my first marriage. I thought my husband just wasn’t capable of giving me what I needed in that regard. And because I thought it was him or a symptom of how we were together, I left.
But here’s what I know now that I didn’t know then:
Physical chemistry is a bit magical. Typically it’s either there or it’s not. It may come and go throughout the relationship, but if it’s never been there before, I think it’s nearly impossible to create.
But connection and intimacy are different…
Connection and intimacy aren’t characteristics that are only bestowed upon the select few lucky couples.
Connection and intimacy have to be cultivated…..
Much like a garden, it needs to have good soil. It needs to be seeded and watered regularly. In order for the garden to grow, it needs tended to.
Connection and intimacy are about creating an environment where growth can occur. That’s done by:
Being fully and completely yourself; Confident in your own skin. Present. Vulnerable.
Allowing your partner to be fully and completely themselves – without attempting to change or convince them to be different. Accepting. Loving.
Making the relationship and your partner a priority – demonstrated through your actions, words and how you choose to spend your time. Significant. Important.
Talk openly about what’s important to you, express emotions, and be willing to set boundaries about what’s acceptable and what’s not. Open. Honest.
Letting them in and sharing things with them that you don’t share with anyone else. Private. Sacred.
If we choose to see connection and intimacy as something that’s either there or not, then it feels unattainable and outside of our control. But if it’s something we can cultivate within our relationships with a little bit of tending, we have more ability to create the kind of environment that will eventually bear fruit.