“Intimacy is a process of discovery with another.” Joel B. Bennett
I’ve been studying the topic of intimacy lately and I learned something really powerful that I wanted to share with you…
If you want to have a more intimate relationship, the answer may not be as much coming together as it is creating more separation.
It’s completely counter-intuitive to everything most of us believe about intimacy. I have always thought of intimacy as a connectedness between two people, knowing one another at a deep level and feeling totally accepted in their presence. And I still think that’s true, but the path to get there is different than what we thought.
Maybe the path is less about becoming increasingly intertwined as a couple and more about creating a bit of separation where curiosity, mystery and discovery to take place.
You see, when a relationship is new there’s everything to learn about one another, so there’s a natural curiosity between you. But in a long-term relationship or marriage, there comes a point where you feel like you know everything there is to know about your partner and curiosity fades.
When there’s nothing left to discover about one another, intimacy fades.
When one person’s identity becomes all about the role inside the relationship, there’s not two separate people anymore.
When each partner continues to grow, cultivating their own interests, feeding their own passions, and in the process, nurturing their own individuality…it gives our partners more to discover about us and curiosity happens naturally.
Maybe you had a unity candle at your wedding. Each of you had a lit candle and you brought that flame together to light one single candle that was to represent the marriage. That’s a beautiful sentiment, but if we then blow out our own individual candle, it’s a metaphor for abandoning our own individuality now that we’re married. Not only is that unnecessary, it can also be detrimental to the marriage itself.
Give your relationship room to breathe by nurturing your own individuality. All fires need air.
Create more for your partner to discover about you. There’s more that wants to be discovered.
And realize that you don’t know everything there is to know about him either. Remain curious.
Rather than leaning in and smothering one another into closeness, instead try leaning back and remaining open to discovering who our partner is becoming.