The maturing step by step of a couple is made of phases so precious that after a certain time we hardly recognize ourselves from the initial trajectory. Intimacy definitely transforms everything you believed you knew about love (and about you). The longings understood, the deconstructed fears, the all-natural sex, the accessible dialogue, the ease of verbalizing that little anguish that barely settled in the breast showing that the invigorating winds of intimacy knocked on the door.
Do you know that older woman I was seeing? We are dating. Her name is Amanda. Her name means "worthy of being loved" and she is worthy of being really loved! Never in my life have I met a woman like her. She is strong, determined and very, very sexy! And, as time passed, I began to feel the first touches of intimacy. It’d been a long time since I had dated or had a long-lasting relationship with someone, so I had forgotten how intimacy was.
Relationships are synonymous of discoveries. No one enters into a relationship knowing absolutely everything about the other or about the paths that await you. The good thing about starting a new journey alongside someone is precisely this process of self-awareness and the perception of the partner. Everything starts to make sense that little by little in a two-way exchange. To love is not knowing, but still allowing yourself to unravel and be unraveled. And how soft and delicious the little touches of intimacy are.
It does take time. it happens that the great pleasure of sharing your life with someone consists precisely in this experience in which tastes, predilections, manias, perseverances and restlessness are perceived. Even more exciting is the way we fit into this universe filled with novelty and two-handed molding those bonds of closeness, security, and trust that exist in healthy partnerships. Without a doubt happiness is a journey, not a destination.
The key is to be positive
Most couples focus on avoiding conflict. But happy couples know how to maximize positive events by empowering each other, providing support in secret, and when they do that, they don’t focus too much on their partner. If you've tried to improve your relationship, you've probably heard many prohibitions. Don’t criticize. Don’t be spiteful. Don’t blame. Don’t leave the toilet seat up, don’t squeeze the toothpaste in the middle. Well, this is totally wrong :) . The happiest couples focus on doing what has to be done and not on what they should not do. Rather than just focusing on negative interactions, they actively work to build positivity in their relationships. They perform what we psychologists call the "orientation approach," moving to what is good, rather than moving away from what is bad.
Positivism has a tremendous force to change our perspective: while negative emotions "resign" us, positive emotions make us receptive. Positive emotions and attitudes help us to "enlarge, build, and create." Positive emotions really stimulate thinking, generating benefits such as a broader perspective, increased creativity, and consequently promoting a better relationship.
In fact, by establishing more positive goals in the relationship can promote the mutual happiness of the couple. Couples who seek to increase well-being in their relationships, concentrating on sharing meaningful experiences together, promote the growth and development of the relationship, and create satisfaction and intimacy (goal-oriented approach) compared to couples who focus In the avoidance of negativity (objectives oriented towards avoidance).
It is not humanly possible to achieve all the positive aspects that you seek, but I easily realized that positivity is important in setting goals, and that the results obtained reflect that same positivity. The reward is great: more fun, more growth, better sex and more sustained intimacy.
Let's analyze this in parts
Three are the elements that create a loving relationship: passion, commitment and intimacy. The American psychologist Robert Sternberg, important scholar on the love, developed his Triangular Theory of the Love. I discovered this theory recently and found it very interesting. In another post maybe I'll tell you more about it.
- Passion refers to physical and sexual attraction, characteristic of passionate relationships that have the strong desire to be with the beloved object, as is commonly the case at the beginning of many couples. The passion here reveals the mark of sexual and affective excitement. It is the impulse-based motivational component.
- The commitment represents the cognitive element, in the sense of being based on the voluntary decision to want to be with someone and to love that person. The commitment is for permanence and long term.
- Intimacy is the emotional element of a relationship and is based on exposing oneself to the other and revealing oneself. Intimacy leads to the affective bond itself, as well as to trust, affection, and mutual sharing.
But let's talk about intimacy
The intimacy, most prominent in this text, is the affective and physical exchange, of non-sexual nature, that you have specifically with the person with whom you have a loving or romantic involvement. It could be a tasty French kiss, a bath with a delicious soap, a trail of kisses on the back of the neck, a relaxing massage with a scented oil or gel, the touch on the thigh when the person is driving the car on your side. It is that delightful contact you don’t have with anyone else. That affection that, although not erotic or sexual, you don’t often have with your mother, best friend or brother.
The exchange of intimacy may or may not lead to a sexual relationship. Often a moment of intimacy of the couple can become an erotic foreplay, but this should not be the goal to take a few moments into intimacy.
But what if the other person is afraid of intimacy?
Sometimes your partner has negative impressions of physical contact. It’s very common that some people have had past experiences that make them fear this exchange of affection, and so your loved one may react badly sometimes, or be surprised by the change of your behavior. Don’t be intimidated by this, for this strangeness will pass.
You don’t have to set a time for it, like twice a week, for two hours, or something like that. Either way, it is important to have a space in your routine in which you disconnect from your family, health or work concerns, and just focus to feel the skin contact, affection and affective exchange with whom you love.
For the relationship to be delicious and lasting, don’t leave out of your routine that special skin contact that you don’t have with anyone else, and that makes the relationship with your husband or wife, girlfriend or boyfriend, something that fills you inside with the security of knowing that that other human being loves and accepts you.
Sex is important!
I believe that for a loving relationship to be enduring, we need sex in the relationship, and it is necessary to admit that we have physical needs related to sexual pleasure in adult life. This doesn’t mean that sex is a must in the relationship. But when the relationship is balanced and the couple has chemistry and intimacy, it is something that naturally unfolds and brings more joy and well-being, as well as having health benefits.
It is important to create time, at least once a week, if possible, to really enjoy sensual contact, and to dedicate to feeling and appreciating the look, skin, smell and energy of that special person you have chosen to be with you in the good and bad times.
On this path of (re) discovering pleasure with someone else, dialogue is as important as action, and the couple must learn to talk without judgments and without resentment. Think of this moment of doldrums as something fleeting, and start building a new daily for both of you. You deserve pleasure, joy, orgasms and a strong relationship.
For some couples, the exchanges of intimacy are a daily necessity, but sex can be something fast or fantastic, every two weeks. This creates satisfaction in the relationship. For other people, sex has to be more frequent, and the exchange of intimacy varies throughout the month, with more affection at the weekend than during the week, for example.
Discard your fears
There are obstacles in relationships that, no matter how much experience the person has, they always come back. One of them is fear.
Fear of betrayal is the most common. It can occur with both men and women and, in some relationships, it happens with both. But this doesn’t mean that they happen at the same time. The fear of betrayal can originate in the relation depending on its quality, being more common in the moment of crisis. The experiences experienced by men who have been betrayed can lead to this fear more often in the relationship, making them suspicious and especially with greater difficulties in relying on someone to have a healthy relationship.
There’s also the fear of being "replaced", which is also linked to the fear mentioned above. Some men, at certain times in the relationship, especially when the relationship is still starting or going through times of difficulty, may feel the fear of being replaced by another men, believing that their partner wants to find another man to meet some needs that he may not be fulfilling. When this fear is perceived, it is good to talk and make it clear that at the moment you are entirely in your relationship and not open to new experiences with other people.
There’s other thing that is relatively common among some men. It refers to when a man thinks that he is not managing to satisfy his partner sexually, that sex is not pleasing as much as it should. Usually insecure men with their own body, with the size of the genital organ and etc., tend to have this type of fear, which can arise through this insecurity. Some men try to overcome this insecurity by doing everything in order for the woman to always reach orgasm in all sexual relations, emphasizing the relationship only in this aspect and leaving other aspects, also important (or even more so), aside.
The most important thing at the moment is to understand and respect what the partner may be going through.
Sometimes this fear goes beyond that. It’s the fear of not being able to meet the woman's needs that are not necessarily related to sex or the relationship itself. It is the fear of not making enough money so that the couple can have a satisfactory financial life, and especially the fear that the woman is not satisfied with the current reality of the couple. This fear is entirely linked to the thought that the man must be the "provider" of the house and provide everything for his wife and family.
In this case, the woman can make clear that she is able to help with the expenses of the house, remembering that the financial problems aren’t so important, because you are together. Other things are more important for the couple.
Fear exists in the most diverse possible forms. It is present in all people and should not be put aside. It should be dealt with directly, either out of sincerity towards the partner or, depending on the situation, looking for a professional to help solve this problem. What matters is that when the fear is overcome, the sincerity and companionship are present in the course of the search for a resolution, the more mature the relationship will be. With this, intimacy will become more intense, reinforcing lasting bonds.Don’t be afraid and enjoy your intimacy. It is something that should be valued at all times for a happy relationship.