Even when they are in relationships, many wish to
become closer to their partners and share quality time
that is truly intimate. They want to feel free to
express all of themselves. Although many try in all
kinds of ways, it is helpful to learn some direct steps,
which open emotional doors between partners and deepen
the bond they share.
The heart and soul of intimacy begins with
communication. However, few really know how to listen,
or how to find the right time or way to express what is
Some communicate to control, manipulate, or be right.
Others communicate to present an image of who they are,
to impress and gain approval. Their communication
creates a wall that doesn't let another in. No matter
how many gifts they give to their partner, it never
seems to be enough. Of course the real gift everyone
wants is to be truly known and heard.
True emotional intimacy begins with willingness to be
who you are - to express yourself honestly and fully and
to know that your partner is able to accept you as you
are. This also includes the reverse - your being able to
really listen, understand and accept your partner and
what he needs to share.
Many relationships are based upon an on-going
struggle to fix or change the other person. They are not
good enough as they are. This struggle blocks intimacy
as the partner always feels criticized in some way. The
greatest barrier to emotional intimacy is the feeling
that we have to be someone different than who we are.
The following simple steps open the way for intimacy.
They allow you to practice a communication that sets up
an atmosphere in which intimacy can grow. These
exercises are simple and yet powerful. They will help
you to make friends with both your partner and yourself.
1) Accept Your Partner As They Are. (Accept
Yourself As You Are As Well).
Stop criticizing, complaining, and letting your
partner know what's wrong with them, what's missing.
Drop the desire to change them. When something happens
that usually causes you to criticize or complain, just
let it be as it is. Say to yourself, I will let this
person be as they are and let go of my wish to control
them. Watch how they begin to open up as this goes on.
Step 2 - Focus On What's Right About Your Partner.
(Let Them Know).
You fell in love with your partner for some reason.
Focus upon what it is that drew you to them, the things
they've done that make you happy. Then, tell them so. So
often we communicate the complaints and keep the praise
and acknowledgment silent. Start doing the reverse of
Make a point of letting your partner know whenever he
does something to please you, or when there is something
about him that you genuinely like and respect. This is
not flattery, but the process of acknowledgment. We
usually think the person already knows what is good
about them, but actually this is rarely so. It is
crucial to "acknowledge" what is happening.
Open up and tell them how they made you happy, or what
about them you enjoy and respect. (This also lets our
partner know what pleases and is meaningful to us).
Step 3 - Listening With Love
Listening means, stopping our own inner dialogue and
drama and really being there for another person. We
allow the person to say whatever it is they have in
their mind. We do not correct, interrupt, try to teach
them something, or bring up other instances when they
were wrong. Instead really listening means creating an
environment where the other feels and is
So often we do not "hear" the other, but
only hear the voices in our own mind. We have personal
agendas for how they should be acting and what we want
them to say. Unless we drop those agendas, we can never
really become close or know the person we are with. Here
is a secret - when a person feels really listened to and
heard, they always feel loved.
To practice this exercise - clear you mind and focus
only upon your partner and what he is saying to you. Do
not think of an answer, do not think of anything. Listen
carefully and then at the right moment, paraphrase what
he said to you, just so he knows you are with him and
have heard what he said. For example, you could say, I
heard you say that you feel you need more space. Don't
comment upon this, analyze it, or anything. Just let him
know he's been heard. Mirror to him the essence of what
he's said. This will let him know you are with him,
listening to him fully, not finding ways to criticize or
Step 4 - Asking And Receiving
Ask for what you want and need. You give a great gift
to the other by asking for what you really want. Many
are afraid to ask for fear that if they let their
partner know what they really want, they could be turned
down. It requires the willingness to be open and
vulnerable. Ask for what you want and what is important
to you. You will be amazed at the fact that very often
your partner had no idea.
Once you ask for what you want, allow yourself to
receive it, and offer thanks. Many people take what is
given without offering thanks, gratitude and
acknowledgment of how much the gift meant to them. This
leaves the giver feeling upset. Make sure you fully let
your partner know how much the gift meant to you.
Now, of course, do the reverse. Find out what your
partner truly wants and needs. See if you can give it to
them. If you cannot, discuss it. Don't allow it to
fester. Once something is honestly discussed, the two of
you can make adjustments and move on. When two
individuals feel known, heard and accepted, not only
does the emotional intimacy grow, but a sense of
wholeness and well-being develops alongside as well.
Although these steps are simple they are extremely
powerful. Try one today and see. If you do them day
after day, it is impossible not to find the bond