Intimacy: The Art of Relationships

As February rolls around, and we start seeing red and pink boxes of chocolate on the grocery store shelves, we are forced to think about our relationship status. Are we married, single, divorced? Are we happy in our relationship, or are we suddenly realizing we might not be as happy as we once were?

As Valentine’s Day comes closer, we often start to spend more time thinking about our real life intimate relationships. We have to work a lot harder to experience the intimacy we all crave in todays society. A society that is more and more isolated because of technology, we are not necessarily forced to form the bonds with our partners that we once were. We can get so much stimulation from the outside world, with social media, emailing, blogs, online dating, or video games, that we forget to truly connect with someone it takes work. It is not immediate as with most things that are today, that instant gratification doesn’t cross over to satisfaction and success in our intimate relationships in real life.

When we are babies, our intimate relationships hopefully start with our parents. Our mothers and fathers show us love through touching, hugging, and taking care of us. We needed this type of intimate affection in order to survive, and as we get older, that need to be taken care of and understood, doesn’t go away. But so often, we are not getting it through our everyday relationships. There is a large amount of pressure and time spent by most of us, trying to find the right person. Trying to find our best friend for life, that once we find them, we sometimes think that’s where we should be able to stop trying.

According to Lori Gordon and her article at Psychology Today, “All of us bring to our intimate relationships certain expectations that we have of no one else.” She goes on to say, “If we are not aware of our own expectations (and how they are affected by our history), there is no hope of expressing them to a partner so that he or she has a shot at meeting them. More often than not, we engage instead in mind reading.”

She believes the key to keeping intimacy in the forefront of our romantic relationships is to listen with empathy, and express our needs, feelings, and desires with clear and concise words. In her lengthly and fascinating article, she goes on to list some important practices she believes is key to intimacy that she called The Daily Temperature Reading. They are listed below, but check on the article here and read more about how to start incorporating them into your relationships today:

  1. Appreciation
  2. New Information
  3. Puzzles
  4. Complaint with Request for Change
  5. Hopes