True intimacy with another occurs when we’re attentive, at ease, and in the moment.
You get to be who you are, and your partner gets to be who they are. Whether you’re in the bedroom, at a family gathering, or chatting on the phone — together, you create a communion. I believe we make that communion possible when we embrace and practice the five elements of intimacy – honor, trust, allowance, vulnerability, and gratitude.
See honor as your bedrock. In essence, it means treating your partner with regard, respect, and kindness. Does that sound a little too obvious?
Here’s the thing – to truly honor your partner, you have to really know them.
We tend to draw conclusions about how to enrich our partner’s life based on our perception of who they are — which may be skewed — or what they’ve needed from us in the past. Could your view on how to honor your partner be outdated?
What if you really start to be present with your partner? What if you choose to be attentive and seek understanding by listening, asking questions … and listening some more?
A quick and important note –
Honor yourself too — treat yourself with regard, respect and kindness. This is not an either/or situation. You can be aware of what you require at the same time as what your partner requires.
Usually, when we talk about trust in terms of a relationship, we mean that we trust the other person won’t hurt or upset us. That version of trust is very conditional. Here’s a different perspective –
Trust that your partner knows what’s right for them.
This means accepting them as they are, not as you want them to be. Trust dovetails nicely with honor, because it’s in the process of honoring your partner that you see who they are more fully.
What if the next time your partner makes a choice you don’t immediately understand, you don’t judge them. Instead, you accept they know exactly what they’re doing.
Sound tricky? It requires allowance — let’s look at that next.
In allowance, everything that occurs, and everything a person says or chooses is interesting. Even when you don’t agree with someone’s choice, you’re not hurt or offended. This is because you’re stepping away from the idea of a right or wrong way to think, be, do or act. In other words, you’re stepping away from judgment.
Choosing to reduce judgment, or eliminate it entirely, is so freeing.
A life and a relationship without judgment is spacious, fulfilling and joyous. This is a huge area so if it feels interesting to you, read more here.
Please note, being in allowance doesn’t make you a doormat. That is impossible while you’re practicing element one which is ‘honoring you’.
What if the next time your partner makes a choice you don’t understand, you trust them (as in element two) and then ask, “Why?” Not in an accusatory way, but to further understand them and build those levels of intimacy?
We avoid being vulnerable because we’re afraid that if we take our barriers down, we’ll be lacking in some way and possibly abandoned. In truth, the soft, authentic space of vulnerability is the perfect territory in which to build intimacy.
In vulnerability, you’re not pretending to be who you think your partner wants you to be. Instead, you’re allowing them to see and accept you for who you truly are.
What if you allow your partner to see all of you-you without make-up, you on a tough day, you when you feel down?
And then… don’t expect them to fix you or how you feel. This allows you to receive whatever they can gift to you, free of expectations.
My take on gratitude is that it’s actually greater than love. Love is based on judgment, and in that way it’s conditional. This is something similar to the traditional view of trust.
Take a look at this:
I love you because you make me laugh, buy thoughtful gifts, and you share the housework and childcare.
And compare it to this:
I’m grateful for your awesome sense of humor, your ability to choose just the right gift, and that you contribute to the running of the house and our family.
By adding gratitude, those statements become something so much greater. The emphasis and the energy totally shifts — it’s more open, and less constricted and conditional.
What if you wrote a list of what you’re grateful for about your partner and shared that list with them? What if you made a list of what you’re grateful for about you, too?
See these five elements offer a new way to be with each other, allowing you to create your relationship in a way that’s unique and a gift to both of you. You chose each other, and now, is the time to enjoy each other?
Is it time to create something sensational?