HOW CAN I ACHIEVE INTIMACY WITH MY PARTNER?
Ordinarily, upon hearing the word
we usually think only of it's physical side when, in fact, intimacy has
- There is, of course, the physical aspect of
lesser intimate acts like holding hands as well as more intimate acts,
like sex. You do not have to have a physical relationship with someone
in order to be intimate with him or her. While physical intimacy is
a part of most romantic relationships, it is important to have
intimacy as well.
- Emotional intimacy involves sharing your
and experiences with another person in an open and honest way. Most of
us can experience this kind of intimacy within our group of friends,
our family members, or with our partner. Emotional intimacy can only
any physical relationship you may be having.
There are several considerations
determining if a relationship is intimate or not.
- The choice to enter into
a relationship must be mutual; any feelings of pressure are not
for establishing intimacy.
- There must be reciprocity in the relationship,
meaning that each person is giving equally in a consistent,
and non-judgmental manner. If this is happening then a firm foundation
for trust has been formed. Trust is the backbone of intimacy. Without
intimacy cannot occur.
Attaining and maintaining
is not easy. If you expect intimacy to develop right away or expect to
be intimate with most everyone, you will probably end up very
Intimacy needs to grow naturally; it cannot be forced. Make sure you
carefully when, where, how and with whom you disclose personal
Premature self disclosures can put people on the defensive and make
wonder, "Why are you telling me this?" A common block to intimacy is
within some sort of stereotypical role, hiding our true thoughts and
While this is "safe" and avoids some risks, it is not conducive for
to occur. Intimacy involves clear and direct communication of our
in the relationship.
Intimacy can also be blocked by
of rejection. Everyone has suffered rejection and the other person in
relationship probably has the same apprehensions. The only way to
this fear is to take a calculated risk. If you have evaluated when,
how, and with whom you are choosing to self disclose, and feel
in your choice, sharing your thoughts and feelings should be quite
Begin where you feel most comfortable and don't try to hurry it along;
intimacy will unfold itself.
Taken from the peer counseling page of the Middle
Peer Assistance Program.
This is an adaptation of Eric Fromm's five
of an intimate relationship:
Trust--without trust intimacy cannot be
Trust is having confidence in the reliability, integrity, character,
Caring--Fromm states that you must first
yourself; in other words, you must have self-esteem. Low
has a negative effect on an intimate relationship. Low
is one factor that leads to jealousy.
Sharing--you must be willing to share
You must be willing to learn about your intimate partner and willing to
share your true self and feelings with that partner.
Respect--you must respect and appreciate
and others' uniqueness and accept differences. A lack of
is closely tied to a lack of self-esteem.
Responsibility--you must be willing to take
to and for others. When you take responsibility for another, you
are willing to care for and nurture that person while at the same time
realizing that your intimate partner has the same feelings about
Responsibility for one another is a shared responsibility.
to another means that you recognize the impact your actions have on
intimate partner. What you do not only reflects on yourself but
your intimate partner as well. You owe it to one another to be
to one another as well as to be responsible for one another.
to be a responsible individual is part of maturing. Persons who
maturing resist responsibility and vice versa.