Intimacy in relationships begins with an experience! Intimacy begins with tenderness in our skill of listening and ability for reflecting back. It is our willingness to hear and not to only be heard.
- How many of us want to be held and touched tenderly by our lovers?
- Why would our conversations be any different?
- Can you remember a time when the tender kindness that went into your intimate touch was matched in your conversation with your lover? When that tenderness is not in the conversation do you imagine them as your lover in that moment?
- When was a time that you both shared anything with each tenderly and felt accepted exactly as you are?
I believe it is more important to create an experience of intimate connection in conversation first before mastering the correctness of how to speak to each other. Ever coach a couple only to hear one partner tell the other how it’s done? Intimacy maker? No! If you forget how it should be done and have the experience of intimate connection you are more apt to take chances, be creative and develop your courage to tell each other what really matters. This is when I experience couples commit to keep trying to hear what is meaningful in what the other person is trying to share. If you have to learn how to do it and get it right first, before the connection, it tells me that you are feeling frightened and need the safety of being right and getting your way at the expense of your partner.
Therefore with couples the primary focus is to walk them through a dialogue dance that isn’t focused on how to do it. It is focused on doing it and accepting whatever arises so that it is easy for them to feel heard and understood. This is when they feel safe to share important issues.
Each partner is being coached to make the dialogue about themselves to translate each story they bring up into being about themselves and never staying in the habit of making it about the other person. Talk is slowed down so that each partner can reflect and that the dialogue is never one-sided. It means pausing to connect to what is being said before bringing up other issues so that both have a say.
It definitely isn’t for the faint hearted. It is for couples wanting to work on their intimacy, vulnerability and grow their relationships to bring warm loving kindness and spiciness back into the experience.
This week I had an opportunity to stand beside and guide couples into their vulnerability to the point the veil of self protection fell away. From this place of deep meaning it is one of the most tender sweet spots to find oneself in. By standers included! You are where it really matters. When couples commit to continue coming back to try and express in a way they both can be heard, isolated behavior and fear looses its power, humor develops and it becomes easier. This is when it becomes about the relationship and not about winning.