SO WHAT IS INTIMACY ALL ABOUT?
- IT INVOLVES RISK
Sharing, trusting and engaging in any relationship involves a risk. A risk that one could be hurt, rejected, ashamed, embarrassed, disappointed and so much more.
Yet if we did not love we would miss out on the nourishment, growth and joy that intimacy and relationships bring.
- INTIMACY IS A PROCESS, IT REQUIRES PATIENCE AND TAKES TIME TO DEVELOP
One needs to understand that intimacy cannot be found, created or possessed straight away. It is a dynamic process between two people which needs to be constantly negotiated. This gradually builds if one does not pull out of the process.
Sharing and involving oneself completely in another too soon in the relationship will be overwhelming for the other and possibly a sign of defence or anxiety on part of the pursuer.
The level of intimacy needs to be mirrored in each partner so that both feel safe. Take time to measure their responses and then think whether to proceed further.
The relationship needs to be strong enough in terms of trust, understanding and security to hold and manage the closeness and vulnerability which intimacy brings.
- IF INTIMACY IS PRESENT YOU MIRROR YOUR EXPECTATIONS
As you begin to open up and become closer in a relationship, resistance will be present, whether consciously or not. This is where the risk involved starts to become known and also a point where the opportunity of something more intimate and possible is found. It can be seen as the cross roads and it is both scary and exciting.
Trust and security is vital. It is important that time is taken to ensure both feel comfortable with the pace and level of intimacy as it develops.
Mirroring each other’s expectations means that both are opening up to the possibilities of the relationship. It means you are on a level playing field of equal understanding and expectation. The relationship is not truly intimate if only one person is open.
This step has to be taken with the acceptance of the unknown and it needs to be taken in order to move on to the next step.
- YOU REVEAL ALL THAT YOU ARE
The trust and commitment one places in the other becomes paramount as you grow closer. This is when you truly open yourself up and show your feelings of vulnerability, bringing your needs to the forefront of the relationship.
Expressing one’s vulnerabilities is part of revealing to the person all that you are. This can be particularly difficult for those who are anxious, shy, and/or isolated.
Being real by showing all that you are might feel exposing and it is what makes Intimacy both frightening and rewarding. Expressing one’s needs, directly or indirectly, raises the fear of not getting your needs which runs alongside the possibility of them being fulfilled. To shut down at this point can reverse the steps you’ve taken so far and possibly the end of the relationship.
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