When we come to understand intimacy within our daily lives, we can access a source of renewal in and of itself. Think of the expression “My cup is overflowing.” When it comes to intimacy in your life, how does your cup flow? How do you express the contents of your cup? Does your expression of interpersonal intimacy resonate with your partner? Before asking “How can I have more intimacy in a relationship?” Consider the following:
What Does Intimacy Mean?
Your version of intimacy is critical to developing compassion, empathy, and understanding with your partner. Intimacy is a very delicate relationship ecosystem that allows us to feel safe with one another. At its root, intimacy allows us to share in the experience of emotional freedom and vulnerability with another person. Essentially, intimacy is critical to the health and safety of your relationships, particularly intimacy with yourself.
We have to understand what intimacy means to us before we can share it with others. Understanding this truth is the basis of a successful interpersonal relationship of every type. In love relationships, intimacy is a very delicate topic because it reinforces a delicate balance of energetic growth and nourishment within a relationship. Between lovers and spouses, the expression of intimacy (or lack thereof) defines the individuals contributing to their shared project of love. It cannot be underestimated how important it is for us to have a radically vulnerable relationship with ourselves so that we may freely offer the fruits of our efforts to another.
How to Build Intimacy
They say it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Each day you commit to something new, you must release something that no longer serves your highest good. Choosing to learn of yourself to help yourself grow is the first act of intimacy. The primary exercise in the development of more intimacy is the art of letting go.
Being alive is a constant state of transition. And within such transitions, we must be able to face ourselves, be honest about what our needs are, and hold true to ourselves. Being alive is its own relationship. To be alive and explore what it means to have an unflinchingly honest connection with yourself is how intimacy turns from a discipline into a virtue that can affair-proof any marriage, help you reach any goal, and keep you grounded in any circumstance.
The Root of Intimacy is Honesty
Honesty helps us to remember we are all connected, and nothing is separate. When you have a lover that is secretive, intimacy will be difficult to maintain. If you allow shame, blame, resentment, or other pains to cover over the heart of your relationship, you cut yourself off from the enchantment of the relationship. You could say that intimacy as a discipline can lead to ultimate freedom to love and learn.
Case Study: An Emotionally Unavailable Partner
Intimacy has often been gendered and as a result, men struggle with understanding this divinely feminine part of themselves. Because of this, I receive many calls from distraught partners and people of interest to those who fear the depths of their feelings. Emotional availability is one of the most sought-after forms of intimacy that my female clients ask me about. What does he think? How does he feel?
One particular woman I gave a psychic reading to, I will call her “Jean,” asked me about her partner.
“Hunter, we have been together for so long, but I do not know what he really thinks or feels about me. When is he going to say I love you? When am I going to get to spend time with him in a real way?”
Jean’s questions represented to me the difficulties faced by people who have similar relationship goals but hold different perceptions of intimacy. “Jean’s” partner demonstrates intimacy by being a productive member of society, a provider to her family, and a giver of all things material. While this is an aspect of the blueprint of a husband, this is not the entire scope of the role. It is no secret that men struggle with finding intimacy in marriage or relationships with their partners. Here are some tips for partners struggling with intimacy and some suggestions on how to bring back intimacy in a marriage.
Three Falsehoods about Intimacy
Not everything you think you know about intimacy is true. Let’s break down three common misconceptions about couple intimacy and get to the heart of the matter.
1 – Intimacy is Weakness
To share your innermost self with another is a great act of courage, however, it is often thought of as being weak. When we are intimate, we are vulnerable. Quiet moments are those that are close, empathy-driven areas that require radical honesty and courage. For partners who struggle with this, first, know that you are not alone.
In Jean's case, a certain type of communication had ceased between her and her partner. She felt abandoned by a man who once shared his feelings and his body. Why the sudden change? Intuitively, I was able to determine that his lack of intimacy was based on fear. They had exchanged words in anger that left energies of mistrust between them. As a result, Jean’s partner was never able to open up again. Why? He believed this lie.
2 – Intimacy is Only for Women
Intimacy is not inherently feminine but has been feminized, especially in pop culture. Essentially, a man who struggles with intimacy may be afraid of failing to live up to the ideal of masculinity that is part of his gendered experience. How do you build intimacy with a man? The greatest thing a man can do to help his relationship grow is open up to his emotions with someone who has earned his trust. The rest will follow. The greatest thing his partner can do is actively listen and support his self-expression.
As an interfaith minister, I enjoy exploring different ideas from different schools of thought on the importance of spiritual work.
3 – Intimacy is Naturally Occurring
Carl Jung said, “Until you make your unconscious conscious, it will guide your life and you will call it fate.” It is essential to understand that just because you may have connected to your soulmate, does not mean that intimacy is natural. In fact, being soulmates could make intimacy even more difficult depending on the lessons you have chosen to learn together this time around.
The Jewish tradition speaks of the holy mitzvah of yoking. It is important to be equally yoked in the discipline of emotional availability. According to Talmudic law, a spouse’s well-being and happiness are of paramount importance within interpersonal relationships. To achieve this, one must connect and adapt to the emotional, sexual, spiritual, and physical needs while also working on self-care.
The practice of Yoga is a literal act of yoking the physical, mental, and spiritual bodies in a marriage of energies. When consistently practiced, yoga can unify the self and others beyond fear. Such intimacy brings about the most effective protection against our greatest fears. A Bible quote (2 Corinthians 6:14-15) says “Do not be yoked to unbelievers.” If you do not believe in your own worth, you cannot be yoked to anyone else. If you wish to connect and yoke with others, you must believe in the power of love.
The great ascended masters, starseeds, and unseen participants in our reality have all told us that the oneness of LOVE is all that there is. The common thread of existence from quantum to atomic levels is that union, intimacy in its deepest form, is the golden thread holding existence together. We must honor it by seeking it within the sacred human experience; developing the courage to commit to a life of intimacy is the antidote to the pains of the human condition.
This means that within your relationships, you can create a new form of intimacy with limitless possibilities. Understanding this, even a little bit, will help you partake in the gift of intimacy with your partner and revitalize your relationship, especially when the partnership becomes stale. So, this means that intimacy is an energy that requires our full attention.
Cultivating Intimacy in a Relationship
Let’s explore two simple ways to cultivate deeper intimacy in a relationship.
When you share intimately with someone: a meal, a kind word, or a listening ear, it is essential that this is done without judgment or resentment. When your partner walks through the door with more secrets in their heart than when they left, intimacy is waiting. Sharing intimacy in difficult times may look like listening to your partner confess an indiscretion, confide in you that she hates her job, or that they have changed their feelings toward you. When we understand that all things are subject to change, intimacy becomes more readily available to us. Be open to these delicate forms of intimacy as a way to enhance or rekindle a dull fire.
Intimacy breathes life into a relationship when it is cultivated gently. Imagine blowing gently on delicate embers to ignite a fire. Similarly, the delicate ecosystem in which intimacy must be grown under the gentle light of understanding. To be intimate is to feel acceptance. To be intimate is to give acceptance. Reciprocity depends on your yoking and your choices.
The best way to grow intimacy is to choose your partner with a great sense of discernment. Evaluate the flow of energy between your heart centers and follow your intuition. Be willing to share and trust in the beauty of unfolding love.