A wonderful analogy to how we must nurture and maintain the intimacy and intimate relationships in our lives can be compared to that of a garden. The longer the time spent away, the more weeds take over and parasites eat holes through the plants’ leaves and vines. If you’re one to make the effort every day, check on those plants, weed, and water as things arise, you will surely be one with a more flourishing intimate relationship with your partner. Taking things one step farther, if you fertilize that garden with the most natural, healthy sort of love, the bounty would be endless. It really is not much different for any relationship, even where intimacy is involved. It isn’t always easy to maintain and carry on each day, but it is a choice we make in our lives.
Here are some of the simplest ways to nurture intimate relationships in your life if you find yourself having trouble or needing to get back on the right path.
–Have patience, choose wisely. Intimacy is not something that should be forced. It should be something you want to willing give or receive. This is why having patience and choosing wisely are the first and best rules to follow. If your relationship forces you to be someone else, or you find yourself constantly accommodating your partner to keep the peace, or if you are constantly at war with your partner- you should probably start moving on. Stopping to find intimacy and a steady calm in a broken person will not end well for any party involved. Have patience and wait for the person who honors, cherishes and supports you for who you are, sickness and all.
–Be Real, Be You. In any new relationship, each person gradually shows one another their personalities, likes, dislikes, and fears. In these early stages you might find things that are not the best, shiny happy traits. You must be willing to share things from your own emotional vault to really find out if any connection if possible. Hiding certain aspects of yourself, or vice versa from your partner, will end with broken hearts and hurt feelings. It is in this stage you should share and discuss your core beliefs and differences, making the choice if they are something you want, or not.
–Be emotionally sound. Feelings are not good or bad, nor are emotions. But they are always there, whichever one is taking control. How we control and express our emotions can either help and enhance your intimacy or hinder and damage it entirely. Intimacy requires learning ways to express and deal with heavy situations without becoming distanced or intimidating. If you are in an emotionally charged situation, try your best to stay calm and work through the rough patches with a level head, always remembering to communicate without withdrawing.
–Embrace the rough stuff. Those arguments, fights and conflicts? Remember those? You have to learn to deal with them, or at least address them head on, when they happen. Allowing things to fester only builds more miscommunication and resentment along the way. After something has built under so much pressure for so long, it will surely come out in the most hostile, explosive and unhealthy ways. Intimacy means having courage, and truly believing that your relationship can get through the dark days and is stronger than any crisis that may present itself. After all, this is life, and crises have a way of happening over and over again.
–Be the person and partner you need. We can all ask our partners to be more sensitive, caring, understanding, faithful, generous and giving. It is a whole other thing to be those things ourselves. Intimacy requires that we do our very best for each other, especially our partners. It does not mean perfection, or the smoothest road to travel with no potholes or bumps. Instead it means they get the best of you, not the left-over rest. Communicate when things are good; communicate when things are bad. Do not let one small mistake take over and ruin moments and memories yet to come.
Remember that much of intimacy is found in the effort made to make your partner or other person feel special and loved, just as you would want yourself. Curious to know the next parts of intimacy? Read on for Part 3, What Does Intimacy Involve?
“Our souls crave intimacy.” Erwin Raphael McManus