Become An Intimacy Champ
So you want to be a pro at this intimacy stuff and really super-charge your relationship and knock your partner's socks off? While it won't happen overnight, with persistent practice of the following tips, you'll begin to see a positive evolution take place in your relationship with more connection and emotional intimacy.
What You Can Do As An Individual
·Face your anxiety head-on. The more you run from it, the stronger hold it'll have on you. Learn and practice relaxation techniques to calm and soothe you.
·Identify your triggers. How are your "freak-out" symptoms manifested and under what conditions?
·Combat your male gender socialization script by becoming more proficient in emotional intelligence and expression.
·Develop positive self-esteem and confidence through taking risks to further your personal growth and work aggressively at defeating any internalized homophobia.
·Identify any negative, limiting beliefs you may have about relationships, masculinity, and being gay and counter them with new, affirming messages. Read up on cognitive restructuring techniques for help with this.
·Gain closure on unfinished business from the past. Your past doesn't have to keep you stuck, no matter how traumatic it may have been. You have the power to shape a new destiny.
What You Can Do As A Couple
·Make your relationship the number one priority in your lives. Devote lots of quality time together and protect your partnership from competing outside sources.
·Build a relationship tool-box filled with skills in communication, conflict negotiation, boundaries, and problem-solving.
·Cultivate a hot sex life together, filled with creativity and passion.
·Develop a shared vision and goals for the future together as a couple.
·Give each other frequent "positive strokes," appreciate each other for who you are, share your feelings, take responsibility for your issues, and practice the art of forgiveness.
Through a relationship with another man who is just as motivated as you to nurture a positive connection on all levels, you too can experience one of the most powerful and healing forces life has to offer. It'll mean confronting some of your anxieties directly and being receptive to encountering a wide range of emotions and experiences. It's worth it! After all, the road to gay self-acceptance and happiness has been hard enough to then rob yourself of one of life's most precious gifts; you shouldn't have to sacrifice what's rightfully yours to claim and enjoy. You deserve love! Cheers to your intimacy quest!
*References: The term "intimacy freak-out" taken from Crowell,Al(1995). I'd Rather Be Married: Finding Your Future Spouse. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
© Dr. Brian L. Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach