ProConnect

What Really Creates Emotional Intimacy?

By

What Really Creates Emotional Intimacy?
How can we maintain that wonderful intimacy we often have at the beginning of a relationship?

Think back to a time when you felt really close and connected with your partner — a time when you felt emotionally intimate with him or her. Think about a time when you felt light and playful with your partner, or a time when laughter flowed easily, or a time when you felt you could tell your partner your deepest secret and it would be accepted.

We all yearn for that deep connection with someone, yet few people seem to be able to maintain emotional intimacy for very long. We often have it at the very beginning of relationships, before the conflicts start. How can we maintain that wonderful intimacy in a long-term relationship?

More from YourTango: How Far Am I In The Narcissism World?

The deep and wonderful feeling of intimacy flourishes in an atmosphere of safety. We open up when we feel safe. We take risks when we feel safe. The challenge is — how do we create this safety?

Most of the time people feel safe when they are with someone who is very accepting, caring and compassionate. The problem is that no one is completely reliable when it comes to these qualities. Most people have bad days when they may be irritable or grumpy. What happens to safety when the other person's acceptance and caring goes away?

Our sense of safety needs to come from within as well as without. We need to become the person who is consistently accepting, caring and compassionate with ourselves. We need to become strong enough within to not take another's bad day personally. We need to become centered enough within to stand up for ourselves and take loving care of our feelings when another gets angry or blaming. We need to become powerful enough within to stay openhearted in the face of fear and conflict.

More from YourTango: Using Your Inner Strengths To Become More Intimate

Creating a safe enough environment for intimacy to flourish means that each person needs to take 100% responsibility for creating safety within themselves as well as safety within the relationship. We do this by practicing acceptance and compassion for ourselves, which will then naturally extend to others.

However, the moment we are triggered into fear — fear of rejection, of domination, of abandonment, of losing ourselves or losing the other — we often do anything but behave in a way that creates inner and relationship safety. We abandon ourselves and become reactive — getting angry, complying, withdrawing, resisting, blaming, defending, explaining, attacking and so on. None of these behaviors create inner safety, nor do they contribute to relationship safety.

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

How Far Am I In The Narcissism World?

By

All of us have some characteristics and behaviors that fall into the category of narcissism. Narcissism is on a continuum from mild, occasional, and subtle to the more ubiquitous, obvious or extreme behaviors of a Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Since narcissism is likely a part of everyone's ego wounded self, it is helpful to your personal growth and ... Read more

Using Your Inner Strengths To Become More Intimate

By

"Intimacy begins with oneself. It does no good to try to find intimacy with friends, lovers, and family if you are starting out from alienation and division within yourself." -Thomas Moore Do you try to create intimacy with your partner without first checking inside to see if you are connected with yourself? Do you believe that if you found ... Read more

Relationships: When to Talk, When to Act

By

In my work with couples, I am often asked, "Shouldn't I communicate with my partner about this? Shouldn't we talk this over?" For example, Ginger noticed that when her husband, Ron, became demanding sexually or started to complain about not having enough sex, she would become defensive and try to talk him out of his feelings by explaining ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
Summer In Paradise

2 Reasons Why Love Escapes You

Never feel loved? Want to feel special, be treated like you deserve want to find a man who loves you

Hug Text

It’s Emotional Infidelity

12 warning signs that you may be cheating and not just friends

Computer Problems

Meeting Online: Safety Tips to Date By

Meeting online requires a little more vigilance than other types of dating.

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS