Tips for Growing Intimacy in Any Relationship
Happy Lunar New Year. Happy Valentine’s Day. Happy Family Day. Happy Everyday.
They say, “Valentine’s Day is for lovers”. And maybe you’re looking for that one special soul mate to “complete you”. Or perhaps you already have someone who’s your “other half”.
STOP! Just Stop!
These sayings imply that you are not enough on your own. These common phrases suggest that you need someone else to fix you or make you whole.
No one else can do this for you. You can’t “fix” someone else. And, you can’t make anyone else feel a certain way or do what you want them to do. The same way they can’t do this for you.
Everything you need is already right there within you. It’s not for anyone else to do this for you.
I think Valentine’s Day should be for self-love; real emotional intimacy with yourself. So, you can nurture what is already within you. Then you can bring your whole, healthy self to create a healthy relationship with anyone else you come in contact with.
I asked as many people as would answer, “what does it mean to be emotionally intimate with yourself?”. This is what I learned.
Emotional intimacy with yourself is essential to having emotional intimacy with others.
Emotional intimacy with yourself is about being open and honest about your behaviours and feelings. When you’re willing to look at your mistakes or less-than-perfect behaviour and see them for what they are without judgment. This is emotional intimacy.
Emotional intimacy with yourself is a willingness to sit with how you really feel. Not just the superficial feelings, but the deeper emotions under the surface. You know, like when you’re feeling mad, but really under the anger is hurt, insult or pain.
Emotional intimacy means you allow yourself to be in the emotion. To feel vulnerable and yet, trust in yourself that you can have these softer more painful feelings and still know that you’ll be ok.
Sitting, feeling, and being with your emotions is important to processing your feelings and understanding where they come from. But most importantly, emotional intimacy is about allowing for your feelings and less-than-perfect behaviour, without judgment.
How does it feel when you open up to someone and they tell you “don’t feel that way”, or “you’re too sensitive”, or “you take everything too personal”, or “my problems are bigger”?
It freakin’ hurts. It shuts you down. It doesn’t feel safe to open up.
You need to do the same for yourself. Be with your feelings without judgement. Without beating them up and shutting them down.
Truly look at your less-than-perfect behaviours and accept that you did what you did. Accepting what is, doesn’t mean you condone it. It doesn’t mean, “I’m ok to do it again”. Acceptance is about seeing the situation, behaviours, and feelings for what they are.
When you allow your feelings to be heard, only then can you understand where they come from and what your feelings are trying to tell you.
When you’re willing to look at your less-than-perfect behaviours, without judgement, you’ll better understand what you were really needing and trying to accomplish.
When you’re emotionally intimate with yourself and willing to be vulnerable, then you can truly see and meet your own needs.
There’s no need for someone else to fix or change you; make you whole; feel or be any different.
Yes, yes….. having someone to support and validate your feelings, to hold space for you, makes it way easier to do it for yourself. But even if someone does this for you, you’ll never let it in, unless you’re willing to be emotionally intimate with yourself.
Because intimacy = into me I see.
When you can see all of YOU with loving-kindness and non-judgement, then you are truly whole.
If you’d like to develop deeper emotional intimacy for yourself, I’m happy to support you, while you work, heal and grow YOU.