Intimacy is what binds relationships together. There are a lot of things that attract people to each other.
It could be sense of humor. People love to smile. It could be aesthetics. People say that’s petty, but it’s undeniable when it comes to attraction. You have to like what you see, what you hear, how you feel.
Whether attracted to a person because they make you smile or you like the way they look in jeans, it’s just one piece of a much larger puzzle.
And the natural instinct here is to think that means that it’s not just what brings you together, it’s what keeps you together. While that is a component as well, it’s the most important piece that people don’t think about.
It’s also what keeps you caring about each other. Intimacy in all its forms.
Stressed out, uptight
Feeling connected is everything in a relationship. It’s important to deliberately protect the intimacy of a relationship.
It doesn’t matter how stressful work gets, how busy it can be, don’t let that be an excuse to drift further apart. Once you start the drift, it’s so difficult to come back together.
And once intimacy is gone, it’s gone. Physical intimacy might be recapturing through sex therapy. But emotional intimacy is so much more difficult to define, which makes the distance difficult to define, let alone resolve.
Overworked, wound up
The loss of intimacy is rarely a choice. It’s an insidious side effect of everyday life. There are innumerable stressors to daily life, including bills, family, career, among others.
These stressors all have their own gravity, and that gravity can pull a person further away from their partner. It can be subtle or abrupt — there are no hard and fast rules for how it happens.
Be deliberate in striking a balance between the demands in life. Communicate often with your partner about those demands. Be open with each other about expectations. This step is critical so that they can be front of mind for a person weighing their work/life balance.
Unleash what you got
Distance is not just a physical concept. You can hold your partner in your arms and be so very far away. So, it’s more than about making time for each other. It’s about being open as well.
Don’t be withholding from your partner. Don’t bottle up emotions, don’t create topics that have to be avoided, don’t let yourself shut down. Each one of those things is a wall built between you and the person you care about.
How can they understand your feelings if they stay hidden? How can they support you, feel connected with those kinds of barriers in place?
And yes, it’s much easier to say “be open” than it is to actually do so sometimes. But it’s a challenge worth facing.
Being vulnerable with your partner is a key to intimacy. Being vulnerable means trusting, which shows emotional closeness.
There is so much complexity when it comes to the concept of intimacy. But what is simple about intimacy is this: It is what keeps hearts beating in sync.
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