What’s the difference between couples who remain madly in love, stay together and work through their differences versus couples who break up?
It’s not dumb luck. It’s … intimacy.
Intimacy is not just hugging and kissing after sex. True intimacy stretches beyond sex and is more about the deep personal connection between two people.
Lasting intimacy (the kind that happily binds people together) involves seeing the other person — really seeing them — in all their imperfect glory and loving them because of it, not in spite of it. It’s seeing them in a spotlight with all their imperfections exposed.
Deep intimacy helps you see the true essence in one another, revealing a partner (and a relationship) worth fighting for.
In many ways, the crowning goal of a relationship is establishing and maintaining this deep intimacy.
So, how do you create this deep connection and grow intimacy with your lover? How do you begin to drop the protective shields and defensive games that keep lasting love at arm’s length?
Here are 5 things truly connected and genuinely happy couples do to create that magical “intimacy:”
1. They share vulnerable things with each other
Vulnerability is often misunderstood as weakness. But actually, it’s the opposite; it’s essential in a relationship. When you’re vulnerable with someone, you give your true self and not just a facade, not just the part that feels safe to show. And that takes incredible courage. But in exchange, you get your lover’s heart. And, you lift your connection to a higher level by creating bonds with your partner in the places you feel most alone … your weaknesses.
2. They play like kids
As the old adage says: Couples who play together stay together. And now, science backs that up. But why does playfulness keep couples together? Perhaps because play returns us to that carefree time of childhood.
When we play, we’re present, fully focused on the joy of the moment, and curious about what comes next — all the ingredients that make the beautiful cocktail of intimacy.
In playing together, we create a freedom to express ourselves past the persona that we want the world to see. We step into the world of our imagination and connect with our partner in new ways (outside the box).
3. They give, give and give some more
Generosity removes competition from a relationship, unplugging the “scoreboard” and replacing it with support and the feeling that there is more than enough (time, energy, attention, etc.) for each of you to feel abundant in the relationship. Being generous with your partner. You give, not to get … but rather, because giving feels good. Helping your partner, or seeing him or her happy feels good.
Generosity alters your relationship from a transactional one to a loving one.
4. They surprise each other
Surprise breathes life into relationships, creating unexpected magical moments. The element of surprise injects “good drama” into your lives, which helps flush out the mundane without contaminating your relationship with hurt or craziness.
5. They stay in the moment together
Social media, work, kids, chores, community obligations — every day couples are pulled apart by countless distractions. But, carving out time to remain fully present with your lover is one of the most important ingredients to creating deep, lasting connection. Only when you stay in the moment can you fully see your partner and him or her see you.
Your full presence shows that you value your partner’s company, thoughts, feelings, as well as his or her wants and needs. In practice, this looks like listening without fixing, and not walking out of the room when the one you love is still talking.