EXCERPTS  from   BECOMING PARTNERS IN LOVE

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  CHAPTER 11

Intimacy
  
  

   

     "Relationships are stale or nonexistent without intimacy. By "intimacy" I do not to refer to sexual interaction, but to feelings of closeness and interconnectedness. Intimacy connotes having a sense of familiarity with your partner's inner experience. Intimacy is the feeling of knowing and being known as you truly are. When there is love between you, intimacy becomes the means through which love flows from each to other. Without it, loving may not ever get through, and being loved may never be felt. Intimacy is crucial, then, for your continued deepening in love.

     "Creating greater intimacy, and maintaining intimacy, is not itself a goal. Making it a goal can actually be detrimental, because it can lead to pursuits that themselves do not foster intimacy. An example would be trying to have a conversation with your partner about their feelings when they are unwilling to talk. The result of such efforts often serve to put greater distance between you, not create more closeness at that moment. Intimacy emerges from conditions that allow it to happen naturally. Consciously creating and maintaining these conditions are useful goals for your relationship.

Basic conditions that foster intimacy

     "The primary condition for intimacy is your willingness to be intimate with your own self and experience. This means a willingness to bring the full truth of your feelings, desires, thoughts, physical and other experiences into your recognition. It means that you stop lying to yourself about where you stand, and what you are doing and not doing. It is a surrender to yourself as you are. This does not signify that you have given up ambitions to change, they too are a part of yourself important to recognize. Try to let go of ideas or illusions about who you are. You will not feel closer to yourself, life, or anyone else by identifying with an idea of who you are that masks the reality."
©
 2000 Mark Shafer  

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