A Strong and Lasting Foundation
We often talk about the way a relationship forms and grows. Sometimes we have a feeling of connection through our sexual attraction to someone, and then feel as though we are in love. I’d like to help people see such an attraction is the start of what can be a great relationship, but it’s not the end-all be-all of a relationship. There are numerous levels of intimacy a relationship needs for a strong and lasting foundation.
When people come to me for readings, I often talk about the sexual attraction being the starting point, but following attraction we find the Four Forms of Intimacy. Let me clarify my meaning:
99.9% of all relationships start with sexual attraction. That moment when you see someone across the room, your interest becomes piqued, and then you want to get closer to them. We may feel this at our core at times, leading us to think this means we must be falling in love with a person, but this is only the spark that gets the relationship moving. Think of it as the seed of a flowering plant.
So, the seed is planted. Then you actually get to talk to the person, or object of your attraction. Now here is where things can get a bit tricky. You have to slow yourself down. In your mind, you have already imagined that this person feels the same way for you or filled in all the blanks of who you think he or she is going to be, but in all reality you may not have spent all that much time getting to know him or her. You have already built a bit of a pedestal to put this person on. Here’s when you have to come back to the real world and see this person as a multi-dimensional human being you’d like to know more about; he or she is not just the object of your attraction. Keep it at a level of curiosity and be open to discovering who this person truly is, and whether or not he or she is aligned with you.
The initial stage of a relationship—sexual attraction—sometimes leads to physical intimacy. We have a sexual encounter before we really start to ask this romantic prospect questions on life philosophy, work ethic, moral values, or their preferences and favorites that contribute to who they are as a person. So now we have to use that Sexual Intimacy to work into what can be seen as Intellectual Intimacy. One way to do this is to be brave and daring and ask questions that aren’t always so easy to ask—let alone answer! But we can also make this fun. Having fun in any relationship, regardless of the ages of those involved, helps bring about the closeness we seek. One way I’ve found that helps two people get to know each other and get closer is through asking deep questions. But making it fun is the hard part, so here is an ideal scenario that just may help:
Give your partner and yourself 10 slips of paper each, and write down questions that you want to know about each other. Both of you put them in a bowl and each takes a turn pulling out a slip of paper and answering the question. And yes, you both have to answer the question that was asked. These can be silly questions or something deeply philosophical. This game or exercise gets you talking, and through communication you gain some Intellectual Intimacy with one another.
It is through this Intellectual Intimacy that you both become brave enough to share dreams, hopes and fears without having to worry about feeling embarrassed for engaging in such vulnerability. You are truly teammates in this process of consciously unraveling each other’s protective layers. This is where real honest, deep trust comes from, because our dreams, hopes and fears are all tied closely to our emotions. And this is where our innermost hearts begin to feel safe enough to begin opening up as we allow ourselves to love another person without limit. Now we have gained that Emotional Intimacy we crave and desire in our lives. It is after this stage that others who know both of you start to really see love in your eyes when you talk with each other. This is where story book romance comes from, and we all want that kind of loving connection.
The final intimacy that some truly lucky relationships gain in this process is Spiritual Intimacy, where you know one another in ways so profound that no one else is able to shake your faith in each other. People will feel something special when they see you together. You will feel your hearts are safe, protected, respected, and you will feel yourselves light up when you see each other. Spiritual Intimacy provides a level of connection that can hardly be touched in words, but when you’ve found it, you feel it, and from then on you can never settle for anything less.