We have just completed our first Game Changers Men’s Program this past Tuesday. I think all the men would agree that it has been an eye opening, heart opening experience for all of us. The topic this last session we worked on was on intimacy. It is not a topic that is often talked about over a beer but it sure impacts all of our lives as men, whether we want it to or not.
For us men; knowing something about how to cultivate intimacy is truly a game changer when considering the significant other in our lives. For our partners, it can mean the difference between feeling cherished and being made love to or fulfilling conjugal responsibilities. And, it is important to understand that intimacy is not just about our sex lives, it has to do with a meaningful, connected relationship. Deep down, that is truly what we all want from a relationship.
So; let’s understand what we are talking about when we talk about intimacy. Here are some definitions and ways of cultivating intimacy from the men in our last session together.
Intimacy is about communication, connection, closeness, togetherness and affection. Opening up, being vulnerable and communicating to my partner what I am thinking and dreaming about is what brings Intimacy in to our relationship.
Intimacy is the space where my partner and I can enjoy candid conversation, share physical affection. This time for me is when I feel “connected” when “Hi, How are you?” feels like an opening of the heart. This for me is intimacy: The space where we can speak our hearts, and share physical touch with no fear of judgment, ridicule or rejection.
Intimacy is trusting so deeply in your partner that there is no fear to completely expose your inner self. It is the willingness to share every painful memory, every shameful secret and every embarrassing story. It is taking the risk to allow my partner 100% into my heart. I had to truly accept and like what I saw in the mirror before I was ready to accept her love. Now we will work together as a committed couple to keep our hearts open, and as things come up in the future, we are prepared to tackle them as a team, without judgment, without fear, because we have trust & faith in ourselves and each other…
Intimacy is about embracing vulnerabilities. I have gone through most of my life with walls up. Whether consciously or sub consciously, there has always, and in many cases will always be a layer of security that encompasses my being. In my marriage, I have learned to be a better listener, take situations less personal, and to embrace changes that both my partner and I learn about ourselves or each other. That approach has truly increased the intimacy we share. The need to perform no longer haunts me, given the acceptance of who I am, by my wife.
I think Intimacy consists of a number of things. It is the, out of this world connection you have with someone, the kind of connection that pulls you together, the kind that when you are spending time with this person, time freezes. Intimacy is about the moment, the here and the now. It is about being your genuine self, letting your guard down, and letting that other person see right into your soul. Intimacy is not about wealth, it is not about status or title, it’s about that genuine connection that has no boundaries or worries for that moment that it’s experienced or moments.
To experience intimacy I must sacrifice a few things. The first thing I must be willing to sacrifice is my time. My time is the most valuable gift I can give someone. Second is honesty and vulnerability, I believe in putting myself out there is very important to growing the trust, stop hiding behind my walls and just be myself, free from my own concern. Third and finally true love and intimacy can throw logic out the window. Its about taking those risks, putting myself out there and just listening to my heart. That is how I feel I will cultivate intimacy.
Intimacy is truly knowing and cherishing each other inside and out. Vulnerability, being open not closed, is definitely needed in this process; however a very patient engaged listening ear with eye contact is important. Getting to know her heart and how her brain ticks is been so valuable to me in Loving and appreciating her. Getting in touch with what each other really wants, taking away our masks, unhealthy ego , judgment and assumption towards each other, and actually investigating all the little details about each other has helped us look past the quirks and annoying parts that we experience and begins the process of knowing and appreciating our outer beauty and touch. Committed, dedicated focus, being authentic, an abundance of patience, emotional intelligence, heart, appreciation, honesty and playful fun are important ingredients I’ve found over many struggling years of having a lot of troubles with any intimacy have improved the situation. Date nights, common things we do together, like self-development, sport, spirituality, dreaming, growth, adventure, and being each other’s best cheerleaders, has enriched our conversations and passion for each other and life.
In my next article I provide my definition of intimacy and some ways to cultivate it in your life and relationships. In the mean time what is your definition of intimacy and how do you cultivate it in your life?