A counter-intuitive secret to powerful intimacy…

by Rod Smith

To become authentically closer to your lover, and to develop greater intimacy with that person, work conscientiously at your separateness from him or her. This is, I believe, is the most challenging behind-the-scenes issue of every intimate relationship.

“Is it possible to love you without also losing me?” expresses the inevitable tension every close relationship faces.

“Closeness” is not usually a problem for most couples. There is usually an abundance of closeness (being overly connected, intensely joined) resulting in couples being highly reactive to each other, and it is this very closeness and lack of definition between people, that, given some time, becomes uncomfortable for at least one member of the relationship.

Remaining unique, distinct and defined within the relationship is what allows healthy, freeing love to flourish.

If couples worked enduringly at remaining unique (it is never complete) and developed their separateness, while also being deeply involved in a committed relationship, then, I believe, there’d be less need to separate (“I need my space”) at a later time when the closeness inevitably feels claustrophobic and overwhelming.

Loving you is not love if the cost of loving you means losing the essence of who I am.

8 Responses to “A counter-intuitive secret to powerful intimacy…”

  1. Excellent post! This is truly one of the key componets of a successful long term relationship. Thank-you!

  2. Rod – I’m thinking of an odd analogy -spiritual/emotional “flossing” – flossing is known to help maintain healthy hearts.

  3. this had a lot of value to me

  4. I likewise found a lot of value in this post. In relationship we have the chance of creating a bond based on mutual complementarity rather than on need; a free relationship between two people who want to be together, rather than two people who need to be together.

    A very important step in this process is becoming aware of ourselves; gaining insight into ourselves. Another step involves filling our own “holes”, our needs, rather than hoping to fill them through others. Clearly this is easier said than done. It literally means growing into wholeness – a lifelong process.

  5. This is great advice…unfortunately of all my relationships and my marriage only one met this criteria …and she died. This is just such powerful advice….to truly nurture love you have to stand back and let it grow. Too much water will kill the rose bush.

  6. This is great advice. My husband and I used to work and live (of course) together. More arguements and more “reacting” to the actions of one and other because you actually lose yourself. You have no differentiation. We needed different hobbies and eventually different jobs. I still work with my husband, but now we are in different locations. It just works better that way.


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