A counter-intuitive map to greater intimacy…

by Rod Smith

It is counter-intuitive, I know......

Work on yourself, not the relationship

Distinctness (uniqueness, separateness) usually facilitates greater intimacy rather than distracts from it. Couples often think a relationship needs more “glue” (togetherness, common interests, more time together) when, in fact, a relationship might be better served by each person finding a more interesting, more adventurous, a more distinct individual life.

If you cannot be distinct and have the necessary self-awareness to be alone, it is unlikely you will be able to withstand the togetherness-pressures of a truly powerful, intimate, equal, and respectful relationship. He or she who cannot hold his or her own without a partner, will feel overpowered, overcrowded, or consumed when in an equal, respectful, intimate relationship. This is true unless he or she, in the name of love, gets lost in the relationship and “disappears”. Under such circumstances the “weaker” party will experience the relationship as a take-over rather than as a shared, mutual, adventure.

To work at your distinctness:

1. Express your opinion even if it is contrary to what your partner expects or wants to hear.
2. State what you want and don’t want even if it places stress on the relationship you have.
3. Maintain many and diverse non-romantic friendships.
4. Pursue interests outside of your romantic relationship even if your significant other has no interest in the same endeavors.

One Comment to “A counter-intuitive map to greater intimacy…”

  1. Once again, you give the advice I need to hear just when I need to hear it the most. Thank you

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