Category Archives: Relationships

8 Intimacies

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Is your relationship truly intimate? How do you know? Well, here are 8 ways you can find out. According to Virginia Satir, if a couple has at least 3 out of the 8, that would be enough to build a strong marriage on.

  1. 1.       Recreational Intimacy:

When you participate in recreational activities – bike riding, working out, hiking etc – do you feel extra bonded with your mate? If so, you may be experiencing Recreational Intimacy.

  1. 2.       Intellectual Intimacy:

When you talk, do you feel like Christmas lights are aglow in your head? That’s the easiest way I know to describe this one. My experience has been that some people confuse intellectual intimacy with academia. To be clear, this isn’t about having the most complex conversations – although you certainly could if that’s what floats your boat. This is about having conversations that engage your mind in a way that few other people can; I’ve often felt like time flies/ceases to matter when I’m with intellectually stimulating people.

  1. 3.       Social Intimacy

When you and your beloved hang out with friends or in other social gatherings, do you experience a special depth and connection to each other?

  1. 4.       Emotional Intimacy

Is your relationship a safe place for both of you to share your emotional selves. When you do share yourselves with each other, does that leave you feeling more secure, loved and safe with your beloved?

  1. 5.       Physical Intimacy

This refers to non-sexual physical closeness. Is it important to you to spend time with your beloved, even when you’re not particularly doing anything of great importance? In those moments of comfortable silence, do you experience a deeper deliciousness to your relationship?

  1. 6.       Aesthetic Intimacy

Do you experience your love and closeness in a deeper way when enjoying beautiful things together? What kind of beautiful things, you ask? How about going to art museums, concerts, etc?

  1. 7.       Sexual Intimacy

The best way I know to explain this one is to say “connected sex”; the kind of sex that feels like a holy experience, lol. Seriously though, connected sex is different from just sex. Think of sexual intimacy as apple pie with ice cream and a cherry on the top, instead of just apple pie. Please note: there can be sex without intimacy + there can also be intimacy without sex. For your sake, DO NOT CONFUSE THE TWO.

  1. 8.       Spiritual Intimacy

Does the pursuit, experience or study of your spiritual beliefs leave you feeling an attachment and closeness to the apple of your eye that’s so deep, you can’t quite describe it?

Now that you’ve had a chance to read through them, what do you think? Does your marriage have what it takes to last? Is that special someone worth waiting for? Fighting for? Is it time to let that almost-special person go? Does this ring true for you or does it sound like a load of hooey? Let a sista know in the comments section J

HAPPY INTIMACING 😛

Happy long-long-after-Valentines Day

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“We attract who we ARE not who we WANT”.

This has been one of my guiding phrases. I love it because it focuses the conundrum of love on you and not ‘those others’. Here’s the thought process: all your partners – former and current – have only one thing in common: you! You are the common denominator so if you are always attracting or attracted to a particular kind of person, then it’s up to you to explore if there is something in you that is similar to those characteristics that always appear in your love life.

I wouldn’t say that love is something you go out to find but I do think you must be ready for it; your heart needs to be fertile enough to receive it when and/if it shows up. That can’t happen if conditions are only perfect for the wrong kind of people; those who neglect, abuse, ignore, insult or take you for granted. If you’re needy, pushy, closed-off, bossy, boring….whatever it is, you need to know it. It’s not the end of the world if you’re those things, but my policy is “it’s best to know”. Furthermore, if you keep doing the same thing when it comes to love, then it stands to reason that you’ll keep getting the same results. Now is as good a time as any to try something different. Tweak something, change something and see if that changes your love patterns.

Now that the hullabaloo surrounding Valentine’s Day is past, I hope you will take the time to assess your love life. Think of it as taking your car (heart) for maintenance before a long road trip (your love life). There’s nothing to be ashamed or judgmental about and who knows, you may be pleasantly surprised. You may find that you’re always attracted to smart intelligent partners because you are a smart, intelligent person. You may also find gems of information, for example you’re attracted to unavailable partners because you yourself have an entire security system, complete with guard dogs, around your heart. While this may not feel like a gem, it actually is since it points you to a specific aspect of who are and gives you the opportunity to change it, or not.

I look forward to hearing from you. I truly hope you had a fantastic Valentines day but I hope even more, that the future of your love life is much more fantastic than just one day.

The Work in Relationships

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“People are in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime” goes one of my favorite quotes. Here’s another: “Friendship is optional; people are allowed to opt in or out of a friendship, and so are you.” Actually, that second one is my personal (and original) mantra.

 What about the lifetime friend who somehow turns into a seasonal friend? What about the lifetime marriage that turns into a less-than-a-lifetime marriage? What do you do when your best friend inexplicably turns cold or your boss from hell also happens to be the guy who signs the very paycheck that puts food on your table? When your children disappoint you or your parents drive you up the freaking wall for the umpteenth time? What do you do? What are you willing to do?

In my opinion, few things can hurt as the realization that a relationship with someone you love and/or respect has reached an end. It’s harder to deal with it when it happens for no reason at all; not one that you can see anyway. The first response is to take a step back and depending on the relationship, your next instinct may be to walk away, or in some cases, RUN away! Pride may also kick into high gear at this point.

We’re often told that marriage is hard work and not for the faint of heart. What we’re not told is that in actual fact, ALL relationships that matter to us are our business. It’s our job to nurture them, protect them, fix them if broken, and improve them. Here’s a thought: if a relationship is not working, the first place we should evaluate is our role in its failure before looking at the other party. Depending on the kind of relationship it is – friendship, marriage, work related etc – we may also need to put in extra work because it’s not possible for it to be a 50/50 split in its maintenance at all times. A pregnant friend may not be able to put in as much work or effort in your relationship for a season. That means you’d have to pick up the slack. A grieving friend may not have the effort to meet you half way. You’d need to meet them more than half way. Your over-protective parents may need to be loved exactly as they are, since you’ll never have other parents. In that case, you would need to do the work necessary to both keep your sanity and respect/honor them.

My challenge this week is to assess my failing or failed relationships, make the decisions that need to be made, see what, if any, work I need to do to rejuvenate them and then move forward, with or without them. This means that I’ll have to be willing to see some uncomfortable truths about myself e.g the energy and work invested in them or the lack thereof. I’d like to think I’m a good friend/partner/employee but alas, maybe not always and maybe not to everyone.

Join me in assessing your own relationships. If your marriage is on the rocks or you can’t stand your boss then make an honest assessment of the situation. What kind of work are you willing to put into your particular relationships? Remember that sometimes, it’s better to be happy than to be right so you may need to compromise. You may need to forgive or ask for forgiveness, even when you feel they should apologize first. You may end up having an uncomfortable conversation or two – or God forbid, more – with certain people and some of those relationships may be beyond salvaging and you may need to let them go.

Be advised that sometimes, talking to other friends about your current situation may not be helpful, so take every piece of advice with a grain of salt. Of course, sometimes it’s easier to tell a stranger who cares so feel free to share with me and ask questions; you know I’ll definitely reply.

I challenge all of us to roll up our sleeves and do the work necessary to maintain our relationships. In case you haven’t heard, relationships make life worth living; they make the world go round…or maybe that was love? Either way, here’s to stronger, better, healthier relationships!

Three cheers!