I used to dream of falling in love, I believed myself to be a hopeless romantic, and then I got into my first serious relationship. Don’t get me wrong, it can still be receiving roses and having butterflies in your stomach, but when you genuinely want to build with your partner and the honeymoon phase begins to wither away, it requires consistent work. In my relationship, I have found that working on the ways we communicate with each other holds a lot of weight in determining the success of our partnership down the line. That being said, we also really needed to work on our intimacy within our relationship as well. No committed relationship is a walk in the park, and my partner and I have made it through some tough battles, both internally and with each other. That means working on things that make us vulnerable, and intimacy is one of them. Sure there’s physical intimacy, but that hasn’t really been where my partner and I have struggled the most. I think what lengthens your connection with your significant other is the emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and experiential intimacies. There is no timeline for exploring any of these shared intimacies because it’s something that can always be built upon.
When I mention internal work within ourselves for our relationship to be successful as a collective, this is what I mean. Many of our earlier struggles with emotional intimacy lay within me, just feeling like my feelings and opinions weren’t being validated. He had a lot of difficulty doing this initially, and I, in turn, had a lot of difficulties trying to open up again after I had gotten accustomed to bottling everything up. Finally, when we reached a point where we knew we would always choose each other, we both had to take a hard look at ourselves and recognize the habits and patterns created while we were together ultimately only hurt each other, and we had to change them. To an extent, I also had to teach my partner certain aspects of emotional intimacy that weren’t so hard for me to grasp but not so easy for him because of his internal traumas. All in all, this is just about being willing to have hard, uncomfortable conversations.
This is one of my favorite forms of intimacy because of the ways my partner and I share it together. Intellectual intimacy, I think, lies greatly within your dreams and aspirations, as well as the things that you like individually that stimulate your mind, but also bring in what stimulates their mind as well. My partner and I both love to read, and when he was searching for ways to be more intimate with me, he started to read books to me, and I love being able to share that with him. We are both also very goal-oriented and care about financial freedom.
For us, spiritual intimacy isn’t entirely about God; it probably hasn’t involved God at all. For me, spirituality has to do with my ancestors and deep traditional values more than it has to do with Christianity’s western view of God. Although I was raised Catholic and will attend church now and then, it’s only because it’s a tradition my mother and I have shared since I was conceived. For me, going to church has become about the time I can spend with my mother in silence. If my mom and I had been arguing, for some reason, after we got out of mass, we’re not so upset with each other anymore. I think the biggest takeaway from spiritual intimacy is that no matter what, you make time at the end of the week to get ready and spend time together, whether you’re upset at each other or not. My partner and I often like to connect spiritually through meditation every week. We make sure we take the time to sit with each other and remind ourselves about how much we love each other, and we’ve explored this in various ways, but words of affirmation play an integral role in our spiritual intimacy also.
This is all about trying new things together that culminates into inside jokes, sexual pleasure, and good times to reminisce on. I feel like this type of intimacy is about doing the things that make you feel like best friends and soulmates.
Shout out to my boyfriend for giving me his two cents; he’s alright or whatever.