A lot of people use the word “intimate” when they’re really talking about sex, but being profoundly intimate with someone is a lot more than just intercourse. People can have sex without any intimacy or emotional connection. Having an actual spiritual link takes work. Here are five ways to help you build that bond with deep conversation.
Have those emotional conversations. It takes time for everybody to become comfortable with having emotional conversations. If I’m revving up for one that is particularly emotional, I’ll preface it with “This is embarrassing and I’m uncomfortable, but I really need to talk about it.” Giving them a heads-up can help you relax and let the other person know that something important is going to come up. It also gives them the hint that maybe they need to be delicate with you because this is a delicate place you’re going inside yourself.
Listen. To be intimate you really have to listen. Not just to the words, but to the meaning. You’ll hear me ask callers sometimes what they actually mean because if I were to use that same phrase, I might mean something entirely different. You really have to ask questions with getting upset and attacking. “I hear you saying this; what do you mean by that?”
Be honest with yourself. This is a tough but important step. You need to be able to understand yourself and the reasons behind your feelings. You all know how I feel when people say “I don’t know,” because it’s simply not true. You have to look deep inside yourself to the causes of your feelings. If you can’t look inside yourself, how are you going to have the guts to talk about it with someone else?
Touch. When you’re talking about emotionally intimate topics with your loved one, it’s important to feel connected. The best way to do that is with touch. Put your hand on theirs when you’re going to tell them something sensitive. Make eye contact. Think about it--touch is one of the first things we experience as a newborn.
End things on a good note. After you deal with an emotional situation, it’s important that it end positively. Find some way to end it on a high note. Anything from “I’m so glad we talked about this” to “Thank you for listening!”
Intimacy is a way of making the distance between two people dissolve. If you have this connection with someone you love, that is a huge blessing. It’s the one way you ultimately don’t feel alone. If you don’t want to let anyone in to know who you really are, that’s a sad self-condemnation.
Want more Dr. Laura? Join the Dr. Laura Free Family to listen to Dr. Laura's daily Call of the Day and receive her Daily Dose newsletter!