How to Build Intimacy in Any RelationshipThe best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heard, but must be felt with the heart. ~Helen Keller
You know how things can get so busy sometimes, that not only do we forget to connect with ourselves, but also forget to connect with the people we love most? People like our spouses, our children, our parents, our friends. I mean, we may see them, but we don’t necessarily take time to connect with them. We often tell ourselves that we can make it up to them once our busy schedule slows down. Funny thing is, our schedule never slows down. We really have to schedule our most important priorities first. I am always on the lookout for simple tools I can use to maintain my close relationships.
Reader Chris Sharp shared with me a daily routine him and his wife use. They call it their Daily Wins And Realizations; a time set aside to connect with their loved one every day. I didn’t ask for details, but I was inspired by the name and was intrigued by the possibilities and positive effects it could have on a relationship. I suggested to my partner, that we share our Wins and Realizations every evening after dinner. We have found the process to be enriching and deeply rewarding. It gives us a time and space to connect every day, deliberately. The exercise has been beautiful to observe and I wanted to share it with you.
Before diving further, I wanted to point out that this isn’t just effective in a romantic relationship, but in all relationships. Open communication, sharing and understanding is at the core of intimacy in any relationship and friendship. Try it for a few days with your mom (warning: you will melt her heart with love). This will also be an effective practice in friendship building with trusted friends. The word intimacy in this context is not referring to sexual intimacy, but the closeness and trust between two people through exchange of their inner most thoughts and values. I’m sure you can relate, that some of the most rewarding relationships are built this way.
Here are the reason why we fell in love with this daily routine:
- It gives us an opportunity to express ourselves freely.
- We get to be listened to and supported emotionally by another person.
- You are important – You become a priority and focus of attention.
- It is a deeply intimate experience where we connect at the soul level as spiritual beings.
- I find that as I am expressing myself, that I’ll come up with even more realizations. I gain clarity as I articulate out my daily realizations and learning.
- Gratitude is a pleasant side effect of this practice. Sharing your wins is like giving gratitude for things you are thankful for today.
- Show the other person how important they are.
- Enjoy the purity and innocence in your partner.
- Practice open communication
- Sharing the things you’ve learned with the other person and learning from their realizations.
- The moment is highly energizing. When we’re done with our ‘daily wins and realizations’, I feel so full of positive energy that I’m ready to save the world. I’m exaggerating, but you know what I mean. I often follow the evening with something productively creative, like writing a new article or designing a new layout.
- Both parties will leave feeling great about themselves and their relationship with the other person.
Here’s a beautiful quote from Steve Pavlina when speaking about empowered relationships:
“Everyone you meet in your life – even total strangers – are already intimately connected to you. The idea that we are all separate and distinct beings is nothing but an illusion. We are all parts of a larger whole, like individual cells in a body. (…) When you look at other people, you’re really looking at yourself. “
– Steve Pavlina
The following tips explain how we adopted “Daily Wins & Realizations“. Feel free to adapt these concepts, as the process is not as important as the moment of expression.
1. Time – set aside time for time to connect. We’ve been setting aside 10 minutes after dinner, but have managed to go well past 10 minutes every day. It’s been so much fun, that we sometimes start new discussions based on topics shared.
2. Place – Find somewhere comfortable that’s not a bed, so you don’t fall asleep. :) We use the couch or sometimes do so at a restaurant.
3. One Person Asks the Question – Person A asks, “What are some of your wins and realizations today?” as person B answers. Sometimes, person B may have a hard time answering this, you can change the question slightly to “What did you learn today?” or “What are you Thankful for today?” Our wins and realizations have been anything from things we are grateful for today, to a realization about ourselves, to a summary of what we learned from a TED talk we watched, to something we read today.
4. No Interruptions – As person B answers, person A should not be interrupting. If you feel an urge to jump in, bite your tongue, write it down or save it for when it’s your turn. It is important to fully listen to the person speaking with openness and compassion, it is their time to express themselves, give them that time and space without interruption.
“Nature gave us one tongue and two ears
so we could hear twice as much as we speak.”
5. Thank the Speaker - When person B is done. Person A will say something encourage acknowledging what’s been said. Something like “That’s great! Those are some great realizations and big wins!“, “Thank you for sharing!“
6. Repeat – Repeat steps 3 to 5 with the persons reversed. Person B will ask the same question to person A.
Simple, huh? If both people are open, non-judgmental, and genuine, you will find the result to be phenomenal in building intimacy with your partner or your friend. Let me know how this practice will turn out in your relationships. I can’t wait to hear them.
Any practices you’ve found useful in building intimacy and closeness with your loved one? Do share in the comments!