Intimacy does not just happen nor does it occur in a vacuum. Intimacy grows in an environment of Knowledge of self and one another, Caring, Trust, Honesty and Clear Communication. When these elements are in place in a relationship[, intimacy can sprout and even blossom. Further developing intimacy requires certain practices and efforts.
If you cant be yourself freely in a relationship than intimacy is highly unlikely. Intimacy occurs when both people feel safe and trust one another. If you’re jumping through emotional or behavioral hoops to “make the relationship work” than clearly safety is at a low. Choosing a partner means accepting and even celebrating difference. An environment where there is blame and accusation will never breed trust, safety, and intimacy.
Slowly and carefully share who you are. It does not have to be an “all now” experience. In fact, building and nurturing intimacy will occur slowly in cycles as you get to know one another, develop a little more care and trust, show honesty, and develop communication, and then back to sharing a little more. Intimacy occurs in a cycle of these five qualities. Under no circumstances compromise values or principles as the relationship develops. These are core to who you are and come under the heading of “be yourself”. They are sacrosanct.
Safety is created when there are understanding and agreement. Agreement starts with commitment, an effort to move in a direction together. Next comes promising, where you agree the commitment will not be violated. At its peak, safety is created in the covenant, an agreement between two people that is made in front of and supported by their network of support. The deeper the commitment when honestly made and worked towards, the greater the safety
The deeper the level of commitment, the more aware of the other persons feelings we need to be in order to maintain safety. An emotional faux pas at one level of commitment may become a deeper infringement at another level. Trust is based on the certainty that the other person is aware and considerate of our feelings, our emotional state, our history, and triggers, and that they will carefully speak to all these facets of who we are and vice versa. When these areas are trodden on accidentally or on purpose, take the time to talk it through gently and come to a greater understanding of one another and therefore increase awareness of each other in the process.
All creativity and growth come out of conflict, as do many destructive and hurtful occasions. How we approach conflict will determine the level of trust, safety, and intimacy. If we are belligerent and blaming the intimacy will deteriorate. When we are willing to truly listen to one another and get to the interests behind the positions, we can grow our understanding of one another and deepen the relationship.
The golden rule of intimacy is if there is a quality you feel is missing in your partner than demonstrate it by being that quality. Willingness to change and exercise our option to care and demonstrate what we need through giving it away will always alter the relationship. You want honesty? Demonstrate it. This will draw your partner closer if they are invested in intimacy, or drive them away if they are not wanting intimacy