Building A Beautiful Intimate Relationship Begins with You

Written by  //  October 13, 2013  //  FAMILY & LEISURE  // 

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By Terri Collins, Ph.D., LPC

Intimacy is not a complicated word: it is to be in a close relationship, to be together, to be attached to, to love, to be familiar.  Intimacy is a simple word that is easy to understand, but it has a powerful impact in our lives.  Many of us want to try to develop an intimate relationship with that special person only to find we end up feeling lonely and distant from the partner.  Over the years I have had many discussions with clients and friends about intimacy. I have found that many women have a deep desire for a loving, intimate relationship; unfortunately they do not have a clear picture as to how to foster and develop one.  The truth is, it isn’t as hard to do as many women think.  Developing an intimate relationship with someone is like planting a seed and cultivating or nurturing it into a beautiful flower.  In other words, with the right tools, anyone can sow the seeds for the beautiful intimate relationship that she desires.

To do so, one must first start with the bare necessities or bare self.  The bare self is the seed, or foundation, for an intimate relationship.  Now when I say that you must start by baring yourself, I am not suggesting that you unclothe and become naked for the person you want to be with.  To bare yourself means to identify and shed all of your negative feelings and emotional walls.  This process takes diligence and commitment throughout the relationship.

You have to begin to work on shedding the drab garb of fears, insecurities, and feelings of shame and guilt that have built up over the years.  Once in the bare state, you are exposed and vulnerable to yourself.  You see that you must begin taking care of yourself through self-love and care.  This process involves acknowledging all of the hurt, sadness, and frustration that you previously covered with masks and emotional walls.

In baring yourself, you seek to uncover everything about yourself – your wants, dreams, failures, accomplishments, fears, joys and pains.   This is a self-nurturing process.   When planting a seed, one must tend to the seed by watering it and providing the right temperature and sunlight so that the seed can flourish into a healthy plant. Similarly, we have to nurture ourselves by providing the optimal conditions so that we may grow.  The optimal conditions for our personal growth include being able to truthfully identify and understand our pains and then to let them go so that they will not weigh us down emotionally.

During this process of baring your soul and nurturing yourself with self-love, you will begin to notice the wisdom of truly accepting yourself with all of your beauty and flaws.   True acceptance means that you will no longer need or use covers, emotional walls, or masks to protect your inner self.  When the protective covers and walls that hide or disguise the real you are gone, others will begin to see how you truly are and will accept you as you accept yourself.  The days of hiding behind the shields of “I got to be strong,” “I will keep the peace,” or “I must be right” are over.  At this point in your bareness, you are comfortable and confident in who you are. Best of all, you will not be scared to show others the real you because you are being honest and forthright about who you really are.  Soon you will develop love for yourself that others will naturally be attracted to.  The seed that you planted has now begun to grow and branch out for others to enjoy.

To be in an intimate relationship with someone else, you must first plant the seed and become intimate with yourself.  You must develop an accepting, loving, attached, and close relationship with yourself.  Once you have developed an intimate relationship with yourself, you will be prepared and eager to transfer your love to others.  Until you learn how to be intimate with and love yourself and to truthfully examine your own feelings and emotions, it will be difficult to share yourself in loving and committed intimacy with that special someone.

Dr. Terri Collins

Dr. Collins is an accomplished Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia. She works in corrections providing therapy for inmates diagnosed with mental illnesses. Dr. Collins is also an adjunct professor for Grand Canyon University’s Professional Counseling program and a therapist/ consultant for Alcovy Spring Counseling Services, where she provides family and individual therapy.

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