Intimacy – You Have To Love Yourself First. Intimacy is a state of closeness with another human being. Our capacity for intimacy determines our ability to participate in a mutually fulfilling and satisfying relationship. People I work with in Individual Therapy are afraid of getting too close to anyone. They fear that if they open up and take a risk they’ll be vulnerable to pain. Yes there are some risks, yet people who are able to achieve intimacy feel that a close relationship is worth the risk of getting hurt. They can handle the risk because they tend to have high self-esteem, a sense of independence and a healthy respect for others.
People who succeed in intimate relationships usually start out with a high level of self-esteem. While they cherish closeness, they already feel complete before they enter a relationship. They are not looking for someone to complete them or make them feel whole. They understand they have value whether they are not in or out of a relationship. The relationship may enhance the way the persons feel about themselves but the person already accepts themselves as an Individual. They are also able to accept the partner’s individuality and enhance that person’s self-esteem.
People who are successful with intimacy understand the difference between that state and one of Mutual Dependency. While there is some mutual dependency in every relationship those who constantly rely on someone else are unable to see that there are two unique individuals within each relationship. There is Oneself and there is the Other Person. Mutually dependent people are able to see themselves only as each is reflected by the other.
People who succeed in Intimate Relationships understand that Intimacy flourishes in an atmosphere of respect. Respectful partners accept each other’s individuality but also carry it a step further. Neither tries to change the other. Discovering what makes one’s partner unique can be one of the prime rewards of an Intimate Relationship
The Couples I see in Couples Counseling typically come in with good self esteem, however, they tend to concentrate on one another and not so much on how they as individuals are contributing to the conflict areas of their particular situation. In my work in Couples Therapy I help the Individual develop a greater Sense of Self increasing their Self Esteem, encourage Independence within the relationship so that they enhance and not change one another, and learn to love and respect themselves so that they can appreciate the love and respect they receive from their relationship.
Think about whether or not you have the kind of Intimacy you want in your relationship. Are you an Independent person within your relationship where there is Mutual Dependency? Does your partner have the same Self-Esteem you hold for yourself?
If you would like a deeper level of Intimacy please call me at (858) 735-1139.