Dr. John Gottman tells us what intimacy is one of the seven keys to a healthy and long-lasting relationship. It’s not hard to see that a relationship lacking intimacy will sooner or later fail. To be clear, it’s not physical intimacy that is key to a successful relationship, though it is important as well. The kind of intimacy that keeps relationships strong is “knowing” who your partner is on the inside.
True intimacy is not going to end arguments and disagreements. Conflict and problems are part of every relationship. Rather, intimacy is the lubrication that helps a couple get through the tough stuff unscathed and stronger than before.
So, do you have true intimacy in your relationship? Is the level of intimacy you have with your partner enough to carry you through the hard times, making you stronger and resulting in a long-lasting and happy relationship? Let’s find out.
Knowing Your Partner’s Stresses and Challenges
Do you know what challenges and stresses your partner is experiencing right now? Perhaps you know some of what is pestering your partner. Do you think there is more going on with him/her that you may not know about? If you wonder about this, it may mean that your intimacy level is weak.
Now reverse it. Is there any issue, problem or stressing situation that you are dealing with right now that your partner doesn’t know about? You know the answer to this one. If the answer is yes, then your relationship is lacking in the kind of intimacy that it needs to stay the course and survive long term. Let’s say you have a stressing issues going on in your life right now that your partner doesn’t know about. Is it something that you want to keep from him or her? Is it something that you don’t want them to know? If this is the case, then ask yourself why you are keeping this to yourself. Are you afraid your partner won’t take you seriously? Are you embarrassed? Identifying why you are keeping it a secret is the start of discovering what may be limiting intimacy in your relationship.
Know Your Partner’s Spiritual Beliefs
Are you VERY familiar with your partner’s religious or spiritual beliefs? An intimate couple would be able to talk at length and with detail about each other’s religious beliefs. Alternatively, if you are not familiar with your partner’s beliefs and vice versa, why is that so? Our beliefs are a big part of who we are. Not knowing this aspect of your partner leaves a huge, gaping hole in your knowledge about him/her. As we did above, flip it around. Does your partner know what your spiritual beliefs and attitudes are? Have you kept it from him/her intentionally for fear of rejection? Or, has it just not come up yet in conversation? This is understandable if the relationship is new. However, if you have been together for over a year and you still don’t know the spiritual side of your partner, then it’s time to reveal yourself. Or perhaps more importantly, why has this not been discussed. There could be a deeper issue, such as trust, that keeps you from sharing your inner selves, spiritual or otherwise.
Knowing about Your Partner’s Family
Here’s an interesting measurement of intimacy. Do you know which of your partner’s relatives he or she likes the least? Or, which relative they like the most? If you can answer these right away, then you can claim knowledge to one of the most private aspects of your lover’s life… their family. On the flip side, is your partner’s family and extended relatives a mystery to you. Again, flip it around. Is your family a mystery to your partner? If so, why have you been hiding this. Has your partner ever refused to share details about his/her family when asked? A reluctance to share details about one’s family is perhaps a sign that there is a lack of trust, which is essential to intimacy. Likewise, if you are unwilling to share family details, then you as well could be dealing with intimacy issues. This kind of behavior could be a sign that the relationship needs some work.
Important Life Events
Let’s try one more. Can you name the three most special times in your partner’s life? I bet many people have trouble with the three most special times in their own life, let alone their partner’s. This kind of knowledge about your partner goes below the surface and enters their inner life, penetrating a domain few people, if any, are ever allowed to enter.
Now, let’s be honest. As you were reading above, did you say to yourself, “no way would I let my partner know about this”? It’s quite normal if you did. Intimacy is a scary thing. By becoming intimate, we open ourselves up to be let down, hurt, and even betrayed. Our relationships often become stagnant because we are too afraid to open ourselves up to our partners. This “fear of intimacy” is a subject for another post. For the time being, take some time to reflect on the intimacy in your relationship, or lack of it, and start thinking of what you can do to improve your bond with your partner.
So, you want to be clear on the signs your ex wants you back in the hopes of rekindling a relationship. You are likely reading this article because “feel” that your ex wants to get back with you, yet you aren’t “sure” if the signals you’re receiving support that. You hesitate to act on your feelings because in the event that you are misreading the signals, you end up coming across as a fool or even worse, desperate. So, you want to be as sure as you can before going out on a limb. Here are some coming signs that your ex is interested in starting up again.
Sometimes, these signals can be hard to see because your ex is just as worried as you are about coming across as desperate or looking foolish.
Checks In with You Periodically
Does your ex check in with you at least weekly, perhaps even more often? Do they want to know how things are going, if you’re happy, what the new job is like, etc.? Yet, they do this in a way that also diminishes their reaching out to you? That they want to know how you are doing likely means they are still into you, and that they play it down means they’re worried you might reject them. It’s pretty certain they miss you, care about you and want to get back together.
Wants To Get Together for Coffee
You still may be confused if your ex is doing this, especially if it appears that they are just interested in being friends. Again, they may be stressing “friendship” because they are afraid of being rejected by you if they come right out and say they want to get back together. But really, an ex is not going to be asking you out on coffee dates unless they like you and want to get back together. Furthermore, they certainly are not going to seek you out if they want to create more distance. So this is a pretty good sign and you want to make sure that you proceed cautiously to not mess anything up.
Continually Talks about Your Past Together
If the next continually brings up your past together, it’s a pretty strong indication that they have some regrets in which they could do things over or patch things up. This bringing up the past could focus on various things. For example, perhaps your ex is always recalling the good times you had together. This is an obvious signal that they look back fondly on the relationship and likely wish that it could continue.
Alternatively, you may find your ex continually explaining their past behavior, expressing regret for the way they may have acted or perhaps providing alternative, more appropriate behavior for how they should have acted. These are all pretty clear signs that your ex is interested in getting back together.
Often Contacts Friends and Family Asking about You
This kind of behavior shows two things, if not more. Obviously, your ex misses you and is concerned about how you are doing and would probably like to get together. However, they are unwilling to contact you directly, and prefer to ask about you through friends and family. This means that they are feeling vulnerable and feel you may reject their efforts to reach out to you face-to-face. You should be able to understand the situation much better based on the topic of conversation with your friend or family member. I would reserve any harsh judgment toward your ex, such as being upset that they don’t reach out to you directly. They are obviously feeling vulnerable and are trying to avoid being further hurt.
Talk Negatively About You
This is a tricky one. Usually, an ex talking negatively about you, at the very least, means that they once cared for you very deeply, or loved you, or even still loves you. If someone doesn’t care about you then they are not going to feel hurt. The more hurt they are, the more they cared for you or loved you. Try not to be offended by the negative talk. Take it as an indication that love was once there and therefore could possibly be rekindled.
Calls with Nothing to Talk About
This is a pretty clear sign that your ex wants to get back with you. In most cases, even a partner is not going to call without a specific reason. I usually always have a practical reason for calling my wife, such as letting her know I am on my way home and does she need me to stop by the grocery store for something.
In this case, your ex can’t even make up a fake reason to call you. They just need to hear your voice, know what you are doing and how you are feeling.
Texts You Often
This is pretty much the same as calling. If your ex is continually texting you, it’s quite clear that they are not over you.
Now, you may be able to determine with some certainty that your former boyfriend or girlfriend wants you back. The question now is what to do about it. This is a whole other matter that you want to give some careful thought to. For example, maybe it’s not a good idea to rekindle the relationship. You may love your partner, but maybe they have a character flaw, such as anger management issues.
Relax, take a deep breath, and patiently plan your course of action.
It’s true that actions speak louder than words. For me, learning how to show affection effectively required living on the other side of the planet for nearly eight years. Certain cultures excel in certain things. And what I learn about how the Chinese treat their family members and loved ones taught me a great deal about affection.
If you have trouble showing affection, then you are going to like what I have to say. I can show you how to let your loved one know that you really care for them even when you find it difficult to do so. For example, some people just find it difficult to say “I love you”. It doesn’t mean they don’t love their partner, it’s simply that they were never shown how to show someone they love them and be comfortable with it.
What if there is a way that you could show someone that you really care for them even when you find it difficult. If you have been told by your partner that you don’t show them enough affection, then here is your key to solving this problem. On the other hand, if you are troubled by a partner who is unable to show you affection, then likewise here is a method that you can share with him or her.
The Chinese excel at being considerate. And I have found it very easy to take this common everyday practice and turn it into displays of affection to my partner, family and friends.
The Chinese art taught from birth to show extreme consideration for others. For example, let’s say that you like a certain beverage, snack food, and perhaps a brand of cigarette. If you lived in China and went out with a friend and they observed you going out of your way to find your preferred beverage, snack food or brand of cigarette, you would have no idea what was going on beneath the surface with your Chinese friend. A couple weeks later your Chinese friend invites you to their home to hang out. You knock on the door and are invited in and led to the living room sofa. You sit down and quickly notice that on the coffee table is the snack food you like. Next to it, is a pack of your favorite brand of cigarette. Your host leaves and then returns momentarily with your favorite beverage. And let me remind you, this is just a common friend. It’s not even a love interest. The Chinese are just culturally wired for this kind of thing.
After returning to the states, I found myself doing the same thing with my friends and family here. It wasn’t a big deal. It came natural to me, although I did know that I was behaving in a “Chinese” way. I was conscious of what I was doing and why I was doing it, but it wasn’t a chore to show this level of consideration to others.
But guess what? Since Americans don’t normally treat each other in this fashion, when you do it people really appreciate it and notice it.
Now all we need to do is take this practice in a minute towards a loved one for the purpose of showing affection. And what I love about this method, is that it doesn’t require you to say “I love you” 100 times a day, which can be hard if you find that difficult. And as I said in the beginning of this article, what we “do” for others should mean more than what we “say”.
Fetch some pen and paper and start making a list of what your partner likes. You can also write down their daily routine. What does your partner like to drink? It may be coffee in the morning, but something else in the afternoon or evening. What TV show to they like to watch? What comfort food to they like to eat?
Depending on how developed you are in your relationship skills, you may not even be clear about your partner’s likes. If this is the case, then observe your partner carefully for a week paying close attention to their wants and needs. For example, I stumble out of bed in the morning, feel my way downstairs, wishing I was still under the covers, and then a hot cup of coffee is put in my hands. And when I was expecting to have to wait 10 minutes will I brew a pot. Oh man, there is no better feeling than that. But this is just one example. And to be honest, coffee is pretty obvious. If you partner likes coffee, you should have it ready for them in the morning.
However, where the big payoff comes is with the less obvious needs and wants that your partner has. This is where you need to pay close attention, adding things to your list. For example, my wife really enjoys amateur photography. It’s not something that consumes her every day. But, she does have a nice camera and from time to time she will go through periods where she’s taking pictures of the foliage in the fall or snowy days in the winter. And it’s not just taking pictures, she’s trying to be artistic. So, when I came across a subscription card for Popular Photography, I signed her up for a year. This is just one little effort among many that shows her that I care for her.
When it comes to showing affection, think less about saying stuff or being overly physical when it feels unnatural, and think more about what you can do silently to address as many of the needs and wants of your partner as you can, thereby demonstrating to them that you are aware of what is important to them in going out of your way to provide it. What better way is there to show affection than this?
If you could only choose one tool in the toolbox of keeping a relationship together or getting back together with someone after a breakup, that tool would be compassion. It’s hard to imagine a healthy relationship in which the couple have little or no compassion for each other. Analyze the reasons for almost any relationship breakup, and you will likely find the absence of compassion. So what is compassion? What are some of the ways that you can express this in your current relationship? What does compassion look like when you’re trying to repair a broken relationship?
Let’s take a look at arguments. Every couple argues with each other. This is virtually unavoidable. However, there are ways that a healthy couple argues and then there are ways that unhealthy couples argue. As it happens, couples that breakup often do not know how to deal with problems with compassion.
Perhaps the easiest way to explain this is to draw attention to what arguments should be about. Healthy couples argue about problems, not about each other. There are always going to be things about your partner that annoy you. If you want your relationship to last, then start programming yourself not to criticize or berate your partner for anything that they do. In addition, while arguing you must absolutely refrain from criticizing, berating, and name-calling your partner. Arguments should be focused on the problem that the couple is facing or the “behavior” that either couple may be unhappy with about the other. Stay focused on the problem and the behavior. If you feel like you have to berate something or call something “stupid”, be sure that you are directing it at the problem or the behavior. You should never direct name-calling and berating to your partner as a person.
Perhaps the opposite of compassionate behavior is the practice of tearing down your partner. Saying things to him like “be a man”, “you are a loser”, or “can’t you get a real job”. And of course the same goes for the way a man talks to a woman. If you want to make a change today that will get you the biggest bang for your buck and becoming a more compassionate person and increasing the chances of your relationship being successful, or increasing the likelihood that you’ll be able to repair a broken relationship, then start by monitoring how you talk to your partner and be sure that you are not directing any negativity to them as a person. Any speech that you directed them as a person should be positive and compassionate. When you are frustrated and angry, be sure that you are directing those negative and angry words at the problem or the behavior.
Compassion and its close cousin, empathy, are the healing waters to a parched relationship.
After reading the article below, review these fail safe tips for writing effective getting back together letters.
Though not always highly recommended by your buddies, there are tons of ways to win back your ex. Oftentimes, good relationships break because of worry or doubt and sometimes both parties realize that getting back together is a good idea. If this happens to you, a good way to re-initiate your relationship is by writing a sincere getting back together letter. It’s a great way to get your emotions across clearly and a good way to flush them out for your own contemplation. Hey, worst-case scenario, your ex has some funny refrigerator material if things don’t wok out. Here are a few tips for making the first—well, second, move.
Though e-mail used to seem too casual for relationship communication in the not-too-distant past, we are now full-force in the digital age. The use of e-mails for initiating a relationship rekindling can now work to your advantage, as they are a great non-aggressive way to convey your feelings without applying too much pressure. Your ex is more likely to get them quickly and respond, opening the lines of communication. Just be sure they’re from the heart, or she’ll have a lot more fridge-fodder than you’d like her too! Read more 5 Ways To Write Getting Back Together Letters
So, you are looking for ways to fix a broken relationship. Almost every relationship will run into some bumps in the road, no matter who you are. Because people are so dynamic and life will change your situation as well as yourselves, all relationships will have certain issues at some point. Some can be quite easy to address with effective communication, some are more challenging and may need a lot of attention and effort. If you are trying to fix a damaged relationship, you’ll want to be careful—be sure to take all necessary steps and consider all points of view so that fixing what’s broken is possible. In addition to the help you will find here, I strongly suggest you look over these tips carefully if you want to repair your relationship. Read more 5 Tips To Fix a Broken Relationship
So you want to know how to deal with unrequited love. It’s not always easy when we love someone or think we love someone and they don’t love us back. It can be very hard to deal with this kind of rejection, as well as your feelings if they linger but go unreciprocated. If you are dealing with such feelings, then it’s important to take several steps in addressing them in order to get over the feelings of rejection and regain control of your emotions. Here are a few simple tips to help you start. Read more 5 Tips for How to Deal with Unrequited Love
Can I get my ex back is a question heard many times. You are not the only one wondering if it is possible to reignite an old relationship. Since there are likely many factors that contributed to the breakup it’s difficult to say with any certainty that repairing the relationship is possible. For more in depth and detailed help you might consider using this powerful system. Let’s cover some surface considerations.
The first question you may want to consider is how did things end. What was the straw that broke the camel’s back? Did you separate peaceably or did you separate with a huge fight? If it ended peaceably, then at least you can simply reconnect and move on to getting the relationship going again. If it ended in a huge fight, then it is likely you would simply breakup again if you were to get back together. Successful relationships don’t have huge ugly fights. Successful couples do disagree with each other and do talk about and resolve their disagreements, but they don’t have huge ugly fights about them. You may be able to get back together with your ex, but you two need to learn how to talk about problems, not fight about them, if you want the relationship to last.
If you are not sure what to do, then it might help to seek the advice of a friend. Talk to someone about how you want to get back together with your ex. Get their perspective on things. You’re not really getting their permission, rather you are just asking them what they think.
However, when looking to friends for help there is something you must understand. Friends can help you to think more clearly, to reflect on things, to understand what caused the breakup, etc. However, friends are likely not where you want to get the how-to advice. It’s better to get this information from an expert or from a book on the subject, such as this one.
One of the biggest dangers of seeking advice from a friend is that they may not be impartial. Your friend may really want you to get back with your ex, or they may really NOT want you to get back with your ex. This will, not maybe, influence the kind of advice they give you. An expert, like a counselor or a book, can be more impartial.
Furthermore, when seeking advice from a friend, watch out for unorthodox or risky solutions. For example, tactics to manipulate your ex in a devious way so they come back to you is probably not a good thing to do. In some cases this could be outright dishonest. Sift through the advice. Keep the good advice and throw out the bad.
Believe it or not, the reasons for breakups are very few. There hundreds of issues that some call the reasons why we breakup. However, you can count on your two hands the number of real reasons why people break up. For example, one common reason why people break up is criticism. When people try to solve problems, they often argue and blame the other. A relationship where the couple deals with problems by criticizing each other, assigning blame, and not taking responsibility for themselves, are relationships that are likely to fail.
“You always do that.” “You never….”
Do those phrases sound familiar? Statements like these said and heard over and over again have been proven to lead to breakups. Some relationship researchers can even predict to 90% accuracy whether a couple will breakup simply by listening to them discuss a problem in their relationship. A simple 15-minute discussion laden with each couple criticizing and blaming the other is an indication that the marriage will very likely at some point in the future end in divorce.
You may be able to get your ex back, but will you be able to keep them? Learn lasting solutions that not only will help you get your ex back, but will also help you keep them. This ebook that you can download right now is a great place to start.
Please, help me get my husband back! Is this plea for help echoing in your head? Losing a husband, or a wife, is a very unfortunate occurrence. It takes a lot of work to learn how to live together with someone. Very often, divorcing someone and marrying someone else is much harder than just trying to save your marriage. With a little know-how and some confidence you can get your husband back. Read more Help Me Get My Husband Back!