… And I Don’t Even Know You.



The true meaning of intimacy isn’t sex.  That comes after the honest sharing.  True intimacy is eye to eye – soul to soul; which allows each person to feel seen and known.  Often-times, people begin relationships backwards – sex first, then intimacy.  Getting to know the person first usually results in more exploration and the desire to commit. The media sometimes gives only the romantic version of relationships, emphasizing the physical aspects of what it means to be close to someone. Couples that know how to explore other boundaries of satisfaction may have a better chance of staying together.


Research done by Dr. Aniki Debrot and Dr. Amy Mulse, emphasizes the importance of emotional connections experienced with both partners.  “Affection and quality of the connection with a partner are a crucial part of the positive effects of sex in romantic relationships.”


After conducting four different studies on comparing the positive and negative effects of affection, each experiment had the same results.  Partners reported high levels of relationship satisfaction when they expressed their intimacy for each other – using random acts of love. Cooking for each other, surprise dates, or even cleaning up the house.  When there was a lack of intimacy it caused relationship distress (most common reasons couples seek therapy).

How do you gain intimacy in your relationship?  Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Talk openly
  2. Keep it interesting
  3. Express your wants, needs, and desires.

Talking openly

Communication is a key piece of healthy relationships.  Healthy couples build a structure of language to help each other on a daily basis.  Example: It’s vital to communicate about maintaining the house, or who’s responsible for dinner on Monday nights.  Set time aside to discuss feelings and emotions that are important to you.  This will help you remain connected to your partner and grow together, over time.

Keep it interesting

To keep things interesting, satisfy number 2 of the six human needs – Uncertainty.  Create some variety and excitement in your relationship.  I always recommend you step out of your comfort zone and attempt new things; which may include, going to the theater, taking an extended day trip, or packing a romantic picnic.

Express your needs, wants, and desires

This is where it my become a bit uncomfortable, especially if you have masked self-worth issues.  Allowing your partner or, your potential partner to know what you expect from them and the relationship is crucial.  This is where you become transparent, and you may feel vulnerable.  Yet, this stage is necessary if you want a strong and sustainable relationship.  You both must know the needs, wants and desires of the other.

Here are some tips that can help you navigate these waters if you’re just starting out or, if your relationship needs a lift:

  1. Wait for sex if you’re just starting a relationship.
  2. Bid your time and practice discipline.
  3. Get to know your potential mate before you take the next step.
  4. Take a risk in terms of being spontaneous.
  5. Get your ego out of the way, it’s not on the side of happiness.
  6. See your partner through fresh eyes.

If you’d like to know more, you can contact me for a discovery session.  Click the link:

Dr. Wielenga

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