Hooray! An Emotional Intimacy Victory!Nov 17, 2021
Darlings, I have a little bit of a beef with the 5 Love Languages. These “rules for relationship communication” leave out a major part of most relationships, something that, if it didn’t exist… neither would we! In this internationally best-selling book, read for decades by thousands of people, used as a relationship model for couples everywhere completely ignores INTIMACY!
Forgive me, but I think that’s a major oversight, and the fact that none of the leading public figures in the field of relationships has called this out is further sign of how completely unprepared we as a society are to actually address the MOST FUNDAMENTAL ASPECT OF MARRIAGE!
Anyway, I’m not trying to do a critique of the book here, instead I want to suggest that my “Five Kinds of Intimacy” is a much more realistic and helpful base upon which to build your relationship, and then you can use examples from his love languages as ways to fulfill each other’s intimate needs.
Without meaningful intimacy, it doesn’t matter what language you speak to each other.
Below, you’ll find a summary of the five types of intimacy, with a little explanation of each. And then, I’ve given you an example about how one of the couples I coach used this paradigm to connect with each other in an extremely easy, but powerful way. I promise you that understanding this simple explanation of intimacy can have an immediate and profound effect on your relationship, also.
“Five Kinds of Intimacy”:
- Physical: In the simplest terms, this deals with the space that we occupy and those who occupy it with us. Think of sitting next to a stranger on a bus, or sleeping next to your spouse.
- Emotional: This is generally when our heart is engaged and feels connected. Could be with friends, a stranger who pulls you from rough surf, your oncologist or your partner.
- Sexual: This is anything relating to sex, our sexual organs, or sexy fun. It can be phone/internet sex, making love, or pay for services sexy stuff, even traumatic acts.
- Romantic: Understood as an ambiance, energy, the unexpected, or excitement. Romantic intimacy is what elevates the mood and transforms the ordinary into extraordinary. (It is what is necessary to refute BMS*)
- Spiritual: The idea that loving this person is good for you, them, the family, the world at large and, in fact, the whole universe. It’s a feeling that loving each other is blessed by the divine or fate, or the universe or whatever is bigger than you.
Note: Each is distinct and different. None can substitute for the other, but sometimes with significant effort and creativity, couples can “make do” for some period of time if one is impossible due to military deployment, health issues, etc.
These five types of intimacy are at the core of what I teach all of my clients because with this basis they can easily identify what’s working and what’s not in their relationship. Thus they can address and repair quickly without distraction of smoke and mirrors symptoms like “you don’t take out the trash”, or you don’t appreciate me...
This email is a perfect example of how one couple is using the 5 Kinds of Intimacy to easily bring them closer than they imagined possible:
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! After many fits and starts and head-butting, I think I finally understand the way Bob is intimate with me emotionally. I just didn’t know what to look for before! Now that I know, I’m able to take a step back and make sure I’m giving him what he needs… instead of what *I* think he needs.
I’ll stop babbling and explain.
The other day I was upset over something at work and when I got home, there was no hiding it on my face. The way I moved, the way I looked, the sounds I made with both my body and the objects around me let the entire household know I wasn’t happy.
My husband gave me space and at first I was really hurt, because he’s heard me say time and time again that I need reassurance and cuddles when I’m feeling down. But then, after he had time to decompress, he joined me in the kitchen where I was preparing dinner and put his hands on my shoulders, stopping me in my tracks.
“How can I help? Why don’t you go relax and zone out?” he asked and, again, at first I was annoyed. I didn’t trust myself to speak in a way that wouldn’t be encouraging, so I just shook my head. He took a beat and looked a bit thoughtful, like he wasn’t expecting that answer from me.
“You wanna cook together? This looks amazing already.” To this, I nodded, because being alone with my own thoughts would have been the absolute worst thing for me.
While we cooked, he engaged with me in a way that I hadn’t felt in years. We talked about the meal we were cooking together, my day at work… and he listened, and interacted and paid attention. I felt valued, loved, secure and, for the first time in a long time, listened to.
The meal was really great, btw… a really nice curry with some oven crisped frozen samosas. Yes, frozen, I’m not superwoman after all.
And dessert wasn’t bad either. Nor was it food, if you know what I mean.
But that’s not even the best part! You’re gonna love what comes next, hahahaha.
A couple weeks later, Bob had a rough day at work and came home stomping and flinging his stuff around.
Now, normally, I’d flutter all around him, trying to make him feel better and doing everything in my power to ease his annoyance. I could never figure out why this always made things worse.
I didn’t do that this time, though. I took a cue from his initial reaction when dealing with me. I poured him a drink, handed it to him and said, “Why don’t you go relax and zone out?”
I could SEE the relief spread through his body.
We had good ‘dessert’ that night too, in case you were wondering.”
Thank you so much!!
Funny how such a little shift can make such a BIG difference and create so much intimate connection, which then leads to passion and even more intimacy together! Woohoo!
This is what I like to call the “Passion Cycle” which is way better than the “Cycle of Frustration” most couples suffer with!
For over ten years, Bob and Penny have experienced situations like the above, and over and over again they butted heads, with every desire to change things, but no idea how.
My “Five Kinds of Intimacy” is simple and straightforward, and literally is love changing.
I hope you’ll share this with your partner and see how y’all can use it to foster fulfilling intimacy together. And of course, I’d love to celebrate your wins with you too, so please share your story with me at [email protected].
And if you want to work with me 1:1 (individually or as a couple), holler at me and let’s see how I can help you create more passionate intimacy, love and joyful connection in your life.