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When we’ve tried everything to meet our partner in order to foster the intimacy we want and it isn’t working, we’re likely trying to repair disconnection through mindset or strategies.
We can’t think our way back into heart connection or erotic intimacy when we really need to open up and meet in vulnerability. This is where repair happens. This is where mutual understanding and empathy are fostered. This is where desires can be met.
Choose to lean in and take the courageous action of exposing who you are, under all the ideas of how we think we should show up.
Even the best communication techniques don’t necessarily get to the heart of the matter. They can even become arguing points that actually get in the way of the intimacy we see—like when we hold our partners accountable for using “I” statements or adjust them for using non-feeling words to describe their experience.
As helpful as nonviolent communication and using “I” statements can be, vulnerability doesn’t actually require them to make a positive impact on connection.
We tend to sabotage the connection we so desperately want. We convince ourselves that we’re being vulnerable—while still using heady, dogmatic strategies that don’t foster true opening to each other. Or, we believe we’re “doing everything we can” while being a people-pleaser or “nice guy” to try to get our needs met.
We think because we’re making an effort and feel upset about the disconnect that we’re actually available to change it. That is a mindset problem.
When we understand how our mindset gets in the way of having the connection we want, then we can instead choose to risk revealing ourselves. It feels scary. And, when we find our way to truly opening to our partner, this will bring us both closer in the ways we want. And once we learn how to open, it usually evolves way beyond what we daydream about or imagine is possible.
When we let someone see and feel us, the human heart naturally responds. And this is the connection we are all seeking to feel met. We can’t fake it, manipulate it, or act it out.
In the presence of it, you’ll notice how messy words don’t matter anymore. Your heart undeniably responds. Both you and your partner can feel it, heal, and connect in all ways.
Here are the three things you can do if you value growth and personal development and want to overcome obstacles to relational and erotic intimacy in your romantic relationship:
First, identify the themes and blind spots behind the patterns that come up when you feel afraid to lean into intimacy. Work with understanding what you actually do when you feel triggered, reactive, and scared underneath. What part of you is needing love and attention to feel safe?
Next, use somatic, embodied techniques to free your system of the traumas, inner child wounding, and bad habits that are in the way of taking healthy risks in intimacy. This will empower you to finally change habitual trigger responses and builds your capacity to implement new behaviors without the ingrained reactivity in the way.
Finally, build the internal resourcing you need to securely hold yourself when you feel scared. This is an often missing key to feeling safe inside so you can open vulnerably, fully feel, and attune to your partner when their vulnerability is present.
These are effective ways to move from disconnection to embodied intimacy and connection.