You like me don’t you!? I mean, you like, really like me.
How do I know this? Because attraction is the first step in every single relationship.
Lately I have noticed SO MANY people getting hurt in relationships, (not just romantic) so I wanted to share with you a game changer in my own relationships. The Arc of Intimacy: a roadmap for building beautiful relationships.
*Disclaimer: I am in no way immune from relational pain and I am still learning to handle intimacy with care, but it has also helped me make sense of my relationships in real time.
The reason I know this is because ALL relationships begin with attraction. I don’t care if it’s your personal trainer, your best friend or your partner… there has to be something about that person that draws you in. What that thing is, reveals a lot about you and your psyche… but the fact remains, relationships don’t just magically happen without attraction.
(HINT: If you want to find out what attracts you to other people, check out THIS free quiz created by attraction and chemistry expert Dr Helen Fisher.)
But what turns a spark into something more? You guys know how I feel about small talk, and this is where we need to push past pleasantries and ask deeper questions to form a genuine connection. This takes both curiosity and self disclosure. Offer something of yourself and see if it is reciprocated, remembering that a person can only connect with you to the degree that they are connected to themselves.
Congratulations, you now have an acquaintance! Sadly, this is where many relationships get stuck. Even if you have known someone for years and years, the acquaintance stage is where you like each other and have a genuine connection, but you don’t know how to go deeper. Many people are stuck here and have never known true intimacy.
4. POWER STRUGGLE
What really needs to happen for your relationship to deepen, is a power struggle, usually in the form of conflict (Don’t trust anyone who tells you “Our relationship is so good, we never fight”). Initially, we tend to relate to others from a place of self protection but if you want more intimacy, both parties need to be willing to lay down their power and treat the other as an equal. Many relationships either end or stay stuck here, with both parties preferring to control the relationship rather than embrace it.
Next comes acceptance, which is the figurative opening up of your hand and allowing the other person to simply be themselves rather than trying to change them. This may feel like a very passive stage of the relationship, (which can be hard when you’re used to trying to control relationships) but this is actually where intimacy really starts to take off. Trust grows where each says to the other “I don’t want you to be anything other than you are”. Conversely, a lack of acceptance will keep your relationships transactional and guarded.
At this point, there needs to be a mutual dependability and rhythm that accommodates your different capacities. Of course, capacity may change from season to season and provided that an adjustment is made, the relationship can continue to thrive. It is natural to grieve what was as you negotiate the new normal.
Scared of commitment? Don’t be! It is simply a mutual decision to move towards a shared goal and you get to decide what that is. So often, we fear commitment because we have skipped this step, become emotionally exposed and ended up getting hurt. I remind myself that the degree to which you are committed in a relationship is also the degree to which you get to enjoy all the fruit of intimacy.
Congratulations! You now get to enjoy all the feelings of closeness, connectedness and bondedness. As a byproduct, you have also created trust. Go you!! Once you have tasted the goodness of intimacy wrapped in the safety of trust, you will know the pleasure of sharing yourself with others and the way it augments every human experience. It’s that good that I would describe myself as a connection junkie!
But the fun doesn’t stop here! Relationships are always in a cycle of moving towards one another or not. You get to choose your own adventure. Build your relational bank account of good will and enjoy years of accrued interest.
Building better relationships
IMHO: Relationships are the true currency of life. They’re the foundation of my business and are what continue to make my personal life juicy and satisfying. If you want more of this in your own life, you know I’ve got you covered.
If you want more connection and trust in your life and biz, you will love our upcoming BUILDING BETTER RELATIONSHIPS masterclass. Get your name on the waitlist today.
If you would like to talk through your situation privately, Book a FREE transformation call and let’s identify what has been holding you back from receiving everything you want in life, love and business.