So, you think you’re ready to finally embark on a quest for a meaningful intimate relationship. But are you really prepared for this? Let’s evaluate your goals and your intimate relationship know-how.
Two kinds of love predominate in close relationships: passionate and companionate. Passionate love is the sexual attraction and arousal we feel towards another person, while companionate love, while still intimate, is the deep, abiding feelings of affection, caring, and respect (such as between best friends). Anthropological research show variations within the types of intimate relationships throughout the world. In the Mediterranean region, passionate love is revered, while in Sub-Saharan Africa demonstrative, passionate exchanges are considered undignified. Chinese culture tends to value companionate over passionate love, while the reverse is true in America.
A culture that dismisses emotion impacts the ability to nurture intimate relationships. People can lose touch with their emotions. This is not surprising in a culture that regards emotions negatively. For centuries, social and non-secular institutions have looked down upon expressions of emotion as a shameful or weak. Individuals were told to suppress, rather than display their feelings. More recently, this contempt for emotion has receded as we have come to understand the workings of the brain better; nonetheless the preference of thought over feelings still prevails because of cultural norms.
Most people try to control, rather than experience, their emotions. The emotions experienced in our first love relationship often lay the foundation for future verbal and nonverbal communication in their intimate relationships throughout the remainder of their life. Painful childhood experiences can resurface, conditioning us to substitute our true emotions with safe, intellectual and emotionally detached responses. Acknowledging our authentic emotional experiences and being able to communicate them effectively is key to developing our emotional intelligence in our intimate relationships.
Increase your intimate relationship savvy
Our increased understanding of psychology has exposed a growing problem about current trends in intimate relationships. Social psychologists began to understand how the way that couples interact can affect the quality and longevity of their relationship. Teaching couples how to attain a higher level of intimacy helps their unions endure longer. Healthy intimate relationships satisfy both partners’ complicated hierarchy of needs. Yet, few of us have the necessary skills to recognize and articulate their needs without proper training.
It’s absolutely achievable to build this expertise and discover robust emotions and find pleasure in a harmonious intimate relationship. The companionate language of affection can convey our feelings through nonverbal communication. We need to learn to express our emotions in a non-threatening manner if we want to find a true connection. So to boost, and even save a floundering intimate relationships, we need to genuinely connect with our true emotions and recognize the difference between the protective instinctive reactions and the emotional coping mechanisms we have developed over the years to avoid, minimize, or repress the deep, hidden feelings.
A relationship is not static thing; it is a nonstop, ever-evolving process. Anyone who expects their soul mate to suddenly appear and magically transform their lives, take heed. Even when you find your soul mate, it may feel like a life-time bond, but even the closest intimate relationship needs to be fed and watered to stay healthy, requiring constant effort from both partners. You will constantly be faced with new challenges; and the way you handle those challenges can determine the fate of you relationship. Furthermore, it’s necessary to establish common ground between individuals as a fundamental component for the intimacy to endure.
Are you capable of entering into meaningful, satisfying intimate relationships? Will you find help when it’s needed to better understand your loved ones and yourself? We all profit from gaining new knowledge and self-improvement. Being proactive in improving your emotional intelligence before you enter into a new relationship, instead of being reactive when you run into communication problems is like getting a life-time insurance policy on the life of your relationship. Learn to nurture both the passionate and companionate sides of your love for a fuller, deeper intimacy.