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When it comes to relationships and intimacy, we have a pretty good understanding of what is healthy or unhealthy. Talk of domestic abuse is prominent in the media, and more and more people are becoming educated about what it means to have a healthy relationship with their partner and the warning signs to look out for.
But what about one subtle thing that might be missing, causing an unhealthy relationship?
When I talk about intimacy, you probably automatically think of sexual relationships. It’s the most obvious type of intimacy, but perhaps not the most important. There are other ways to show intimacy in day-to-day life with your partner, which help to build trust, love, communication and openness within your relationship.
Being intimate doesn’t have to be a complex routine–it could be as simple as sitting down with your partner, asking them how their day was and actively listening to their response.
It could be cooking together. It could be going for a walk, or just watching a movie. These things help to strengthen the bond between two people, and without them, a relationship can quickly turn unhealthy.
Many people tend to overlook these simple forms of intimacy simply because they seem so obvious.
We already know that spending time together and having conversations is an important part of relationships, so why do we have to consciously work on it?
Sometimes we don’t talk about issues we’re having because we feel embarrassed, scared, or that they’re just not important enough. Life can get in the way and we can distance ourselves from the people we love, so it’s important we make an effort to have discussions and talk about what is bothering us.
Communication is perhaps the most important and healthy type of intimacy within a relationship.
A relationship without good communication can be extremely hard on the people involved. If open and in-depth conversations aren’t had, the situation could arise when one person feels uncomfortable, or is worrying about something, but feels as though they can’t discuss it with the other person. This can cause anxiety, loneliness and isolation.
Intimacy through love, trust, and communication is crucial in order to grow, strengthen, and flourish in relationships.
If a relationship doesn’t have intimacy, it can result in one or both people feeling unappreciated, ignored, or even self-conscious. A relationship should never make you feel like that. A relationship should be about two people growing together and supporting each other, both of which come naturally when intimacy is present.
If you think you may be in an unhealthy relationship, it’s important to seek help, whether it be from your parents, a counsellor, or a friend.
You have the right to feel comfortable and happy in your relationship.
A discussion with your partner may also help clear the air and smooth out any problems that have arisen.
If you are feeling as though there is a lack of intimacy in your relationship, it’s important to include this in the discussion. Explain to your partner how you’re feeling and make suggestions of ways you can achieve an intimate aspect to your relationship. Be sure to listen to their response; some people simply aren’t comfortable with the idea of intimacy or aren’t sure what it involves.
You might need to be patient with your partner, and find ways you can both be comfortable and happy. Explain to them simple communication is all part of intimacy, so they are already getting there!
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Holly Cooper is a writer, a dancer, a dreamer and an explorer from Tasmania, Australia. She's currently working full-time at a bookstore and blogs at Ramblings of a Fake Redhead. Holly is hoping to open up a shop in the near future, fulfilling her dream of being a small business owner, where she can provide customers with caffeine, cake and creativity. Holly is very passionate about providing advice and support to those living with mental illnesses and works alongside her local council in her city's Youth Advisory Group to provide assistance to those who need it.
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