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How Better Self-Awareness Builds Stronger Connections & Intimacy in Relationships

Many couples find that no matter how long they’ve been together, there are periods where their level of intimacy and connection can really be lacking. While there are some natural ebb and flow in our relationships, we also should work to ensure that both parties are working toward maintaining that connection. Being in a long-term committed relationship does not automatically mean there are intimacy and closeness at all times, but it does allow for the foundation to build and work on it through a relationship. Commitment is based on the attraction and feelings we have for one another, but intimacy is a place we can be with our partner that is something and somewhere very different. It is a place of openness, vulnerability, defenselessness, and most importantly, a place of self-awareness.

The idea of self-awareness in intimacy is that we can maintain our own identity in a relationship while being fully aware of ourselves and how we are feeling. It is also the ability to look within ourselves for how we contribute to problems in a relationship and to see what role we play. Taking responsibility for our own actions and contributions to the problem can be quite difficult, but is essential for moving forward. Our initial reaction tends to be blamed on our partner and focus on what he or she is doing wrong. We could sit down and easily come up with a list of faults our partner has done wrong, but could we write a list of our own? Being self-aware and having the ability to focus on ourselves, including our own faults, is challenging, but reaching this higher level of awareness is important for making a healthy change in our relationships and increasing levels of intimacy.

5 Steps to Building Connection:

Be present and in the moment: 

Practicing mindfulness on a regular basis can actually help people to be very present and engaged while participating in activities or spending time with their significant other. This, therefore, boosts relationships as couples are more in tune and present when they are spending time together. This only helps to strengthen intimacy and connection between the two people. It can also boost passion and sexual pleasure. 

Engage in self-awareness: 

Again, one of the core pieces of being more vulnerable and intimate with your partner is being very aware of yourself. It’s important that you understand your role in the relationship and focus on actions for which you can be responsible and change. Most people focus on trying to change the other person when the one thing that we actually can change is ourselves. Be aware of your actions and ways that you could better the relationship. 

Be honest with your partner and yourself: 

We can often have ideas, thoughts, and expectations about the intimacy in our relationship, but we never truly connect with ourselves on those thoughts or express them to our partners. When this happens, then there can be times of miscommunication, misunderstanding and unfulfilled expectations. 

Communicate: 

Express to your feelings to your partner. This is crucial to relationship success, but many people avoid talking about certain things with their partners or they let their anger and resentment build to a point that it then becomes unhealthy and impacts the relationship in a negative way. Be sure to share the good and the bad also. Giving positive reinforcement to your partner about things that you enjoy can be a real booster, both for your partner and the sexual health and intimacy in your relationship. 

Take time to connect: 

Be sure to commit to making time for intimacy and connection in the relationship. This means really setting aside time for a regular date night or an intimate dinner at home as well as following through and being very present and engaged during your time together. Date nights or simply time alone with your partner to connect can be an often overlooked action and one that is frequently taken for granted. It is actually having this alone time to connect that can really boost the intimacy and health of your relationship. 


JOIN OUR FREE FACEBOOK GROUP ON RELATIONSHIPS:

If you’d like to read more on relationship topics and hear tips for couples, be sure to JOIN our free Facebook group called Love & Relationships. This is a free, but private and closed online support group that is listed under the Loving Roots Project Facebook page. The group is facilitated by Dr. Shelley Sommerfeldt, Clinical Psychologist and Relationship Coach and provides tips and inspirational material for couples and supportive discussions on challenging relationship-related issues.


Blog written by: Dr. Shelley Sommerfeldt, Clinical Psychologist, Relationship Coach & Founder of the Loving Roots Project, an online wellness practice specializing in personal growth, mental wellness, & relationship betterment.

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