Be willing to go beyond flowers, dinner and chocolates for Valentine’s day.
Give the gift of intimacy. It will last longer than a box of chocolates and a bouquet of flowers.
Here are 12 ways to deepen your intimacy.
1. Make it emotionally safe to bring up difficult subjects.
2. Work on making your partners dreams come true
3. Greet each other with a kiss that lasts for more than 6 seconds *
4. Listen with openness and curiosity.
5. Attempt to elicit a fuller range of feelings during discussions and disagreements. This is how you really get to know your partner.
6. Respect your partner’s desire for greater distance or closeness as expressing a need for comfort don’t make it as personal rejection.
7. Listen without comment during disagreements (don’t butt in), despite strong feelings being stirred.
8. Maintain perspective. Value that there are other ways of seeing things.
9. Be honest with yourself. True intimacy with another can’t really happen until we are intimate and honest with compassion towards ourselves.
10. Dare to expose your imperfections and fears. This is especially difficult since it goes against the instinct for self-protection.
11. Avoid depending on your partner to fulfil all your emotional and social needs.
12. Don’t use affection, sex and loving behaviour to reward or punish. Remember that understanding is more than just repeating back what your partner is telling you. If you really understand, you will be able to recap the importance, significance and/or implication of what your partner is telling you.
Understanding and acceptance is something we all crave. Giving it is a priceless gift.
Happy Valentine’s Day
· * John Gottman