Just what Is Authentic Adult Intimacy?


I’ve done a great deal of therapy in my life. I began in my thirties when my marriage was falling apart. Then 100 and hours to fulfill requirements while I had been going through treatment school. Then I had a complete practice and started getting very busy. Life happened. Basically a lot of excuses.

You’re supposed to find a therapist when you are a therapist but I will be honest, many do not. Including myself. Well, at least not always. I also began dating someone lately so I thought it would be a fantastic time to get back in the room. Process sh*t. Because things come up when you date someone and it is a fantastic chance to turn it in to learning. I believe the start of a relationship and the expiration of a connection would be the richest soil for growth. Assuming you really process and do the job.

Anyhow, I f*cking love treatment with a capital F. And I am not just saying that because I am a therapist. Sip coffee and discuss your life and problems while another person makes it entirely about you for fifty minutes? That is known as being on the right side of a lopsided friendship. Yes, it may be costly. But if you have insurance, milk which sh*t. If you do not, tell yourself you are putting 300 bucks aside monthly to your mental health and do not evaluate every session or you will stop. Some sessions will be life-changing and you will walk out skipping. And others will drag and you will wonder what else you might have bought with that hundy. However, I don’t feel any session is a waste. And at times, it is not even about what is said during the semester. It’s the true relationship with your therapist which can be healing. By way of instance, if you have only been in toxic relationships most of your lifetime, the secure space your therapist supplies gives you a corrective curative experience. You exercise muscles you have not before. But finally, treatment is about self-understanding. Without it, we’re just walking knee jerks. Therapy will help you open the hood of you so that you can see how everything works. Imagine driving a car that does not run well but you never open the hood. You simply pound the steering wheel believing it is going to fix itself. That is how most people live. There’s absolutely no authentic self-betterment without self-understanding. Recognizing why you do what you do, consider how you believe, is expansion soil.

So let us discuss my first back to treatment session. I tell people I had been raised by pop culture. Because my parents were not home. They were always on the job. They also did not give me much psychological milk. “You are valuable. You’re worthy. We love you”. They are from a different generation. They showed love in different ways. But like most of our parents, they did the best they could with what they had. So I received my nurturing from the local kids. But in order to get friends, you had to be trendy. Thank God I had been coordinated. I believe that is why friends have always mattered so much to me. They became the parents that I never had. They give me the psychological milk I had been deprived of. Or a variant of it.

My new therapist is chiefly Psychodynamic, which essentially means helping the customer turn the unconscious conscious, and investigating youth experiences that form our adult character. I believe subconsciously that is why I care so much what my friends think. What I drive. I mean on a deeper subconscious level. Not something I’m aware of on the surface. It is like how many attempt to please and be ideal for their parents. I actually don’t have any desire to impress my parents. However, I do with my friends. It is the other way around for many.

Another GREATER revelation I had was that perhaps I have never experienced true healthy adult intimacy. If somebody was to ask me if I have, my initial reaction would be of course I have. I have been in nothing but relationships most of my life. I’ve experienced all sorts of intimacy. From high school crushes to union. However, if I really look at every one, I am not positive whether they were healthy mature adult intimacy. I mean, I have experienced strong link, chemistry, and epidermis. I have experienced love. Losing myself in somebody. Hot sex. But I’m not positive if I have experienced profound healthy adult intimacy. And I keep saying grownup because you can assert that true intimacy is anything is true for you in the moment. High school love could be true intimacy because at the point all those feels are fair to us. But I am talking mature intimacy, once we know about codependency and enmeshment and what it actually takes to construct a wholesome relationship.

The thought that at 44, I might not have experienced true healthy adult intimacy blows my mind.

And so my journey begins…

Here is what I know up to now.

First, both people must have some tools. Self-awareness. Ability to be metacognitive. Process their feelings. Express themselves. Communicate. With this, healthy goes out the window. This means all my relationships before about age thirty-four weren’t really healthy adult relationships, since I had been lacking tools. And she was.

Then I analyzed my relationships article mid-thirties and they were great and powerful but I am not positive when I experienced true adult intimacy. Not that anything was wrong with the connections or another individual. It is more about me. I’m not positive if I have ever allowed someone to genuinely love me. Like on a deeper level. And that is the kicker. Maybe I have never allowed someone to genuinely love me. Maybe I don’t understand what that looks like since it did not’ get it growing up? I don’t understand.

I used to believe closeness was simply physical attraction, chemistry, and gender. And it can be if you are in your teens and twenties. I don’t know if we have the capacity to explore over that in that age. And needless to say, I have learned that intimacy is far more. Now, however, I am discovering that there are more layers. I have always been a late bloomer and I am late to the party once more.

Physical.

I am going into the physical area with new lenses and a different mindset. It is not just about skin. I think adult intimacy ways to turn your dial to research and lock it there. The process of investigating, which is endless, is what creates familiarity. The slow burn over the bonfire. Using all of your senses. Intention and energy behind every touch. Not placing so much weight on the end.

Kissing.

Not as a gateway but a standalone. As self-expression, as though it was a speech. Kissing with intention. Purpose. To discover. To know. Forgotten. A most important brush we have set aside for specialty brushes which weren’t intended to fill in huge spaces of color.

Energy.

Not a word I’d have used earlier in relation to intimacy. However, it’s huge for me today. What is the energy of another person like? Your energy when you are around him/her? The new energy generated by both of you guys? What is it like? Is it claustrophobic? Intimacy is energy. Energy is everything.

Mental.

Conversations. Intellectual stimulation. Idea exchanges. Can you challenge each other emotionally? Allow stretch? Shift perspectives without protection and or hurt feelings? Is there food? Intimacy is learning from each other.

Emotional.

Feelings. A secure space that promotes vulnerability and enables, encourages, and validates your daily feels. What is this space like? Are people being heard? Understood? Validated? Intimacy is swimming in a healthier emotional space.

Spiritual.

Beliefs greater than self, than both. Additionally, the soul in each other. Because we’re all spiritual beings. What is the dance like between your spirits? The connection you can not see or explain. Is it strong? Loose? Vague? Growing? Intimacy is a spiritual procedure.

I believe true adult intimacy is a quilt with all the above patched together, creating a blanket which covers both people. This blanket gives us a feeling of comfort, security, and warmth.

And ultimately what annoys the stop together is —

Passion.

Is there a shared passion for each other’s stories, bodies, direction, business, and purpose? Is there fire lined in the bodily, the kisses, the energy, the mental, the emotional, and spiritual?

I think to experience true adult intimacy, you need to explore these classes but also pull back to get an entire experience rather than measuring parts, as a lot people do. A blanket. Not a scarf. This street leads to being deeply loved.

This is what I am learning so much about adult intimacy. Tomorrow, it can be something entirely different. And that’s the thing about love, it is a living breathing thing which changes as we change.

What is your definition of true adult intimacy?

Have you ever experienced it?


This post was initially published here and is republished with permission from the author.

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Our Love Journey Broken Down Into Three Acts

In training thousands over the years with their relationships, I have found a pattern in our love travel. A narrative really, with action breaks, turning points, plot twists, and a lot of the time predictable endings. Although everyone’s story differs, the overarching journey of love is pretty much the same.

In high school, our fascination is based on two things.

1. Identity.

Yes, on the surface you might think his handsome face and how his cute ass jiggles when he scrambles to throw a hail mary touchdown”super sexy.” But how much of you needing him has to do with other people needing him and if you have him, you would think you’re worth more? Can your friends think you’re cooler if the prom queen was your girlfriend instead of just spank material from the shower? And needless to say, it is not the’50s and jocks and prom queens are not the only people we’re attracted to. We also love the guy in the group, particularly if he has his own group, the cool nerd, the skater, etc. My point is these aren’t people. They’re identities. In high school, we’re like forming puddy. We’ve got no inner shape. We specify and find our worth in others since our self-esteem resembles Jello forming in the refrigerator and it’s only been like two hours. Our lack of self-esteem and sense of value is where we really pull from. Not only our hormones.

There are some who will give two sh*ts about identity and social standing and only date people for their hearts and personality. They care less about what somebody looks like and more about how they’ll be treated. But is that the truth or have they been memorizing responses in their mother’s self-help books? Perhaps they truly developed high self-esteem and a feeling of worth that can not be swayed by celebrity and a feeling of self in somebody else or do they think those children are out of the league? Basically not tangible. Which means their self-esteem is far lower so they attempt to compensate for it by making”adult” decisions.

2.

Impulsiveness. Unpredictability. Reactiveness. Controlling. Neediness. Codependency. Enmeshment. Basically whatever connection energetic we grew up in at home. We believe that is what love looks like as it is all we know. We haven’t gone through our love hero’s journey to understand any different. Healthy is foreign to us. And most likely, dull.

Finding our value in somebody else + what smells familiar is what generates the tacky (unhealthy dysfunctional love that seems f*cking amazing!)

If we think we are lacking so we find our worth and individuality in somebody else, the power goes to another individual and / or the connection. If we just chase what smells familiar, because nobody’s family is ideal and no child enters adulthood unscarred, we’re recreating trauma.

This sticky.

Warped definitions of love, a bumpy road of insanity and responding. Unhealthy conflict. Internalization. Losing yourself in somebody else. You’re now doing things you probably would not do. You’re sacrificing voice, compromising self, and puncturing self-esteem rather than growing it. And it feels amazing! Because drama, jealousy, control, and pursuing is extreme and you error intensity for love.

Again, because that is all you know and have experienced.

If we attempt to find ourselves in somebody else within our younger years, we lose ourselves in somebody else within our 20’s.

The majority of our 20’s is all about splattering paint, blindfolded, and hoping there will be a gorgeous painting once we’re done. But usually it is really abstract and needless to say, beauty is subjective, i.e. childbirth. We try to produce a direct beeline toward a secure future with a clean framework.

But that is impossible. We do not know what we need yet. And have not come out the other end of the tube so we do not possess the tools to construct that framework. Like majors in college, what we desire will change a million times. But we do not know that. We believe we are on our path.

There’s absolutely no route in our twenties. There’s simply a wide area of thorns and boobie traps. But also waterfalls and lakes, to perform backflips off of. The majority of us haven’t turned the corner become inquisitive about ourselves and why we do what we do. We’re still walking responses from our past and how we grew up. We simply wear adult clothes and go out to fancy dinners we can not afford.

Not what we think is healthy for all of us. Our choices result in a great deal of pain.

Enter. Empty sex. 1 night stands. Experimentation and things you probably would not do five years from now. Sketchy circumstances where you shouldn’t have come out alive. Zero self-care. Remaining in relationships for a long time. Or not long enough. Both are operating away from self.

Ordering in. Binge-watching. Losing friends as you lose yourself on your person. Two people. 1 bathtub. And finally, psychological claustrophobia as you obviously grow and wish to become your own person. Input jealousy and control and anger from the confusion of another person who’s not prepared and does not understand why you do not”love” him.

The height of the enthusiast / Alanon pull.

But for many, there’ll be a few more laps around that crazy trail.

Our 20’s is an automobile crash.

ACT THREE

Our 30’s & 40’s. Where Our Dragons Live.

We are done with the old. Codependency. Enmeshment. Eggshells. Faking orgasms. Telemundo fights. Non-communication. Looking after people. We’re thirsty for something new.

We’re finally interested in ourselves. Who we are. Where we would like to go. How we would like to be treated.

Our 30’s is when all of the anger and bitterness we have had buried for so long raises its ugly head.

And everybody feels it. Your partner. Your friends. Your loved ones. Your boss. Employees. Things which were important to you do not matter as much as the older you fall like the puppet master let go of the marionette strings. And new things thing. Things that hang on you and your own happiness.

Some friends fade. Some stay. It’s when folks find yoga.

If you have been in a relationship since your early 20’s, this is when that”seven-year itch” appears. Or when folks begin to”outgrow” each other. If one or both parties need distinct. When relaxation is no longer enough. It doesn’t mean it is over. Some make it through the turbulence if they are emotionally in precisely the exact same place and jump from the airplane together before it goes down. But to tell the truth, most do not.

ONE, the relationship was over years ago. They simply stayed inside because of fear. Or children. Or because they did not want to be lonely. Or because they did not want to hurt another person. Or because they do not know what they want, partly because they’ve never experienced anything else, so that they did not do anything about it. Whatever reason, the connection has expired. It is not repairable. Folks have drifted too far.

TWO, you have only been with one person for the majority of your life. You are going to be interested. There is nothing wrong with you and perhaps there is nothing wrong with the connection either. It just means you are human. It is normal to be curious and attracted to other people, particularly in case you have not experienced other men and women. And it is not just about sex. You are curious about another dynamic. You’ve had the exact same meal for a couple of years. This doesn’t mean that you should break up or cheat. It just means it is a true thing and should be explored rather than buried. Whatever we push will always return up.

Life and growth are all about new adventures. It is a circle that can never cease or growth and your development stops. Love is no exception. The great news is you can have these new adventures with the identical person. But only if the two people put effort into developing, changing, and evolving together. But most do not or just 1 person does and that is why so many who’ve been together for so long wind up drifting and finally breaking up.

Our thirties and forties are all about”growing up” which means having healthy relationships.

But we’re not utilised to healthy. The majority of us do not know what healthy resembles. I mean we have read about it but never really experienced it. So now we are in something we think is good for us but it’s also new for us. There is resistance and confusion. Could we be sexually attracted to someone who provides a safe area? Can our very best friend also meet our wildest fantasies? Can we be romantic on a completely different level, the kind we have only read about?

Here is where the road forks and we’ve got a life-changing choice to make.

Take possession of your sh*t. Process what is coming up, where it is coming from, and take responsibility of what is yours. No more blaming. That is what we call”internal work” or”doing the job.”

Shake your love and closeness Etch-a-sketch. Forget your kind or what you think you are or aren’t attracted to. Take in the adventure of your new relationship without labels or judgment and see if you’re able to find something different about them, you, the connection as you paint a new portrait of familiarity. It is not about starting over. It’s about beginning open.

This new outlook will provide you a fresh love experience and that is what is going to shift your perspective, definitions, beliefs, and keep linking you to your self, as you build something that’s different and of value. Because by now you understand intimacy isn’t found. It’s built.

ROAD TWO.

Do not look inward. Do not take possession of your own sh*t. Do not process whatever is coming up with whomever you are with. Then opt to go down the familiar again, as it’s comfortable and feels great. This is where relapse resides and false beliefs are cemented. Again.

Go down this street and enjoy slowly fades into an ideal, you once had.


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How Believing in ‘The One’ Strips Emotional Responsibility


The idea that there’s only 1 individual in this world for you is romantic.

Very.

Sorry everyone who, like me, grew up watching rom coms and placing your hand over your heart pledging you’ll wait for your person to appear and hold you like they dropped you and found you.

Having said that, I am and will always be a hopeless romantic. But to me, that just means I like love. I like everything about love. I love always having someone in my mind, doing life with a person, building something. Connection. Sweaty passionate sex. I like the discovery of a soul. Creating honest moments. Deep conversations that feel like warm blankets on a chilly day before it is supposed to get cold. Holding hands and leaping, together. The self-learning and expansion through healthful arguments. Leaning to the comparison that forces you to stretch and see the world differently. I enjoy doing nothing with somebody. There’s not any other relationship that can provide you exactly what an intimate relationship may provide you. I love love. But that does not mean I think you are only supposed to be with a single person in your life.

The truth is we’ve got many”ones” in our life. Every person you’ve loved has been”the one” at the moment. “The one” is the one that you choose to love now. Who you’re choosing to love at the moment. As hard or easy as this is. As soon as you decide to stop loving that person, he or she’s no more”the one.” It’s that easy.

A booming healthy sustainable relationship is built on over goosebumps.

Why it is important to look at it this way.

First, let’s boil down what love actually is.

At the end of the day, love is a daily decision to be emotionally accountable to someone. If you are not emotionally connected, it is not love. It can be lust or benefit or an arrangement or not wanting to be alone. However, it’s not love.

Now let’s tie this to the idea of”the one.”

The obvious.

If you do not think you are with”the one” or if you think someone”got away”, then you won’t give the relationship you’re in your all. Alternatively, you will dream, dream, scroll, and fill in lots of blanks. You won’t be {} . Alternatively, you will doubt and chase something else which is not real.

Now the not so apparent.

If you think you’re with”the one”, it implies that you are supposed to be with this person. You guys were supposed. Things should line up. And if they don’t, you are likely to be confused. Why are not things perfect and effortless? You will doubt whether that individual is really”the one” when the fact is you are not doing the hard work required to construct a relationship. Doubting and questioning if you are with”the one” can allow you to not invest and ramble emotionally. Even if it is not intentional. It doesn’t need to be overnight. However, now you are elsewhere. You’re not choosing to love. You’re being emotionally irresponsible.

****

The thing about”hard” is nobody enjoys hard. Because hard means distress. Hard means breaking routines, looking inward, taking possession, doing things you are not accustomed to. Hard means you might be wrong. Hard means it is no longer only about you. But hard is where material and thickness lives. Easy feels good. But most of all, simple creates ceilings. Not only for you but also the connection. If you just need something which feels good, there’ll be no love travel and with no journey, there’s absolutely no growth. Love is all about depth not width.

Nothing of significance in this world comes from simple.

Including love.

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Chemistry is Predictable

Ever wonder why you always end up with the identical type of person? Not hair color or height, I am talking about dating dynamic. The sticky. The unseen. The attraction that is underneath the obvious.

Take two people.

A woman that had something taken away from her child. Perhaps her voice, self-esteem, or her whole childhood. Maybe she needed to become an adult when she was not. Mother was too busy flushing herself with tv. Or perhaps there was no father, only boyfriends that arrived and gone with the seasons. This little girl spends a whole lot of time {} playing with boys, aggressive boys. She chooses flowers, climbs trees, walks barefoot. She’s free except when she’s home to crying parents. Or worse, quiet parents. She turns inward, locks her feelings in a box, she blames herself for her family. This is your victim.

Then you’ve got a boy. There’s dependence in his family tree. Not with his or her parents, but his grandparents or even farther up the gene tree. Where ever it began, the enthusiast was an adult child, low emotional intelligence and surrounded by enablers. Drug of choice? Sex, alcohol, gambling, food, anything to numb, escape, feel something. It does not matter. Biology and the generational transmission procedure permits the dependence to be passed down from branch to branch. On a budding foliage way down from the back sits our boy, mad, confused, and prepared to pay it forward. As an adult, he’s impatient and impulsive with low self-control. He’ll have a venti size self and no idea of principles or consequences. He’ll be defensive and dismiss you and abuse you and make it feel like it is you and not him. And he’ll smell familiar, and that’s the reason you gravitate toward him. He’ll break your heart and become a raging addict. Or he may not turn into a raging addict. But in any event, he carries the dependence gene. He’s what girl call a”poor boy”.

Now set the predator and prey in a room filled with”normal” people at a party and see what happens.

They’ll find each other by the end of the evening. Their fascination is instinctive, animalistic, and subconscious.

Now we’ve got the perfect ingredients for a tasty dysfunctional relationship. And again. And again.

This is attraction in it’s simplest form. And by easy I mean most common. But of course, there are quite a few other relationship dynamics. Additionally, women can be”predators” as men can be”prey”. Most of us have our stories.

What distinguishes us from animals is our ability to become self explanatory, to change ourselves inside out, hence changing wiring, behaviour, our definitions, and finally our choices. Sit in that for some time, and who you are attracted to will change just like taste buds when you stop eating something you’re hooked to.

At exactly the exact same time, we shouldn’t deny raw chemistry. In any case, we are all to a certain extent prey and predators no child enters adulthood unscarred. We have all suffered from some kind of abuse and trauma. It is just the world we reside.

Also, we can not prevent our”types”. It is what we are inherently attracted to. Meaning, if you have started the process of recovery and you meet somebody who doesn’t have a self-awareness, use protection.

But if two people know of these, have chased their behaviour strings down to where they come, and maybe cut a couple of strings. If two individuals have the tools/ability to actually look at what causes them and why. If two people can have discussions without being defensive or reactive. If two individuals are on precisely the exact same path.

Only that street is yellow

This post was initially published here and is republished with permission from the author.

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Love Comes in Seconds

I have been writing about it for many years and I am beginning to believe it is not definable. It’s formless. My views and definitions and perspectives are constantly changing. I can’t catch it and place it into a framework.

So many different factors contribute to that we love and how we love. So much of this is tied to our narrative, where we are at in our lives, and what is important to us now, which might be rather different (and should be) from what was significant to us yesterday.

But I think love is a daily choice and after we choose to love, the intensity and colours of the love changes as though it lives in a kaleidoscope — which twists as we continue to love. It turns into this thing, that develops outside itself and becomes greater than its parts.

Showers us. Flows through us like breeze.

Love isn’t a constant.

And that is what makes love so amazing. Yet, so Tricky. It is formless and constantly changing. Sometimes, unpredictable. Assuming it is healthy love. If it is not, it becomes greater than its parts. It remains inside, trapped and limited. And the colors remain primary and still. However, it takes some time for love to grow and grow and become more than the people. Years. Many many years.

So in the meantime, how can you know? How can you know if love is love as you’re building?

I have learned that love comes in minutes.

This moment when she is chopping carrots and you catch her eye and slight smile and the world grows quiet. And there is a knowing.

This moment when he whispers something in your ear that you did not really hear but you feel his breath and it feels just like your favorite blanket.

This moment when you see her sleeping and she’s precious. Like a ceramic vase.

That moment once your eyes meet his without warninglock. And at that instant both people are completely nude. Trusting.

That moment following a fight when you return to each other, feeling secure that you can have conflicts.

This moment when you realize he put you and did not make it about him.

This moment after you orgasm and wish to be nowhere else.

This moment when you see him playing with a kid. And he forgets he is the adult.

This moment she chooses to support you even though she does not agree with your choices.

This moment he kisses you someplace you do not like to be kissed and you realize you enjoyed it.

This moment you wake up to the sensation of her sleeping face buried in the back of your neck. And you enjoy it there.

That moment he did not attempt to fix it but only chose to hold you.

This moment when you see her on a swing and want you knew her when she was younger.

That moment when you look at each other, knowing just how much shit you guys have gone through, the jealousy, the controller, the space, the drift, the hell and back, the couples counselling, the shift, the expansion, the rebirth, and still, together, deciding to appreciate each other.

This is the way we know love is still looming, catching those moments that remind us we are on the right path. Not every day. But there, buried and scattered like sparkling like gems on the side of a giant mountain.

And we must locate them by being open and possibly letting some shit go. By forgiving. By looking inward rather than above the fence, and working on our own triggers which give us blinders. As these moments are stone, breadcrumbs that tell us we’re on the right path as we continue to climb upward.

I wrote about moments since they’re underestimated. We love fast and do not see them. We’re always taking a look at the future and overlook them. And once we miss them, we could make conclusions we might regret. So know that love is NOT a continuous state of understanding and there’ll never be any guarantees. Love is a continuous process of discovery and unfolding. And during these moments, you may know that it’s there.

So long as these moments keep coming.

Unpredicted and naturally.

We can not force them.

We can only create space for them to occur.

And if they cease, either you’ve stopped.

Or he/she has ceased.

And the love that has been growing is no longer growing.

It’s currently inside a bottle.

And that’s no longer love.

That’s probably fear.

This post was initially published here and is republished with permission from the author.

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