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Show ALL Forums  > Relationships  > What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intim      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 Sabrosura
Joined: 1/7/2009
Msg: 3
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?Page 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
OP: Personally, the tools that I would like, and believe will contribute towards a successful relationship; are a commitment to me/our relationship and vice versa, communication (both listening and talking), commonalities (in our beliefs/morales, etc...), and compassionate (nothing greater than being able to lower your "walls" and be yourself with another as there is a sense of trust like no other.

Of course there has to be MIND BLOWING SEX!!!
 briargate
Joined: 8/18/2008
Msg: 5
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 8:38:28 AM
I really have to have a lot of intimacy in a good relationship, so I can see why you placed such a high priority on it. First of all, you have to find another person with similar needs for intimacy. Many people are fairly stoic and fairly self-sufficient in this regard. Some are even less inclined to share intimacy as they themselves are not comfortable with self-reflection.

So you have to start with compatible personalities. A person needs to be both capable and interested in cultivating intimacy, and hopefully to the same degree you are. Some levels are going to be even too much for you; there is such a thing as too much intimacy. We all need time alone and indeed, we need some of our own private thoughts as well. This is not being closed off.

For me, intimacy shows that a person is examining their own life and the lives we all live together. That's interesting to me and I like to do the same, as it helps us all muddle through this confusing Life when we can compare good notes. It also helps us to enjoy things more and cope with the harsh turns. Otherwise, we are just coping separately.

I don't think you have to consciously build intimacy, as when you combine two like minded people interested in fostering it, then it happens naturally. Like good sex, it too happens naturally without a lot of micromanaging. I think there is some comfort in that.
 Sabrosura
Joined: 1/7/2009
Msg: 6
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 8:43:38 AM

I think anytime you should be searching for the great emotional connection before anything else. You can have great sex without intimacy, love or any type of emotional fulfilment at all.


I concur. That is the MOST challenging aspect when you desire a LTR. Great sex you can get/find in a "heart beat". lol Whereby, the emotional/mental intimacy can take a life time to acquire.................
 Sabrosura
Joined: 1/7/2009
Msg: 7
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 9:07:44 AM
^That's not true at all.

Unless you have a connection with someone, you're only having dysfunctional sex with a stranger and that's not "good sex", IMO.

Then again, alot of people have very different ideas about what "good sex" entails.

For me, sex is only possible with someone I actually care about and am attracted to.

That's why I'm so picky about people I date.........I don't do cheap sex or anything short of longterm........so the sex itself actually comes later.

I feel sorry for those who think NSA/FWB sex is "good".

I have higher standards than most men, though.




That is your opinion, and you're entitled to it. However, GOOD SEX does not mean you want a LTR. Good sex for some is just that without the emotional connection. For others (such as yourself), the other elements must be present to have the whole ball of wax.

However, it is definitely easier to obtain a body for hot sex (if you're lucky) than someone that is WILLING/ABLE to go for the long haul (i.e. emotionally invest into a LTR). Hence, how many are single who want MORE. Look at all the FWBs, etc.....
 Sabrosura
Joined: 1/7/2009
Msg: 8
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 9:22:45 AM
I think it's sad that all you require for good sex is a "hot body", which backs up my point about dysfunctional sex.

I'm extremely skeptical.......

I don't share women and the type of women I attract aren't looking to be "shared" either.

If it's about "obtaining" bodies, I'm a personal trainer and routinely turn down the type of women that most guys clamor for.....

What's the point?

Sex is so intertwined with intimacy and the soul that to give it away to a stranger without any connection is just cheap.........it says something about you as well if you engage in that.

I look down on people who give it away so easily........

I'm not sure you've ever had "good sex" because if you had, you'd know that it's much better with someone who "knows" you than with a stranger.

Common sense.




Division: This discussion or at least MY RESPONSE is NOT about me and what I want. So lets try to keep this on a level plain here aka generally speaking.

What I am trying to articulate here is that for MANY "Good Sex" is just that a fawk with NO EMOTIONAL TIES! For you and many others, you NEED EVERYTHING to encompass "Good Sex".

I don't "look down" on anyone that is a consenting adult and wishes to have a FWB or whatever they want. That's nor here nor there, and not my style.

Back to our regularly scheduled program.............

Gotta "love" how many misinterpret one's post, and then want to ASSume what WE want. LMAO!!!!
 Sabrosura
Joined: 1/7/2009
Msg: 9
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 9:59:53 AM

When you can say who you are openly, be totally exposed in front of another without fear of rejection, with no possessive motive or waiting for someone else to validate you, then two people can start having a true relationship, one where both people continue to become a couple. True intimacy shared is two people who can hold there own, open and raw who don’t collapse because another disagrees and continually ask one another with empathy. When you say,”yeah but” your not listening.



 PiggyT
Joined: 9/14/2009
Msg: 11
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 10:33:54 AM
I think it is all about communication.

If you have the ability to communicate and they do too... then you have a foundation for true intimacy.

Let me clarify (communicate) this a bit though.

Communication is not just throwing out thoughts and feelings and wanting to get your point across. Communication is a two way street and is equal parts sharing & listening. The ability to acknowledge and confirm your understanding of what you feel, and in turn what the other person is saying to you.

Too often communication is not an equal process. If one person spews out a bunch of their feelings while the other is going through a mental grocery list and nodding a faked acknowledgement, then you do not have communication.

All too often we don't want to acknowledge what we have heard because it may not be to our liking or it may include something disturbing in nature.

Communication is the only foundation I am willing to build a relationship on.

Is this thing on? ??? Hello?
 chameleonf
Joined: 12/22/2008
Msg: 13
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 10:44:31 AM
I have to agree. Effective communication skills (which includes being a good listener and understanding what you are listening to) is at the heart of it all. Without it, none of the other "building blocks" can even come into play.
 farscapeprincess
Joined: 4/28/2008
Msg: 14
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 10:50:49 AM
When I married my husband, I made the mistake of confusing friendship with intimacy. As the years went by, I came to understand that I really was unaware of how he felt about a lot of issues and by the time I realized we had a problem, he found it difficult to change the pattern of communication we had established. He tried, but it was just too difficult. My marriage failed and I have not ever considered getting married again. I figured I had my shot and I blew it. I was well into my 30's before getting married in the first place because I knew I never wanted to be "divorced". After it was over, for quite a long while, I didn't even want to date. I had no desire for sex or even just companionship. I was spent. I secluded myself on an island and stayed there for almost a year. I'm just not a very good hermit, I guess, but it's what I did. After leaving my island, I was involved with a 10 month relationship that wasn't any improvement over my previous attempts. Since then, I have become much more eager to avoid wasting time on dead ends.


OP, it sounds like you must've had great sex with your ex, but there wasn't much open communication otherwise you would've known how he felt about a lot of issues. Sounds like this person just never allowed himself to open up to you and kept everything to himself.

Like someone has said before, it's far easier to find that great sex than it is to find that person that communicates well on an intimate level aside from sex. For me, FWB is a dead end unless I just want a warm body to boink me. I want more than that. Yet, it seems that's what a lot of people want these days.

I also agree that without the great sex, the relationship falls way short, too. Everything has to be in place: common interests, capability of morals, ability to communicate, understanding, and fantastic sex.
 40Chev
Joined: 11/7/2005
Msg: 16
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What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 1:22:12 PM

I want to focus on building emotional bridges.

In a new relationship, as we move into this more intimate realm, sometimes incompatibilities crop up and we become aware that this relationship isn't forever.
We've all been disappointed. How many here have been successful?

This thread was started in the hopes that this community would share your collective wisdom on the basic building blocks of emotional and mental intimacy.


I'm not real certain of the question here - are you asking for the sure fire route to a solid relationship which will last eternally so the trial and error method can be eliminated and one can just step into the real deal?

I suspect that the bulk of us are doomed to some disappointments in our lives, some of us may be doomed to many disappointments.

I would suggest that as we search for an ideal relationship which encompasses mental, emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy the process begins with some type of attraction. If the attraction is mutual the relationship continues. As it continues - our individual human flaws begin to surface and become apparent to the other party.
At this stage we make choices as to whether or not the flaws outweigh the good characteristics and decide whether to continue or break off. Perhaps we are aware we make these decisions and perhaps they are not consciously made.
Then again, sometimes what we are willing to accept at some stage becomes something we are no longer willing to accept at another point in time.
We grow, we change, we move on. Someone might be ideal for us, yet we aren't the ideal for them.

I truly don't know - other than that we take chances and risks and expose our true selves to another, we then make decisions and choices and as we do so - the relationship grows and strengthens or weakens and dies.

It's like the line in the song by the Beatles - "Christ - you know it ain't easy"
 ItsMargo
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 18
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What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 3:06:48 PM
I'd express what rune and farceur said as coming down to understanding and acceptance. Getting to know someone, really know them, and being willing to reveal yourself to them.
 BlueEyes1712
Joined: 4/24/2008
Msg: 19
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What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 3:46:37 PM
People enter in relationships for different reasons. Many marry for a family of children. As you mentioned many dont know themselves at that age and imagine the life they are entering is the one they think it will be in thier own mind. Since the reason why most marry utimatly comes about, children, the concept of a sole mate comes to mind that the person you married really isnt that person you imagined but someone that entered the relationship for some of the same reasons of children, financial security, ect. Its not until these basic needs are met that we consider higher needs, its sort of like that maslow thery of needs to self actualization thing we got in psyc class.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 20
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What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 6:31:12 PM
You have a fascinating and subtle question, or set of questions here. Very personal from you, and I welcome the opportunity to think about them.
One thing caught my attention right away, which might not be most important, but is intriguing: "People were meant to live together. Male, female. We come in pairs. Obviously this is the natural order of things, so I am in the process of surrendering to the natural order". I just wonder if your saying this indicates that you feel that you are failing as a human being, because you have yet to make a relationship last a very long time. If so, I hope you can get past this, because I think it's illusory, and that you will be punishing yourself unnecessarily for it. In my experience, forming and keeping relationships is one of the most difficult things anyone can try to do. In my opinion, the reason we created the institution of marriage was NOT simply because we wanted to celebrate being together at a party one time, it's because staying together is so hard, that we needed the force of community recognition supported by law to make it happen.
As to your primary concern, the needed building blocks, I can offer the following 'maybe's. Since I ALSO have yet to have found a successful way to build a truly lasting, satisfying relationship, you have to take my ideas as being from a fellow "not-yet-victorious" contestant.
Most important, each partner needs to have matured to where they can honestly be responsible for their own lives. I don't mean financially, that actually doesn't matter that much (financial struggles are a part of life together that can be a plus in working together for mutual ends), I mean emotionally. Emotional maturity is for me, the conscious recognition that how I feel is separate from what I DO about how I feel. Thus, when I am depressed, or angry, it doesn't mean it's okay to punish my partner. When I'm turned on sexually, it doesn't mean I have to have sex with the person I'm attracted to. If I develop a crush on someone, it doesn't mean I have to pursue a relationship with them, and destroy the one I have with someone who I also love.
You didn't say here why you think your previous relationships failed, or even what you mean that they did fail. Some people consider a relationship as successful if it lasts long enough to accomplish what each desired from it, as in a business relationship. Others are more like recovering alcoholics in reverse: it isn't a success until you reach the finish line.
I wonder if your intense desire "to avoid wasting time on dead ends" means you are dumping out of potential relationships at the very first inkling of a challenge, for fear that you'll "fail" again, by not lasting the rest of your life. I hope not, since this doesn't allow for the 'trials and travails' part of a partnership, which you do recognize in another part of your post.
 TodaysCatch
Joined: 4/12/2008
Msg: 22
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What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/6/2009 9:46:05 PM
briargate, rune3 and IgorFrankensteen said it all for me already, so I'll just offer that the meat of this thread is why I came to POF in the first place. My SO avoided all forms of intimacy, which eventually tore us apart. I came here for answers, and found some - thanks.

A thought: do you suppose the divorce rate would decline a bit if a course on this subject were required to obtain a marriage license?
 ColonelIngus
Joined: 9/16/2007
Msg: 24
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What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/7/2009 2:29:17 PM

Unfortunately, many people have a distorted view of the value of friendship when it comes to romantic relationships. ... Some even say it's the basis for a romantic relationship

This is peculiar mostly to females, I think, who believe they want a guy who relates to them the same way their girlfriends do. Such women tend to define the way girls relate to each other as being "real intimacy". But what really characterizes the way girlfriends relate to each other is lots of self-disclosure, lots of casual "sharing of feelings".

Many guys who are rather selfless and/or don't have huge egos and/or aren't so self-involved with every little thing they're feeling during every single moment of the day tend to think lots of self-disclosure is pointless at best, and they may have a personal ethic which finds it distinctly distasteful, both in themselves and others (especially if done to excess). Thus they tend to avoid it at all costs unless the situation is grave and makes it absolutely necessary for them to do so, i.e., when it actually matters.

Of course this leads to the charge from women that men are "unfeeling" and "insensitive", or "emotionally unavailable", where nothing could be further from the truth. Continually coughing up a verbal expression of what he's thinking and/or feeling just isn't something the typical guy is wired to do very well. There is no "tool" which can "fix" this because there's nothing to be fixed. Naturally men's behavior in this area is going to be found wanting if it's measured exclusively with a feminine ruler. By trying to make men over in the female version of being emotionally expressive, women who attempt to do so are in essence denying men individual expression of the feelings they do have.
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 25
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/7/2009 2:43:14 PM
please reference my answer at
http://forums.plentyoffish.com/13225188datingPostpage4.aspx


Many guys who are rather selfless and/or don't have huge egos and/or aren't so self-involved with every little thing they're feeling during every single moment of the day tend to think lots of self-disclosure is pointless at best, and they may have a personal ethic which finds it distinctly distasteful.

While he sees "many men" as "selfless" and with a higher form of personal ethic, the only inference to make here is that the opposite--"many females"-- are self-involved and have huge egos.


Thus they tend to avoid it at all costs unless the situation is grave and makes it absolutely necessary for them to do so, i.e., when it actually matters.

... to HIM. You left off the "to him". Yes, I would say that's insensitive, to be the only one to get to say when communciation is effective. It's a fairly common rejoinder here in the Fora that "men can't read minds"--well, guess what? Women can't either. If the men in their lives--not just ANY man on the street--the men IN their lives REFUSE to verbalize their thoughts, it IS a problem, and something DOES need to be fixed.

Of course, I've got one of those pink rulers, so my opinion doesn't count in your head. Must be great to live in there, where it's all black and white and all.
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 28
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/7/2009 4:05:34 PM
Thanks, OH, I see what you mean. I was taking the post (and poster history) as a whole, all the paragraphs/context as one thought, though. Like the one ending with the women's rulers, so that even if a woman WERE to question his "argument", he could throw that back at her and say her answer isn't valid--"You're not qualified to have an opinion, your ruler has breasts."

The reason I get so irritated with this "me big dumb man, me go in cave now" routine is that open dialogue/communication is THE tool for building intimacy. It's the only way I can get "in". Many men complain that they have no outlets, like women do, for communicating when they need emotional help. You do, you just don't use them--AND using them makes you vulnerable. Many men say that they will show you with non-verbal cues, "actions speak louder than words." Then those same men claim that having sex (an action) doesn't necessarily bring them closer to a woman. So, fixing the sink means "I love you" but fking you doesn't?
 TopChuck
Joined: 1/19/2008
Msg: 31
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What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/8/2009 10:52:33 AM
Loving treatment is the fundamental tool that builds emotional and mental intimacy.

Treating each other so that each feels loved is the simple secret of establishing that loving connection.

.
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 32
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/8/2009 11:54:41 AM
No one can hurt your feelings but yourself. Other people may say hurtful remarks. But you control your reactions. If you truly love yourself unconditionally. You already accept who you are and know all your shortcomings. You already done the self examination and be peace with yourself. There is no one can hurt your feeling.

While I agree on some levels, I disagree on the intimate level. As I see it, when you make yourself vulnerable to another person (and therefore achieve intimacy), you sort of ARE giving them permission to hurt you. You have opened yourself up to them SO MUCH, and you are saying to them, "Here I am, laid bare. I am trusting you not to hurt me."
==========
Ah, Division, we meet again.

I think it's funny how women expect men to cater to their emotional whims, when that's not really how men are wired.

I think it's funny how men expect women to ignore their emotions, when that's not really how women are wired.

And JUST by saying they are "whims", you denigrated every woman's emotions. The Men's Club salutes you!
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 34
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/8/2009 2:24:09 PM
I think I understand, you are saying you accept your "secret" and have come to peace with it, so telling it gives no other person power (I'm going to have to look up if you are male or female). I don't agree that anyone ever reaches nirvana, or perfect zen, or whatever you want to call this.

To me, being intimate isn't in *accepting* one's flaws, it's in *showing* them (the being vulnerable part). And hoping and trusting that the person you are sharing everything with is willing to accept you (authentic you)--despite your flaws. they love YOU, not your social self, but your authentic self.

The difference is I hear you saying that you can get to a point where you don't care what other people think of you because you've accepted, and are at peace with, who you are, flaws and all. I see THAT as a barricade to intimacy. If you don't care what I feel, why bother to be with me?
 ItsMargo
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 36
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What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/8/2009 3:52:55 PM
I'm behind in this conversation, and I'm picking it up at the end (sorry Hearttune, then again, rune's reply was wonderful *grins*).

4Forums, I truly get what you are saying. Indeed, as I move through my life I have learned that the more I own my less than wonderful bits, and am willing to be a f*up in the ways I am, everything gets easier, simpler and flows freely. People respond in real life to real emotion. Far from the ground opening up and swallowing you, they embrace your humanity. Gosh, who knew? Still.

I'm not so evolved that I don't have my insecurities. The level of insecurity is inverse to the amount I feel is "at stake". With a less important connection, pfft, I am the bravest and most secure and evolved person on the face of the planet. And this secure, evolved person can revert to feeling four years old in :30 seconds under the withering eye of my much older sister. *whew*

So, I ask myself. What is it that has us be our most evolved selves with a new person? Safety. "I feel safe with you"

Safe to tell them the squeamish bits about myself. Safe to be less than perfect. Safe to be vulnerable.

What creates safety? Acceptance does. Non judgement does. Being open to explore your thoughts does.

We don't meet someone and do a dump of who we are, we slowly reveal in the fullness of time.

edit to add:

Now I'm 50, sitting here plinking, wondering what the hell happened, and where in the hell did it leave me? LOL

Ahhh, try a different question, perhaps. "Where do you want to play today?"

And then. Miracle of miracles, do what NONE of us ever seem to do. Take it to the next step and actually answer your own question!
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 37
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/8/2009 8:27:45 PM
Instead of railing and wailing about how unfair the OP is, why don't you without rancor give your perspective, Bwana? Give us insights instead of attack the OP?

If I may use your jar analogy:
You have a jar labelled BULLSHYTE.
You like to pull it out, stick your fingers in there, and spread it around. But the thing about it is, all it does is stink the place up and cover every thing with a thick layer of crap.


and men's perspectives must be ruled out of any discussion before it's started.

Where did she invalidate any man's perspective?


Sex is interconnected with everything.

This I agree with. But how can I? I'm a woman?!
 Sweetlilmeee
Joined: 6/24/2007
Msg: 38
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/8/2009 8:39:22 PM
Respect. I was raised to respect my elders and I could never be with someone I don't respect and who doesn't respect me. To me it means someone we honor and recognize as equal to ourselves and it gives the relationship a more solid feeling. You would be less likely to mistreat someone that you respect.

Honesty/Truth. I have been lied to before, all of us has, and I don't like it. to me a relationship should encourage the participants to be as honest as they can with each other. It helps you trust one another.

Trust. If you believe your partner to be truthful and that they care about you and wouldn't want to harm you, you have to Trust them with this belief. You have to trust that they will be there for you. And trust their integrity. I would not date someone I didn't trust.

Communication. There is no relationship without communication.

Cooperation. A relationship is about two people together, not one person or another. It has to be about Both parties.

Basically these fundamentals for me tie in together to create the basis of a relationship.

Because these set the path for emotional and mental intimacy to be shared, and once both of you create a past of sharing it will be easier to do more of it in the future.
 The1Artist
Joined: 8/13/2009
Msg: 39
What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/8/2009 9:58:17 PM
Instead of asking “What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy”, you should be asking “What causes an unstable relationship?” This is a simple answer. I can trace every relationship that I have heard about, or witnessed, or experienced myself that caused a separation, to one single problem.

Insecurity of oneself.

Trust – How can you trust someone if you can’t trust yourself, not secure in your own decisions - insecurity
Honesty – You will not tell the truth if you feel the need to lie about what you are - insecurity
Communication – This is the same as Honesty, lying to create a false sense of oneself - insecurity
Respect – You can’t respect someone else if you don’t respect yourself – insecurity
Friendship – You can’t be a friend if you think you have nothing to offer – insecurity
Patience – You can not see the value in patience, if you do not think you are worth a good outcome - insecurity
Humility – You can not be humble if you think you are worthless - insecurity
Great sex – You will not perform well if you think you are worthless - insecurity
Hard work – You will not work hard if you think you are worthless - insecurity
Loyalty – You will not think loyalty is possible if you can not trust yourself - insecurity
Dependability – You will not think someone is dependable if you can not trust yourself - insecurity
Consideration – You will not be considerate if you think you are not worth someone’s consideration - insecurity
Responsibility towards self / one another – You will think you are not worth the effort to be responsible – insecurity

See the behavioural pattern here. As long as you are insecure about yourself, any relationship is doomed unless you reject your insecurity, accept your strengths, and minimize your faults. Example, I will never be a professional Basketball star, a person of that type of fame, wealth, and power, but that does not stop me from being secure in my abilities to be a good companion. You can not build an emotional bridge if there is too much insecurity wearing away the base of the bridge. It will collapse.

Thank you – The Artist
 ItsMargo
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 40
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What Are the Fundamental Tools of Building Emotional and Mental Intimacy?
Posted: 10/9/2009 7:09:54 AM
Well, a focus on "what's wrong" without blame is a way to effectively get to mutually satisfying agreements, isn't it?

I suspect part of the underpinnings for why the identification of "what's wrong?" goes awry is many people don't know themselves well enough to know what is wrong. (We keep coming back to "know thyself", don't we?). Often, "what's wrong" isn't so much what the other person said/did (or didn't say/do) but how we *feel* about it or how it effects our interior landscape.

If you can't say 'what's wrong' clearly, why not? Being clear about these things is what builds intimacy. If it is lack of trust in the other person to hear you, that's one problem. If it is lack of personal clarity or potential conflict avoidance, that's different problems.

Another part is poor communication. Can one say clearly 'what's wrong' without casting blame on the other person?

edit to add: Rather than 'what's missing or wrong?' I use "something happened" because it is without judgement... a useful trick to keep myself focused and on point.
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