Relationship Challenges

How to Cultivate Real Intimacy in Your Relationship

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 06/23/2015

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If you’re feeling lonely in your romantic relationship or disconnected from your partner, chances are, real intimacy is missing.  It’s understandable to want your partner to like and love you.  Yet, when seeking his approval and affection, you may try to be perfect while concealing parts of yourself (i.e. things you try to hide from others, are ashamed of, or quirks you wish didn’t exist).

The paradox about concealing these parts is they help real intimacy develop with your partner.  Intimacy exists when you’re able to be seen for all of who you are – the good, self-perceived bad, and quirks.  When you are known and loved for your true self, you feel a meaningful connection with yourself and partner.

As Alain de Botton says, “Intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone – and finding that that’s ok with them.”  In relationships with real intimacy, both are sharing their genuine selves.  To start cultivating the kind of intimacy that lasts, check out these three articles.

3 Must-Read Articles to Cultivate a Deeper Level of Intimacy

“There’s nothing more intimate in life than simply being understood. And understanding someone else.” – Brad Meltzer, The Inner Circle

Why Real Intimacy is the Key To Love

Intimacy is essential to a fulfilling relationship.  With intimacy, you are understood and understand your partner.  Real intimacy comes from being your true self.  When you are seen for who you are – the good and not so good – your partner feels comfortable letting you see his self-perceived flaws.  You experience a deeper connection with him which increases the likelihood for lasting love.  Learn what keeps intimacy away, why sex is never the way to real intimacy, and where intimacy is found.

Lost Intimacy? 11 Steps For Getting It Back

In a society where short attention spans and instant gratification are the norm, people want and expect intimacy to happen quickly. Intimacy takes time and is built on multiple levels — emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, etc. The more connected you are on different levels, the more deeply you and your partner will feel about each other.   If you’ve lost the intimacy in your relationship, learn 11 ways to get it back.

6 Powerful Ways To Keep Intimacy Alive With The One You Love

Most of us have experienced situational intimacy when gazing into our partner’s eyes during sex or over a candlelit dinner. If you’ve experienced those sweet moments, you know how truly fleeting they are — leaving you wanting more. But situational intimacy, alone, does not allow a relationship to thrive. Successfully cultivating daily moments of intimate also reduces the chances for cheating and divorce. And ultimately, intimacy is essential to a happy and healthy marriage. Learn about the deeper meaning of intimacy and ways to cultivate that in your relationship.

This is the kind of intimacy worth having for a lifetime…

“The way you touched my soul without taking off my clothes. The greatest intimacy lies between the nakedness of two minds.” – Unknown

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Subtle Signs That Reveal if You Are in an Unhealthy Relationship

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 06/17/2014

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Even healthy relationships have ups-and-downs, which can make it difficult to know how solid things are with you and your partner.  Here’s the difference between unhealthy and healthy relationships.  In an unhealthy relationship, ups-and-downs are high highs and low lows.  There are more lows than highs.  You are taken on a roller coaster ride where you constantly feel more drained than uplifted.  You and your partner are challenged by the same issues that keep coming up and handle them like children (e.g. avoidance, tantrums, denial, I’m right / you’re wrong, etc.).

Healthy relationships are more balanced with even ups-and-downs.  There are more highs than lows and if something goes wrong, you don’t automatically think, “Will this end?”  Instead, you sense that things will be okay.  When challenges come up, both people handle them in an adult manner by discussing things rationally, being open to the other person’s perspective and working things out for the greater good of the relationship.

Obvious signs of unhealthy relationships are mental, physical or emotional abuse.  But what about the subtle signs that aren’t as clear?  The kind of signs that typically show up as the tiny voice in the back of your head — the voice that causes you to question things and leaves you feeling uncertain.

Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

If you are in an unhealthy relationship, some or all of these 16 signs will be present.  Each sign shows a comparison of unhealthy and healthy, to help you know what is good and not good in a relationship.

1. Denying yourself things you desire

In an unhealthy relationship, you won’t be doing or will be doing less of the things you want or like.  Instead, more often than not, you will go along with what your partner wants.  In a healthy relationship, you are doing things you desire and feeling good about them.

2. Justifying to friends and family why you’re with him

In an unhealthy relationship, you find yourself defending him or explaining his behavior to the people who care about you.  In a healthy relationship, you are not defending or explaining his behavior to others because you won’t feel compelled to.

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7 Common Romantic Relationships Myths to Stop Believing

by Janet Ong Zimmerman on 06/03/2014

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Myth: an idea or story that many people believe, but is not true

Re·al·i·ty: something that actually exists or happens

I bought into the following myths at different times in my love life.  When I believed them, my love life was harder and more stressful.  After doing the inner work and learning my lessons, these myths disappeared.  I’m here to tell you that these myths don’t need to be your reality, and the reality I’ve experienced (you can too) from making changes within.

Myth #1: Love is hard

What makes love hard are all of the painful and stressful experiences we associate with receiving and giving love starting from a young age.  The way you have learned to love will determine if love is hard or easy.  The reality is love is as easy or hard as we make it to be.  If you want to simplify love, start by releasing baggage that you may be unintentionally holding onto.

Myth #2: When I’m in a relationship, I will be happy

There are many people in relationships who are still unhappy.  The reality is if you aren’t happy with yourself and your own life first, you will bring that unhappiness into the relationship.  Being in a relationship will only magnify your unhappiness.  Instead, find your own happiness within and in doing so, your happiness won’t be dependent on what happens in your relationship.

Myth #3: A good relationship doesn’t require work

Many people think that a good relationship is effortless where both individuals are on the same page.  They meet each other’s desires, share the same interests and want the same things.  The reality is even the best relationships require attention, effort and work.  Because you and your partner are individuals with different perspectives, you will see things differently.  You will want to respect or resolve these differences.  Also, in a long-term relationship, daily life can get in the way.  If you’re in a long-term relationship, make sure to nurture your partner and relationship so that it continues to thrive.

Myth #4: My partner should know what I need and how I feel

We may think the person closest to us (our partner) should know what we need and how we feel.  The reality is sometimes you may not know what you truly need or how you are really feel.  And since you’re human, you are evolving.  In these situations, you can’t expect your partner to know or to read your mind.  The best way for your partner to know what you need and how you feel is to tell him.  In doing so, you give him the opportunity to give you what you need and to acknowledge your feelings.

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What to Do When You Don’t Know Where You Stand

April 8, 2014
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Wondering if you should walk away or stay?  It depends.  If you have just met a guy you really like, it takes time to get to know one another.  This is a situation where you stay.  But if you like the guy you’ve been seeing for a while and aren’t sure where you stand, it […]

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What to Do When He Seems to Be Losing Interest

February 25, 2014
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When the man you love seems to be distancing himself, it’s understandable to get caught up in over-analyzing, worrying and stressing about what’s going on and what you should do. Here’s what you should know. This is the time to breathe through things instead of figuring out how to get his attention back. Give him […]

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What to do if You’ve Started Seeing a Guy You Really Like

January 14, 2014
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Have you been on multiple dates with the same guy and feel as if things aren’t progressing the way you’d like? Or are you fresh off of the dating scene and in a new relationship? When you’re still getting to know each other and things are still new, you may not know what to do […]

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Why You Should Delay Sex if You Want a Real Relationship

July 2, 2013
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A promising relationship can be derailed when both people have premature sex before getting to know each other and learning if they are truly compatible. Premature sex rushes things and creates an imaginary bond that isn’t strong enough to sustain a long-term relationship. Premature Sex = Lust Having sex early on gives a man very […]

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Travel Lightly to Love

December 4, 2012
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A woman tends to put a lot of thought and time into planning her travels (i.e. packing consciously by making a list of things to take, setting clothes out before putting them in her suitcase, arranging items in her suitcase with care, etc.). Whether it’s traveling for business or pleasure, what a woman packs can […]

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Spring Clean Your Internal Barriers to Love

May 8, 2012
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Spring is a time for renewal and rebirth – birds chirp and flowers bloom. We feel more alive and use our energy to spring clean our external environment without realizing the importance of cleaning our internal environment. Self-imposed barriers keeping us from love are part of this internal environment. It took me decades to realize […]

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Love More, Judge Less

February 28, 2012
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“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa What you judge in your partner is also in you Have you found yourself trying to change your partner? Trying to control him? Thinking you’re right and he’s wrong? If so, these are forms of judging. Judging implies that something is […]

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