Why do we need intimacy in our relationships?
Human beings crave closeness in various ways. One of the most common ways is through relationships. Closeness in relationships can be achieved through the creation of intimacy because intimacy means closeness.
Basically, we need intimacy in our relationships because it’s a key part of maintaining them. Sounds like a vicious cycle, doesn’t it?
How do we create intimacy in our relationships?
Most people think intimacy means sex. Sex is very vital in a relationship and helps to create intimacy; however, intimacy is so much more than just sex.
Like most components of relationships, creating intimacy takes time. It doesn’t magically happen over night, especially at the start of a relationship. In the beginning everything is new and awkward.
The best way to start creating intimacy is through communication. You are probably used to being single, but now you have someone else’s thoughts and feelings to consider. Talk to your partner and get to know them. Work on slowly moving away from only regarding yourself towards involving him or her too. Once this fundamental step towards intimacy starts, it’ll keep a natural flow and the awkwardness will ease away.
How do we continue creating intimacy?
Now it’s time to think about how to expand on the foundation you’ve built. Here is a list of ideas on how to continue creating intimacy throughout the relationship.
Share new adventures together
New adventures can be scary. Share them with your partner to ease your worries, and it will bring you closer. Most likely you’ll end up loving it and happy your partner was there to experience it with you.
The feel of someone else’s touch often has a relaxing or euphoric effect. Physical contact through touching, kissing, hugging, and sex definitely spices things up and creates it’s own unique form of intimacy.
Communicate needs and wants
This has to be a constant practice in your relationship. Needs and wants get frequently overlooked and overshadowed by other priorities. Sitting down and having a serious chat about this will generate tons of intimacy through honesty and shared values. If it doesn’t then you might need to reevaluate why you’re with him or her because you might want different things in life and love.
Read to each other
I’m a huge fan of books and reading, so this one really inspires me. It’s one thing to read your own separate books together in bed at the end of the night, but it’s another to actually read the same book together. This might establish mutual interests in the same books as well as more snuggle time. What’s more intimate than that?
Teach your partner something new and vice versa
It could be a new skill or hobby like showing him or her how to shop on a budget or hiking local trails. This also builds patience and trust along with intimacy in your relationship. Just remember not to get too frustrated with your partner if they struggle to learn it. (Yes, I am definitely talking from experience!)
Every happily intimate couple I know loves to travel, so this one always seems to work. Plan a vacation together and see where the world’s adventures take you.
There’s loads of other activities which can strengthen intimacy. If you didn’t enjoy any of the ones I listed, try to come up with your own. Then, let me know by sharing in the comment section below.
- Three Healthy Ways to Find YOUR Happiness
- Seven Tips on Managing Anxiety While in a Relationship
- Dealing with a Loved One Who Has ADHD
I personally suffer from Anxiety and Depression, so this topic hits home for me. Managing anxiety is a struggle I deal with every single day. Throw a relationship into the mix, and sometimes life gets pretty complicated. I feel it’s imperative to constantly find ways to deal with it, so here are the tips and tricks I’ve learned for managing anxiety while in a relationship.
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR MANAGING ANXIETY WHILE IN A RELATIONSHIP:
- Lean on your significant other for support
- Make sure your partner listens
- Enjoy new hobbies together
- Share cleaning responsibilities
- Motivate each other
- Learn to compromise
- Be with someone who helps calm your anxiety
LEAN ON YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER FOR SUPPORT
This may seem like an easy task, but in my experience it can be far from it. It’s hard to lean on my current boyfriend, Slade, for support sometimes. I haven’t had many supportive relationships in the past, but that’s no excuse. One crucial aspect of a successful relationship is supporting each other, especially through both good and bad times. Whether you’re having an anxiety attack or just need a push to accomplish every day activities, realize your significant other is always there to support you.
MAKE SURE YOUR PARTNER LISTENS
Communicate to your partner when you need them to listen to you. Slade has ADHD, so listening to me is difficult on a daily basis for him. Even so, he turns off all distractions and focuses his attention on me when I’m in desperate need for him to listen. He doesn’t talk until I’m through speaking and tries not to interrupt me. This is what an effective listener does. When you have anxiety, your mind constantly drums up more things to panic about, so make sure your partner knows when to sit down and listen.
ENJOY NEW HOBBIES TOGETHER
Hobbies are great anxiety relievers. They temporarily get your mind off of your worries and often force you to relax (depending on the hobby). Since I’ve been on my journey to a healthier lifestyle, Slade and I have been trying new healthy hobbies to enjoy together such as working out and cooking healthier food. Another great hobby to do with your significant other is reading. Curl up in bed next to each other at the end of the night before bed and either read your own books or read a book together. Be open to trying new hobbies with your significant other because it can sooth your anxious mind and create more intimacy in your relationship.
SHARE CLEANING RESPONSIBILITIES
If you live with your significant other, this can be a wonderful solution for several different problems. Putting unnecessary amounts of work on yourself leads to more anxiety. Take it from me. Often times, I find myself overwhelmed when it comes to cleaning. I take over cleaning duties so Slade doesn’t have to worry about it when he comes home from a long day at work. It’s so silly because I’m the one with anxiety yet I’m adding more unnecessary stress to myself. Slade hates it when I do this and reassures me he will always help me clean. If you’re doing all of the cleaning at your place, try to share cleaning responsibilities. If you don’t live with your significant other, then see if he or she will help you clean up your place a little bit here and there. You’ll be amazed at how much stress and anxiety it takes off.
MOTIVATE EACH OTHER
Motivate each other through simple and complex issues or tasks. That sounds pretty easy, but it’s also easy to lose motivation when certain problems become further complicated. Some days I refuse to go work out because I want to be lazy, but Slade motivates me to go anyway. This winds up making me feel better and eases some of my stress. Motivation shows signs of care and commitment for one another in the relationship.
LEARN TO COMPROMISE
Learning to compromise is one of the biggest issues in most relationships. One or both partners can be very stubborn and think the other one should give in to them. They don’t stop fighting until eventually one of them does and the one who gave in is left feeling rejected and upset. Occasionally, my anxiety will get the better of me, and I’ll throw tantrums until I get what I want. Recently, I’ve come to accept the art of compromising with Slade because it results in no fighting, both of us getting what we want, and less anxiety. Compromise with your partner and you’ll see better communication, a decrease in fighting, and greater overall happiness with each other.
BE WITH SOMEONE WHO HELPS CALM YOUR ANXIETY
*This is the most important tip.* Don’t waste your time trying to suppress your anxiety because your partner can’t handle it. That will end badly for both of you. You need to be with someone who calms your anxiety, not causes it. Examples include making you laugh when he or she knows you’re feeling uneasy or scared; keeping you focused on breathing during an attack; or even just accepting it. Slade knew about my anxiety and depression from the very beginning. He loves me for me despite these struggles and keeps me calm when I’m anxious. Be with someone who helps, accepts, and loves you for you.
- Let me know what you thought about these tips and whether or not you found them effective by leaving a comment below.
OTHER RELATED ARTICLES:
- Struggling with Anxiety and Depression: My Story
- Dealing with a Loved One Who Has ADHD
- Three Healthy Ways to Find YOUR Happiness
THE MEANING OF HAPPINESS
Happiness refers to either a state of being or an experience and means something different to everyone.
It doesn’t arrive in a magical bottle and takes a tremendous amount of time and energy to find. People often find it in unexpected ways, but it doesn’t seem to last for long.
I believe it can last. You just need to search the right places.
FINDING YOUR HAPPINESS
So how do you find it? I believe there are several key components.
Approach the concept with a positive, healthy mindset.
This requires a certain level of self awareness, which sounds harder than it is. First, open your eyes to see your problems and what’s making you unhappy. Then, figure out how to positively resolve these issues (one at a time) with your happiness in mind. Only your happiness matters right now.
I know I’m making this sound a lot easier than it actually is. This takes time and patience to master, and you might need help along the way.
Once you begin to open your mind up to happy solutions, you’ll feel the peace within.
Explore healthier eating habits.
Unhealthy eating habits eventually lead to unhappiness, even if it makes you feel happy momentarily. For example, binge eating a bag of Doritos tastes delicious at first, but later on you experience a stomachache. This is neither healthy nor happy for your body.
Give your body the nutrients it craves, and it will reward you. You’ll find your energy levels increasing as well as other improved changes you didn’t realize you were missing.
Eating healthier also provides a confidence boost. The healthier you eat, the better your body looks and feels. This also takes time and patience, but the end result is completely worth it. You’ll see your self image improve vastly. Most importantly, you will not want to binge eat bags of Doritos anymore. You will eat what makes you happy permanently.
Surround yourself with healthy relationships.
To me, this sounds easier said than done. Sometimes people turn out to be different than initially expected. They end up leaving you, and you’re left either feeling happy they’re gone or miserable for losing them.
The ones who love, understand, and communicate with you are the ones who will always stay. Love isn’t enough to keep a relationship going by itself. Lack of understanding and communication can lead to unhappiness within the relationship and eventually break it.
Also, do not enter relationships where you become overly dependent on the other person (or people). Co-dependent relationships are unhealthy and often result in emotional and financial abuse leaving one or both sides brokenhearted and alone in the end.
You need people who will be by your side and support you through both good and bad times. It doesn’t matter if it’s your family, friends, or significant other. Work on building loving, lasting relationships because they will play a significant role in your continued happiness.
WHAT IS ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD)?
As a quick reference, according to the Attention Deficit Disorder Association:
ADHD is a highly genetic, brain-based syndrome that has to do with the regulation of a particular set of brain functions and related behaviors.
In layman’s terms, ADHD is when people struggle with normal functioning of certain skills. These skills include attention, memory, hyperactivity, concentration, social skills, etc.
Also, ADHD used to be referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Nowadays people still use the term ADD, but the medically correct term is ADHD.
*For more information/references on ADHD, scroll to the bottom of this post.*
HOW DOES ADHD AFFECT MY LIFE?
ADHD is a recurring issue which strains my relationships with my mom and my boyfriend, Slade.
I do not have ADHD, but my mom and Slade do. Slade was actually diagnosed with it as a child. My mom wasn’t, so I can’t medically say she has it. I studied ADHD in undergraduate college and can infer she has it.
My mom is a very loving woman, but sometimes it was a struggle growing up with her. I felt like she was always in a different world.
Like most children, I craved my mom’s attention all of the time, but she seemed to be preoccupied a lot. There were times when she was the only person I could go to, but she didn’t listen to me. She ignored me and wound up misunderstanding what I needed from her.
I was so frustrated with her so often. I didn’t understand why she just refused to listen or notice the every day realities surrounding her.
Then, I grew up and found out she may have an attention disorder.
Everything finally clicked and made sense, but it still didn’t fix anything. Nothing changed. Our relationship got further complicated as I grew into a teenager and then an adult.
Now I’m in a serious relationship with an amazing man. He just so happens to have the same disorder as my mom.
Almost every day is a struggle. He constantly gets distracted easily and forgets recent things I’ve told him. There are times when he half listens and only catches a few words I say. Sometimes he just dismisses me altogether and doesn’t realize it.
Two of the most important people in my life isolate me in a way they might never understand. Occasionally my depression deepens when I’m around both of them which leaves me feeling lonely and insignificant.
*See related article Struggling with Anxiety and Depression: My Story*
HOW DO I DEAL WITH IT?
Part of my journey to becoming healthier is accepting my realities. This is one of them.
Even though I battle loneliness and isolation on an almost daily basis, I have to remember a few things.
- I love my mom and Slade no matter what circumstance.
- I accept they will always have ADHD, and I can’t change that.
- They both battle every day life difficulties due to ADHD.
I deal with it simply by helping them. This involves matching one of their weaknesses to one of their strengths.
Whenever my mom isn’t aware she’s ignoring me, I try different ways of demanding her attention through mentioning things she’s passionate about. This helps her focus on one thing at a time and shows she’s giving me her attention.
Whenever Slade forgets tasks, I tell him to make lists. This is extremely effective because it not only improves his memory, but also focuses his attention on healthy distractions.
Ultimately, patience is a major contributing factor in helping and dealing with ADHD. I admit I’m lacking a little bit in that department; however, I channel the small amount I do possess because it matches one of my weaknesses with one of my strengths.
It also helps to love the ones you’re helping, especially if they love you back.
At the end of the day, I remind myself love will always triumph any disorder.
(Yes, I resorted to the cheesy love ending, but wasn’t it sweet?)
Here are a few resources for you if you just read this post and want to know more about ADHD.
- As referenced above, the Attention Deficit Disorder Association website linked here is a great resource for any information on ADHD.
- The National Resource for ADHD aka CHADD is perfect for information on ADHD in both children and adults.
- For more data, statistics, and research on ADHD, visit the government’s website for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) linked here.
*My intention with this post is to tell my very personal story about struggling with anxiety and depression. After, I will provide a few resources to check out about these conditions.*
Like I mentioned in my About page, I have Anxiety Induced Depression.
I’m not sure when it started because I think I’ve had it all of my life. I wasn’t cognizant of it until four years ago though.
As a normal college student, I walked into my 11 am class and sat down in my usual seat. I got there about ten minutes early, but the classroom was already filling up.
I started to feel anxiousness as I looked around at everyone. The air started to thicken, and I could feel my breath shortening. Then fear and panic creeped it’s way into my body. I couldn’t stand it anymore, so I stood up out of my seat, grabbed my backpack, and rushed out of the classroom.
I immediately ran for the bathroom on the bottom floor. Luckily no one was in there because class had already begun. I went into one of the stalls because I felt nauseated, but nothing happened.
That’s when the tears came. My chest hurt so badly because I couldn’t breath and then sobs ensued. My first instinct was to call my mom.
I explained what was occurring inside of me. She told me I was having a panic attack and to leave campus right away. I hung up the phone and calmed myself down enough to leave the bathroom. I headed straight for the transit buses and went home.
My mom called me again to check in and assured me I needed to go see a doctor. She revealed she also had the same problems with anxiety. I think I always knew that too, but again I wasn’t really aware of it until that moment.
So I drove myself to the doctor’s office. I won’t go into detail about my visit, but it was a terrible experience. The doctor basically said it was a temporary condition and gave me a few pills to last a week.
I left the doctor’s office, came home, and went to sleep emotionally exhausted. As a result of that visit, I never went back to that doctor again.
After I finished those pills, I was not on medication anymore. I finished the semester and continued on with my life.
Then, I was in my last year of college. I had a few minor panic attacks that year, but nothing major until my final semester.
I was required to intern during my final semester of college, and everything was wonderful in the beginning.
As the semester progressed, I felt a sadness deep within me. I dreaded the thought of leaving my bed every morning; didn’t want to face my future anymore; and felt completely lost and hopeless.
I became self aware and knew it was depression.
After this realization, I forced myself to go to another doctor who was much more professional. She informed me I have anxiety induced depression and prescribed medication for me to take indefinitely.
I also sought counseling. Luckily the university provided free counseling to students. The only catch was I was about to graduate and only able to attend three sessions.
So now fast forward to today, I’m not on any medications and no longer in therapy.
I’m currently looking for natural ways of keeping my anxiety and depression at bay.
This website is all about anxiety. It goes over the different types of anxiety, symptoms, and any other relevant information on anxiety.
This website is all about anxiety and depression together. It even discusses other disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Bipolar Disorder, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). There’s also an option to find a therapist or counselor in your area.
This blog has a related post on anxiety called Living with Anxiety: I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means. It’s a really detailed post, and I found it very helpful.
This website/blog talks specifically coping with anxiety and panic (if you couldn’t tell by the name). It goes more into depth about actual panic/anxiety attacks as well as separation anxiety.