Relationships can be a delicate balance.
If we cling on too tight we can grasp too hard and potentially cause hurt; if we don’t hold on tightly enough they can slip through our fingers. Hanging in this balance is giving and receiving. We have to be open to and prepared to give out, and that is what we get reflected back from others. We can not demand intimacy, or manipulate others to give it to us, at least not in a genuine, invested and connected way. There is a mutuality in our intimate exchange – both parties are expressing and open to the intention of being intimate, and therefore being vulnerable. Being prepared to take that risk in order to experience the amazing feelings of the gain – love and intimacy.
First we have to take that step on our own, to be willing to be more open, try new things, and have unknown experiences or go down paths that we are unsure of where they lead to. This can be scary – we completely acknowledge that. It is human nature to want to know what happens next, it offers us security and familiarity, but what it also means is that often we remain stationary rather than moving forward.
We see this so often in our relationships: we get settled and into routines, don’t make as much of an effort to nurture our connection, communicate or touch. We take for granted that our partner is ‘ours’ and will always just be there, just because on a daily basis they are present. We forget that both we and the person or persons we are in relationships with, make a choice every day to stay in that relationship. So we go against this with intention to work on our relationships, to invest and to nurture. This begins with ourselves.
Think about what you value in your relationship connection. It’s likely to be feelings such as trust, attraction, safety, passion, caring, respect, autonomy, and openness. But these are things we will struggle to connect with in others if we have not yet first considered ourselves.
So take the risk! Invite your partner a way into your intimate space that you haven’t done before. Extend the invitation to them from you and allow a connection to unfold between you in a new way. If you checked out Pillow already, you’ll notice we have different styles of episodes. Some more touch focused, others based around talking and sharing. Some involving experiences which may make you laugh together, or as simple as holding eye contact for an extended period of time – offering your completely focused and undivided attention. The reason why we offer a range of episodes is that different forms of intimacy will be easier, and more challenging for different couples. Some may be able to experience uninhibited physical, sensual and sexual contact but find it really hard to openly discuss, talk and share. For some couples, just allowing themselves to feel appreciated and be offered compliments can bring up emotions and feel exposing. There is no one size fits all.
“Complaining of sexual boredom is easy and conventional. Nurturing eroticism in the home is an act of open defiance.” -Esther Perel
Although this quote from Esther Perel is focused on sex, the sentiment is clear: we can allow our relationships to become conventional and routine… or we can challenge the status quo. So take that chance and offer your partner that invitation to experience something new together.