In this week’s episode, Jess explores the power of vulnerability as part of the formula for intimacy.
Intimacy = Expression of vulnerability + Loving response
She shares one couple’s story and offers insight on how simple interactions can lead to deep connection. Have a listen!
See this episode’s transcription below…
In today’s episode, we’re addressing a very important topic — the formula for intimacy. I’m going to cut to the chase.
To deepen intimacy in your relationship and feel closer, more connected and more in love, there are two simple requirements:
Vulnerability + Loving Response
That’s it. Nothing cultivates deeper intimacy than admitting that you feel vulnerable and being met with loving reassurance.
I’m going to use the story of a couple I recently worked with as an example. Let’s call them Jordan and Rena.
Jordan and Rena are out for dinner and Rena is radiant — inside and out. She has an energy that just lights up the room. All heads turn when they walk in. And when Rena walks past the bar on the way to the restroom, a couple of men approach her. Jordan sees this and he feels threatened – and maybe a little jealous. So let’s look at a few ways this can play out.
Scenario #1: Jordan gets up and confronts the guys and their date night is ruined because he’s riled up and Rena is embarrassed.
Scenario #2: Jordan waits at the table and when Rena returns, something is different. He doesn’t want to engage in conversation. He’s flippant, dismissive and sarcastic. Rena asks what’s wrong and he simply replies “nothing”.
Scenario #3: Jordan waits at the table and when Rena returns, a conversation unfolds:
Jordan: Who are those guys?
Rena: I don’t know them.
Jordan: What did they want? He’s angry.
Rena: Nothing really. They asked to buy me a drink. I declined. It’s over.
Jordan: Well clearly you liked talking to them. I saw you smiling.
Rena: I was being polite.
Rena: Don’t be jealous. I hate when you’re jealous. You’re being insecure.
Jordan: I’m not jealous. They’re douches.
Rena: What’s your problem?
Jordan: My problem? You’re the one who clearly needs everyone’s attention.
And they go on fighting — not really talking about what’s really bothering them (their feelings), but simply being accusatory, defensive and ultimately inhibiting desire by avoiding the most important aspect of the evening — their feelings.
Scenario #4: Jordan waits at the table and when Rena returns, a conversation unfolds:
Jordan: Who are those guys? Remaining calm.
Rena: I don’t know them. They asked to buy me a drink. I declined. I just wanted to get back to hanging with you. We’re lucky to have a night out away from the kids.
Jordan: Smiles. You’re YOU. Of course they want to talk to you. It’s hard when I feel like everyone is after you — I don’t blame them. You’re the best, but it’s still feels weird when other people hit on you.
Rena: You have nothing worry about. I LOVE you. I want to be with you.
Jordan: I know.
They hold hands, feel a little spark in their stomachs and continue their conversation about their plans for the holidays.
In the first three scenarios, Jordan, rather than acknowledging how he’s feeling, goes on the attack (in the first one), withdraws (in the second), and makes accusations/directs blame in the third. In the third, Rena judges Jordan for feeling jealous and even complains that he’s feeling this way. She also accuses him of being insecure. And accusing your partner of feeling what their feeling is ultimately a form of judgment. Jealousy and insecurity are universal emotions. We all feel them at some point and when we do, we need out partners to respond with love and reassurance.
Just as Rena does in the fourth scenario. In this scenario, Jordan tells her that he’s a bit uncomfortable — he doesn’t blame her and he doesn’t lash out. He’s still feeling insecure and jealous,