Whilst I’m certainly far from perfect, and can’t claim to be an expert on relationships, I’ve had my fair share of them and talked to enough people to reach my own point-of-view about what it takes to maintain a healthy and happy relationship.
It has always baffled me, however, the number of relationships that I see that are abusive, disrespectful and disempowering. It seems that more often than not, people would prefer to stay in a not-so-good relationship, than be single, and choose again.
There is no cookie cutter mould for the ‘perfect’ relationship, as we’re all different, and each and every one of us has different ideas about what the ‘deal’ is when it comes to a relationship. Our expectations, understandings, and the type of ‘arrangement’ that we’d like to make with that other person we choose to be with is very individual. However there are common elements that when put in to practice, can truly invite and create happy relationships, irrespective of what the ‘deal’ is.
If you’re in a relationship that you would like to improve, or if you’re single and would like some tips on how to create a truly nurturing and caring relationship, the 5 Elements of Intimacy* – trust, honor, allowance, vulnerability, gratitude – are that which I believe to be the secret to sustaining a happy, healthy and fun relationship. They are that which my husband and I live by, and we are continually amazed how our relationship gets better as each week passes.
Trust means knowing that the person is going to do what they are going to do for as long as they choose to do it. It’s about seeing the person for who they are. Not who you wish, hope or pretend they are going to be. If you would like a happy relationship, please stop expecting or demanding the other person to change.
Honor means treating the other person with respect and kindness. Not dissing them. So often people shake their heads, roll their eyes, or make a snide remark to or about their loved one. Why would you ever treat someone that way? True honor is treating your loved one with kindness always. There is never an acceptable time for dissing, abuse or violence within a relationship.
Allowance means receiving the other person without judgment, and having an awareness of who the other person is, whether they are willing to see that part of themselves or not. There is no right, wrong, good or bad, without our judging it to be so. What if what you see as absolute truth is just your own interesting point-of-view? Who is to say that your point-of view is right and theirs is wrong? What’s the point, anyway? Proving you’re right and they’re wrong and inadequate just makes them feel bad about themselves.
Vulnerability means allowing the other person to see all of you without any barriers, and without any demand that he or she do anything about it. This does not mean being totally honesty and divulging every thought or feeling that is in your head. If saying what’s going on for you is not kind to the other person, and if it does not contribute to making the relationship greater, then why say it? If there is anywhere in your life where there is an implication that the other person must do something about how you “feel”, that is not vulnerability, that’s emotional blackmail.
Gratitude means being grateful for who the other person is right now. Knowing that they are a huge contribution to your life and living. Being in gratitude is stepping in to the space of not having any judgment of the other person, as gratitude and judgment can not co-exist.
What I love most about these 5 Elements of Intimacy is that they don’t just relate to intimate relationships. They can be applied to the relationship we have with ourself, our friends and family.
* The 5 Elements of Intimacy are from Access Consciousness® – a system of practical, dynamic and pragmatic life-changing techniques, tools and processes that are designed to empower you to create the life you truly desire.