Intensity Versus Intimacy in a Romantic Relationship
- Gaining clarification between deep connection and passing infatuation
- Maximizing enjoyment and minimizing the downside of dating
The beginnings of an intense romantic relationship can be exciting and fun. Being clear about the difference between intensity and intimacy, and knowing what you want from a relationship can help you stay balanced and avoid disappointment.
Studies show that falling in love activates areas of the brain associated with gut feelings and euphoria. The frontal lobe area, associated with higher thought, is not especially active. So how do you keep your feet on the ground when you are attracted to someone?
Answer these questions to help boost your intimacy IQ. Intimacy involves closeness, comfort, familiarity, trust, and acceptance.
- Can I talk openly to my partner about my fears?
- Can I talk openly to my partner about my hopes and dreams?
- Can I talk openly to my partner about my past?
- Can I accept my partner’s past?
- Can I listen and support my partner in conversations about fears, hopes, and dreams
- Do I feel safe with my partner?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, you are on your way to establishing intimacy.
Intensity usually involves feelings of euphoria and preoccupation.
- We have been physically close, but I really don’t know much about my new partner.
- My partner doesn’t really seem to be interested in things that are important to me.
- There has been a lot of “love bombing” – Heavy doses of romantic gestures and flattery, but not a lot of authenticity.
- Does my partner try to change me?
- Do I try to change my partner?
- Does my partner often disappoint me by changing plans or otherwise being inconsistent?
If you agree with or answer yes to most of the above statements, you may be in the throws of an intense romantic and physical relationship. There may be nothing wrong with this! Just make sure that you are on the same page about the direction of the relationship.
-This exercise is excerpted from Mindfulness for Emerging Adults