Are you sleep-walking through your relationship or are you actually present?
Do you and your partner really talk to and hear each other, or are you just occupying the same space?
Is your mind filled with what happened in the past or worries about what is going to happen in the future?
These questions often get a yes when presented to couples. Somehow they have lost their day to day connection and have become cohabitants rather than partners.
Presence and intimacy are both important aspects of a relationship.
Which comes first? That’s a chicken and egg question. Presence is a direct entrée into intimacy, and emotional closeness leads to a feeling of being present. Or we could wrap the two together and say that the two are equivalent – that intimacy is being present.
So what are these characteristics? We don’t want to portray being present as some kind of blinding light epiphany where the past and the future fall away and the senses flood in with psychedelic intensity. It’s more a matter of degree. What is your attention focused on? The future? The past? Or what is happening right in front of you?
How Being Present Leads to Intimacy
It’s not any grand woo-woo thing. Being present consists of seeing and reacting to what is in front of you – what is offered through your senses. That includes hearing your partner’s words, taking note of their reactions, their body language, their emotions. By doing this you are hearing them, responding to them, being moved by them. What better definition of intimacy?
How Intimacy Leads to Presence
Being intimate consist of showing yourself. It means confessing your weaknesses, revealing your hidden desires, allowing your feelings to surface and show. It requires being truthful. That intimacy is you being present.
So intimacy and presence are two sides of the same coin, and knowing this can help you bring more of both into your life.Share the present with your partner; it is very empowering, and will revitalize your relationship… Click To Tweet
If you recognize that you and your partner are frequently not present with each other, it is not too late to make a radical change. Radical, but in essence very simple. All you have to do is shift from the past or future into the present. “Well, how do I do that?” you ask.
Try some of these suggestions and see what results you get. Often it is the little things that bring about big changes.
- Don’t be in a hurry.
Instead of rushing to and fro, take a look around at where you actually are. When you and your partner are in the same place at the same time, stop and enjoy each other. Talk, listen, laugh.
- Look at your partner when talking and stay in physical contact where possible.
If you are sitting together or are close enough to make physical contact, odds are you will be able to really be present with each other.
- Stop what you are doing and pay attention to your partner.
Don’t forget there is a reason you are sharing your life with this person. Watch and enjoy who they are and why you are together. Look at them and remember that. It will generally put all other things out of your mind.
- Spend time with each other where you are not handling the necessities of everyday life.
This time should only be about enjoying and sharing with each other. Do not use this time to make decisions and solve problems.
- Do something out of the ordinary to please your partner.
Surprise is a great element for bringing us into the present. Let your partner know with your actions that you see them and treasure them.
- Verbally acknowledge and appreciate each other.
Almost nothing gets our attention more. It will invariably bring both partners into the present. If you are giving someone this energy, you will need to be focused on them to do so. If your partner is sharing these feelings with you, your attention will be riveted on hearing these kind words.
- Observe your partner.
Empty your mind of everything but what you see when you look at your partner. Don’t stare but do give this your full attention. When doing this exercise, it sometimes helps to visualize them naked. This will generally bring you rather quickly into the present.
Being present brings with it many marvels and leads to new and exciting experiences. When you share the present with your partner, it is very empowering, and will revitalize your relationship.