The one thing you need to have total intimacy

Truth is, there's no intimacy without honesty and for that to happen you have to ask yourself one question that will shape how meaningful your relationship is.

Here’s the one thing you need to have total intimacy in a relationship—but first, you have to ask yourself a question.

I didn’t ask it to myself in so many relationships and it is now the forefront of my intimate relationship.

What is the purpose of your relationship?

A lot of people never set the purpose of their relationship and it becomes more about convenience. Why are you with someone? You might say you don’t know. To have fun with Be close to them. Because you love them.

For a meaningful relationship we can do better.

The purpose of all meaningful and intimate relationships is to create healthy attachment.

Don’t be freaked out by the world attachment—it means a bond, not neediness.

From a research-based perspective, attachment theory is a look at the biological need we have for what’s called emotional safety. We need it as much as we need oxygen.

It’s when you can let your guard down and share your thoughts and feelings with someone, and don’t have to wear your mask.

One of the great goals of our life is to put our masks down. A lot of us wear the mask of people pleasing and never showing when we have an emotional problem, and ultimately we’ll never really feel safe or emotionally seen.

Total intimacy in a relationship comes down to levels of honesty.

There’s a famous family therapist called John Bradshaw who says families are as sick as their secrets. and the same goes for intimate relationships.

It’s very easy to learn the pattern of what we call withholding. We start withholding information and truth and problems and our opinions. Eventually we’ve removed ourselves from the relationship. We can be physically present but no longer emotionally present.

When we become emotionally present we start to fill ourselves up through the relationship so we can fill our own cup, so we can create a feeling of safety and a bond with another person. That makes it actually easier to go out in the world and take more risks because we know we have a safe emotional home with another person.

This is exactly the same thing we needed when we grew up with our mum and dad, then we got told we needed to grow up and be independent. One of my favourite authors is Dr Sue Johnson, who says the only independent human is a dead human.

The rest of us require emotional safety and a place where we can connect and create a deep bond with our partner. How we do this is through honesty. What do I mean? Tell the microscopic truth with your partner—share with them what you’re thinking. Share your emotions.

This can sometimes be uncomfortable but nine times out of ten it will bring you closer.

When it comes to our thoughts there are two types: factual and fantasy. Factual is what’s actually happened, and fantasy is what we tell ourself happened.

I was in my office at home recently and my partner came in and said, ‘Come do something together.’ And I said, ‘If it’s okay with you, I’ll be another 30 minutes then I’ll come hang.’

She gave me a look that to me said, ‘How dare you do what’s important to you?’ So I shared with her that I thought she was judging me and she laughed: “I was thinking I really love you.”

We burst into laughter, and I thought, ‘This is why it’s so important to share how I’m thinking because sometimes that’s so off.’

The only way to get through the stories we’re telling ourselves is to start talking about them. Again, this can be super uncomfortable. The upside is when you start sharing your stuff and being vulnerable it creates the gift of emotional closeness and total intimacy.

There is no intimacy without honesty.

You can get involved here in the live global broadcast 'How to Become a Relationship Coach' where we’ll discuss all things relationship coaching, and how we can apply the tools to ourselves and more importantly how we apply them to other people’s relationships too.

You'll heart it—honest!

Matt Lavars is one of Australia's leading coaches, trainers and speakers, and head facilitator at The Coaching Institute. In between mentoring thousands of coaches and leaders all around Australasia and helping others build incredible culture, Matt is passionate about fitness and music. His healthy office lunches whipped up in five minutes are the stuff of legend

Matt Lavars
Matt LavarsThe Coaching Institute