Y’all know that old Olivia Newton John hit “Let’s Get Physical”, right?
Press play on this video for a quick refresher. Do you remember the video being that racy? I, for one, do not. 😅
But it’s fitting, cause we’re gonna talk about another one of the “Five Types of Intimacy” today: Physical Intimacy. (Did you catch my previous blog on Emotional Intimacy last month? Catch up here.)
Physical intimacy is the most straightforward of the five, and frankly the one most likely to be shared with strangers regularly.
But, when shared intentionally, it can the embodiment of the song’s phrase:
“Let me hear your body talk!”
It may seem obvious that, at its most basic level, physical intimacy is sharing physical space with another- whether by design or accident.
Which is important to note because while we like to think of intimacy as inherently good, that’s not always true.
When I’m squished on a crowded train, I’m physically intimate with many people and I am NOT HAPPY about it. 😫
So what do I do when I feel stuck in a situation I’m not comfortable with?
On a train, I might look up at the ceiling and think about my weekend plans in order to ignore the fact that my body is intimately lodged between strangers.
You know what I mean, right?
And then, if I commute like this regularly, it will become second nature for me to ignore what my body is feeling, and eventually I might find myself escaping into my head every time I step on a train, even when it’s not crowded.
Even if someone I love is sitting next to me. Oops! 😯 (Please tell me I’m not the only this has happened to!)
How does this relate to marriage?
Sadly, too easily, as my clients, Brandy and Morgan discovered.
They’ve been together almost 20 years, have two kids and both work outside the home.
They love each other, but have been feeling less connected over the past few years, despite a date night once a month.
Brandy and Morgan were generally happy together, made it a point to have sex once a week, went to bed together every single night, and described their relationship as “nice”, but they just didn’t FEEL as close as they used to.
Worse, it didn’t FEEL like what they wanted it to feel like.
To their credit, they’d been talking about it together and working hard to find ways to “spice things up”. But, while they had some fun sexy adventures together which is always good- the problem was that nothing was having a LASTING impact.
Finally, on a whim and with nothing to lose, Brandy responded to one of my emails and asked if I thought I could help.
Well, I’d like to say it was a big challenge- but it wasn’t, lol.
They had everything they needed to have a really fulfilling relationship, but they just didn’t understand the value of their existing connection or how to grow it into a relationship that would be FULFILLING in the long term.
Plus, they were both type A+ people, so while they weren’t shy about expressing their disappointments in the marriage, they also weren’t worried about having to put in some work to change things.
That was key, cuz while I have a laid back demeanor, I’m an A+++ coach and in order for me to succeed, my clients have to not only show up, but step up! 😆
Obviously, that wasn’t a problem for Brandy and Morgan- they were already fully invested in their relationship and committed to its success.
Like most couples who work with me BEFORE THINGS ARE BROKEN, they simply needed an expert coach to see what they couldn’t, create solutions for what wasn’t working and offer guidance as they forged a better path forward.
One of the most significant and easiest transformations I helped them with was their bedtime routine, because without realizing it, they were both acting like me on a crowded train.