THE BLOG
06/30/2014 06:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Finding Elusive Intimacy (Into Me You See)

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"Someday someone is going to look at you with a light in their eyes you've never seen, they'll look at you like you're everything they've been looking for their entire lives. Wait for it." -- Unknown, found on Rawforbeauty.com

I've been taking Stacey Martino's 8-week Relationship Quick Start Program. Stacey taught me that according to Human Needs Psychology, there are 6 fundamental human needs that must be met by your partner for your relationship to truly soar. And while my ex and I struggled to meet any of these 6 needs with each other, the one I had the hardest time accepting was that he wasn't meeting my need for love and connection.

I always dreamed of feeling a deep soul connection with my partner. But I didn't; never really did. Didn't even know it was possible. I thought that kind of love was fiction -- it made for a great romance novel, but didn't happen in real life. And then I started meeting couples who seemed to embody this and it made me sad because I knew in my heart it wasn't possible for me to achieve that kind of love with my ex. There was one particular couple we met while on our last vacation together that really hit it home for me. They were so connected, so in love; we weren't and hadn't been for a long time. That's when I finally admitted to myself that we weren't going to make it.

What I craved in my marriage, what I had been missing for 40 years -- long before my divorce -- was intimacy.

Into Me You See.

And isn't that what we all want? Someone who sees the real us - behind the facade - and still sticks around. Someone who gets us, likes and accepts us despite of - or perhaps because of - our foibles. Someone who is always there when we need a shoulder to cry on. Someone who has our back. Someone who can genuinely say, "I see you, the real you, and I love you."

Into Me You See.

I didn't feel that way with my ex. Didn't feel seen, loved for who I was. But it wasn't my ex's fault. It was mine. I wouldn't let him in, wouldn't let him see the real me. It was too risky, too vulnerable. It was easier to keep my guard up, to try to be the woman he wanted me to be. I wouldn't get hurt that way. Occasionally I tried to let him see the real me, but that never went well. He wasn't used to the real me and so when I tried to be my authentic self, I felt rejected, not seen or heard, not valued. So I hid my true self from him, from my friends and colleagues, from me. I thought it was easier that way - to live someone else's life, be who someone else wanted you to be. I was the ultimate people pleaser, you see.

But what I came to realize this past Spring was that intimacy must start with my relationship with myself. Before friends, before loved ones, before a romantic partner. Because if I don't "see into me," how can I expect someone else to?

And so I started cultivating that intimacy with myself. Starting journaling about what I wanted, who I was, what I loved about myself, my body. And you know what happened? This elusive intimacy found me. In me. In my friends. In my boyfriend. And I feel loved, valued, respected, and truly accepted for who I am. I can speak in my truth. I can be me and not worry about what other people might think. Who cares? If they See me, they'll love me for who I am anyway.

Into Me You See.

So if you too are seeking elusive intimacy, I encourage you to ask yourself: What do I see when I look inside myself? Dive in. You might be surprised at what you find and what happens after you go there.