In a committed relationship, we agree to be involved in all aspects of each other’s lives. That includes giving of our selves to each other. Sharing our lives and sharing our selves—these are at the heart of an intimate relationship. But sharing is not always easy: we are all selfish and we all have parts of ourself we hesitate to let others see. It takes courage to open our hearts to deeper sharing. Sharing can feel risky but the rewards are immeasurable.
• For a relationship to thrive and grow, we need to share both our outer lives – its concerns, activities and events – and also our inner experience – thoughts, feelings, opinions and dreams.
• At its most fundamental, to love is to share our attention and presence with the other person. Only as we stay engaged and connected do we offer our love.
• If intimacy and spontaneity of sharing diminishes, our feeling of connection lessens and relationship stagnates.
• We all hesitate to share our more private and vulnerable thoughts and feelings. These resistances stem from childhood and earlier life. We have to grow in courage and let go of our close-held secrets.
• To be generous is to share fully with an open heart, expecting nothing in return. Generosity is the most important defining aspect of a successful relationship.
Think about the following questions :
• What parts of my life do I share with your partner? What is missing?
• Do I spontaneously and generously open up and be vulnerable?
• Do we listen to each other with full attention and without distraction?
• Do I share my innermost intuitions and dreams?