First, Let’s begin with exploring intimacy - as Intimacy is not just about sex -
Intimacy is really about “I am here, see me.”
Intimacy is important in all forms of relationships, as it builds attractions, connection and desire. Intimacy is also described as close familiarity or friendships, and closeness.
Esther Perel, a Sex-therapist, Speaker and Author of the well known books: "Mating in Captivity" and the "State of Affairs", describes intimacy so simply: intimacy is… Into.Me.See!
As humans, we all want the connection of being…. Seen, heard and understood,
We all have the need for… Security, belonging, continuity, and safety,
and we all have the desire for... Adventure, mystery, discovery, and for the unknown.
In today’s western culture, Intimacy is Into.Me.See - as Esther Perel’s so eloquently puts it.
So, what are you going to see…. You are going to see my feelings, my worries, my dreams, my inspirations, I will open up to you...you will help me transcend my existential aloneness…
and welcome to modern love.
We are also aware that communication is the key and foundation of relationship, yes,
but more importantly, it’s not just about communication, but its is about how we say it.
Healthy communication is how you see your partner and how you connect with them. So when you communicate with your partner, always meet them where they are and to do that, you need to know your partner’s love language to communicate effectively.
If you need guidance in this department you can refer to the famous book….
The 5 love languages by Gary Chapman - The Secret to Love that Lasts! Highly recommend this read.
My Tips to communicating effectively to build intimacy are:
Prioritize and schedule time with your significant other - Because your partner is significant
Therefore the need for intimacy and date with your finances are equally important
Find ways to appreciate your partner
Write a love note
Write a letter/or note and what you desire about them
Complement them… us ladies, we love a compliment, and men do also, so compliment away, and be sure it is real and authentic… Say it, and mean it.
Take time to celebrate each others wins… So important to be each other’s cheerleaders
Exploring your own life’s pleasure and desires
Then communicate your desire in your relationship
Honoring yourself means knowing yourself, giving self-love, being unapologetic and standing in your power
Being yourself without guilt or shame
There is a saying that… Heal the girl, and the woman will show up.
So if you have in the past made some bad financial decisions, heal from your past and become the woman you are meant to be. New beginnings, new rules, new authentic you.
If you have listened to last week’s episode “who you marry will affect you financially”, you were introduced to the importance of having the financial discussion with your partner to allow for you to really get to know each other before you tie the knot.
And if the knot has already been tied, this is a great opportunity to discover each other and really deepen your connection with your relationship with your money.
Once you have implemented some tips from last week’s episode, then you are ready to build on that and really use money in your relationship to enhance your intimacy.
Building a successful and happy relationship is not just about sharing similar values and commonalities. But it is also about structuring both of your lives so that you have the discussion around money and make it a part of your relationship.
Take a business for instance, if you never question or verify the business financials, then you risk of losing your business - A relationship is just the same, you have to ask proper question in regards to your financials and your spouse finances to ensure that you are aligning yourself with the right person.
It is critical us women really start having the conversation with our partners, as 2 out of 4 married people do not even know how much their spouses make. So let’s get physical and talk money.
You can use this excessive to enhance your intimacy with your partner or girl-gang.
Take a large fish bowl and place it on your coffee table, surround it with candles, and dim the lights to make it a intimate atmosphere.
Grab a few sheets of paper, cut them into 2 inches by 4 inches, then write down any questions you have surrounding money.
Having the conversation around Money is important, and you have to talk about it in an empowered way.
Here are some example questions to ask:
If you were to get a million dollars, what would you do with it?
Do you have consumer debt?
Do you save? What are the things you save for?
When people ask you for money, do you lend them money?
What is a small amount of money, and what is a big amount of money.
What are your financial goals and plans around money?
You can even lean in deepen the relationship, by writing down 1 win and 1 loss during the week to share. If you are sharing your wins or loss, it is important that you write down “why was the win or loss” important to you?
How did it make you feel?
What have you learned from it?
Would you handle the situation the same or do something slightly different?
This bonus step, I love it when my girl-gang and I get together for the “lean in”’s as it really gives us all a perspective of who we really are at our core, and also we can learn from the mistakes made, so it basically saves us from making the same doo-doo twice and then we get to celebrate with each other our wins!
We cannot succeed without failure, so they are equally impactful.
Taking a moment to Shout out to…. my girl Sarah, who has built a budget and has been tracking it for the entire 30 days!
Kudos to you baby girl! So exciting and empowering!
Cheers to another 30 days of budgeting! The goal is to take it day by day and believe in your success.
The sooner you start having this conversation in your relationship the better it will be. Statistic has shown that if topics are discussed before they become an issue, the relationship is build on a more profound root system.
Another very important topic, which can also be turned into an intimate money game, is to ask the questions in regards to money rules:
Money rules are the things that you both agree and will and will not do
basically framing parameters around spending your money,
rules on investing
and use of debt.
Discuss these rules together openly.
These money rules are an open money management system that frame, how are you going to manage the accounts from day to day and how are you going to contribute and manage your funds and play fund (my favorite, what is your play fund, and what will you do with it)
How is your investment going, and goals.
What is it you want from money - and build and empower yourself around money.
What did you learn about money?
How does money make you feel?
If you could do anything with money what would it be?
What is your relationship with money in one Word?
Remember, do not wait until you have a stressful money conversation to have it, having a regular money date, or as I like to call it “Date with your Finances”, will allow you to get more and more comfortable with the topics at hand.
What I love about the money rules, is that you can both plan a system of management for you both that fits both of your needs - Remember you both are a unit” Your needs are as important as your partners and vice versa.
Think of the money rules this way…. If you had a beautiful plot of land somewhere on the beach, and you and your partner loved it, and agreed this is where you will build your dream home.
Ok, fantastic, well, if only one person shows up to the job site, while the other one is caught up in other engagements, then now it building the beach dream house now becomes one person’s burden, and the other one’s expectations.
You see the disconnect here?
No wonder why the number one cause for divorce is finance, there are way too many people showing up build a solo beach dream house.
Always always always make it playful, I know you have that inner child in you. There is nothing sexier then having discussion around money and actually being able to find humor in our failures and successes.
Because without failures there would be no success - Remember that when you get all bumzie in regards to your finances.
Success is taking the first step, and making the decision to change your money relationship to enhance your intimacy with yourself first, and ignite the desire with your partner to want to get to know you financially.
One question I was asked recently, was “what is your biggest fear around money” - I actually had to pause and reflect as I needed a moment to really dive deep into that feeling. In fact, I couldn’t even answer this question on the spot as I had to journal about it for a couple days, to really get a solid and authentic answer.
So you see, there are sometimes questions you may get asked or you ask, that could take some reflection, if that is the case, write down the question and drop it back into the fish-bowl for next week’s exercise.
Creating an air of secrecy about money is not healthy, so practicing with your girl-gang is a great way to take down the communication barriers down and build a habit, that will lead you, on the path of success. The more you know, the better you will be financially savvy.
Khalil Gibran, the book the Prophet, spells it out beautifully in his poem, just to quote a sentence… Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you.