“When two people listen to each other’s feelings, they create a space for love.”
Everyone can fall in love, but not everyone can stay in love. Falling in love does not require emotional strength. Staying in love requires great emotional strength and well-being. Love is about connecting at the emotional core of our being. A person with strong self-esteem will have the strength to make this connection. On the other hand, a person whose self-esteem is weak will find it much more challenging to connect emotionally.
Intimacy happens when two people can be consistently open and honest about their feelings and needs. This ability to be emotionally open and honest requires the inner strength to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is not just telling your partner how you feel about yourself and your life, but more importantly how you feel about him or her. Being open and honest means I can tell you what my needs are whatever they may be without shame or fear.
Couples who love each other consistently pay attention to the emotional needs of their partner and strive to fulfill those needs to the best of his or her ability. To achieve this, couples must be able to create a safe emotional space for each other. Feeling safe is essential in order to express feelings, needs, and perceptions, without fear of being rejected or shamed.
In any relationship there are three styles of communication: passive, assertive, and aggressive. Most people generally err either by being too passive or too aggressive in expressing their feelings and needs. The one skill that is most necessary to build intimacy is therefore, the ability to communicate assertively. Assertive communication means I can express my feelings and needs honestly, clearly, and calmly without anger, attacking or any type of verbal abuse. The path to intimacy and love requires emotional strength. And this is the reason why that everyone can fall in love, but not everyone can stay in love.