A colleague of ours in the Lifestar Network shared a tool with us that can enhance the development of couple-intimacy.
Developing a relationship of healthy intimacy takes practice. Most things require the development of certain skills. A person locked in an addictive process fails to develop the skills of intimacy that contribute to greater overall health.
Our colleague described what he calls “The Good, Better, Best Check-in”. This is a series of ways to connect with your partner through three deepening steps of intimacy.
The Good Check-In
The good check-in invites each partner to give a report to the other on five domains of their experience.[arrow_list]
- Physical: How am I experiencing my physical self?
- Emotional: What is happening in me emotionally?
- Sexual: How do I experience my sexual needs being met? Spiritual: How am I connecting my life with the meaning of the universe whether I understand that to be expressed in the language of God or some other meaning tradition?
- Relational: How am I connecting my life with the life of others?[/arrow_list]
The Good Check-in is fact-oriented. It is simply about disclosure. It invites the partner to peer into the window of oneself. The Good Check-in assures that you are not living a life of isolation from your partner.
The Better Check-In
The Better Check-in takes the Good Check-in one step deeper on the path toward greater intimacy. It builds on the
foundation of personal disclosure.
Following the Good Check-in, the partner listens with an intent to truly understand what is being said. He or she receives the information of disclosure and then in an attitude of respect and appreciation asks questions that invite a deeper connection.
After sharing the report partner’s seek clarification of what is truly being said. This is a deeply affirming step. We all want to feel that we are being heard. The Better Check-in gives each partner the opportunity to give the gift of affirmation to one another.
The Best Check-In
The Best Check-in, now takes intimacy to a whole new level. In addition to disclosure, and building on the assurance that comes with affirming listening, the Best Check in invites each couple to express where they are vulnerable.
When partner’s risk being vulnerable with one another, always in a respectful environment, a deeper intimacy always results.
In the practice of intimacy, partners do not jump to the Best Check in. This can only come after each has practiced self-disclosure. For some sharing how one feels for what one perceives to be going on in his or her life will feel threatening and plenty vulnerable even with just putting facts out in the open. But over time, one gains confidence with self-disclosure.
With this confidence comes the ability to explore while maintaining an attitude of utmost respect. Once a couple learns the the skills of affirming listening through respectful exploration, the willingness to express greater vulnerability grows.
The Good, Better, Best Check-in takes time. Patience in the process returns great reward!
Image by: .oO(Stephan (-_-))