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When he has a work deadline, she brings a meatloaf sandwich to the office, and when she has menstrual cramps, he snuggles beside her flannel-clad body. But they are friends, not lovers—they have too much intimacy and very little sensuality or thrill. Janine rarely wears anything other than yoga pants, and Ed is more likely to kiss the baby than his wife. Janine and Ed need to work on their Passion Triangle. The passion triangle is the model I use to teach couples how to create lifelong romantic and sexual passion.
You want your relationship to be built on a strong, reliable foundation. My friend Ian, who is an engineer, told me that the equilateral triangle is a highly stable structure on which can be built huge, beautiful buildings.
It has three equal sides, supporting each other. Thrill: The ineffable sense of excitement, interest, and attraction to your partner that you experienced when you fell in love but that often fades. Intimacy: A deep sense of knowing and being known that develops over time through shared vulnerabilities and deepening emotional connection. Sensuality: The spectrum of romantic, erotic, and sexual connection between two people, from hand-holding to wild sexual delight.
If you are like Janine and Ed, you are strong in some areas of the triangle and weak in others. But if you want sustainable passion and connection, you need all three sides to be strong. Imagine you are seated at a table in your favorite restaurant, waiting for your partner. As you sit there scanning the sidewalk through the window, searching for them among the crush of people hurrying home from work, you feel an edge of excitement.
And then you spot them, and there is a small rush of thrill in your body and emotions. Do you feel that titillating anticipation of thrill these days? Or are you more likely to watch cat videos on your phone than scan the restaurant for the welcome face of the one you have chosen to spend your life with? If you rarely, or never, feel thrill anymore, take heart. That is simply not true. Then, what is old becomes new again, in this very moment. And this one as well. You will fall in love all over again, with the one you are with. True intimacy is a sense of being deeply known by the other.
To be known is to share your secrets, to reveal your best, and also to reveal the parts of yourself you are not proud of.
In a deeply intimate relationship, you learn to trust that your partner will love and accept you no matter what. In the depth of intimacy, you can be seen for everything you are, dark and light. Real intimacy develops over time and through many shared life experiences.
I am not talking about the initial false sense of intimacy you can feel with a stranger. For example, my friend Anna had a fantastic first date with a man. They shared tapas and wine and talked and touched and laughed and then walked by the ocean. She had known him for four hours. That early sense of connection, while it feels wonderful, is not the real thing.
Your love-song-laden heart projects fantasies onto the person standing in front of you. This creates an intoxicating sense of closeness. The problem is projection obscures reality. After the lust chemicals die down, the work of real intimacy begins.
Intimate partners share multiple joys and sorrows. You make efforts to deepen and refresh the intimate connection between you by paying mindful and loving attention to your beloved as though you are still infatuated. You learn to see your imperfect partner and your imperfect relationship with clarity—and love them more than ever.
What a delicious, fantastic, rich word. There are untold possible sensual delights. However, if you are like many people in a relationship, your sexual spectrum has narrowed to only a few colors.
And then your thrill slowed down. Life got busy, and Marriage Inc. You know, the routine, tag-team partnership of two jobs, two kids, two busy people, and one neglected lover life. Your sex life became predictable, infrequent, or nonexistent. But you can change that.
These teachings of the passion triangle will help you expand your sensual repertoire. As an awakened lover, you connect with your five physical senses and the sixth sense, which is your mind, in new and powerfully erotic ways in the service of sensuality. You learn that desire starts in the mind as well as the body. Holding eye contact brings erotic intensity, and you revel in the sound of their sighs as you massage their feet.
You delight in the sensual pleasure of touch, from the shiver of fingertips caressing the back of a hand to the neglected art of kissing for hours. Then, once you hit the bedroom, your sensual exploration will range from the sweetest, soul-shaking lovemaking to the hottest, raw sex to tantric transcendence.
There are almost limitless ways that two hearts, minds, and bodies can connect in the sensual realm. That is sensuality. This sensuality can be present at orgasm and just as importantly when you are holding hands in the woods, and at every moment you spend together or apart.
To have a fantastic long-term sexual and romantic relationship, all three sides of the passion triangle are vital. When they are out of balance, your relationship will suffer. You can end up with love but no lust, or excitement without connection. It takes intimacy to make soul-shaking love and to trust that you can play in the dark depths of your raw desire. Yet when all three sides of the passion triangle are strong—wow. You feel accepted and known, and you feel alive and intrigued, and you are able to reveal your deepest sexual desires.
You can let go of inhibitions while remaining deeply connected to your lover and explore your sensual self with freedom and abandon within the safety of love and intimacy. Now, back to Janine and Ed. I coach them to send each other one sexy or romantic text a day. Janine tells Ed that she misses the guy who used to sweep her off for surprise dates—the manly, romantic lover under the sweet, gentle daddy.
He says he misses seeing her in feminine clothes, looking pretty and sexy. Together they come up with a plan for Ed to court her again—he will plan dates; she will dress up. They pledge to make one night a month an erotic date—they wanted to explore combining emotional intimacy with deep sexual desires. Over time, with commitment, effort, and a sense of play, this couple begins to strengthen the sensuality and thrill in their marriage and uncover the passion under the passivity.
They learn that good things come in threes. Reprinted with permission: New Harbinger Publications, Inc. Do you want to know where your triangle is currently strong, and where is it weak? You will receive scores and feedback to help you re-ignite great love, romance, and passion.
Cheryl teaches her free Passion class in March Register here! In this class, she teaches the three keys to passion and introduces her upcoming Become Passion online couples program, mentioned above, which begins March 27th. Cheryl Fraser. With a rare combination of academic credibility, humor, straight-talk, and life-changing advice, she has helped thousands of couples jumpstart their love life and create passion that lasts a lifetime. She has taught for Tony Robbins and Jack Canfield, appears on countless podcasts, and writes about love and sex for magazines. Register for a free Passion Masterclass here.
For more information, visit her website and check out her videos here. Search for:. The three components of the passion triangle are: Thrill: The ineffable sense of excitement, interest, and attraction to your partner that you experienced when you fell in love but that often fades. Thrill Imagine you are seated at a table in your favorite restaurant, waiting for your partner.
Sensuality Sensuality. Balance Your Triangle for Great Love and Sex To have a fantastic long-term sexual and romantic relationship, all three sides of the passion triangle are vital.Looking for friendship and passion
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Differences Between Compassionate and Passionate Love