Deepen Intimate Connections


By Dan Tocchini


“It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy;—it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.”       Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility


Will you let me hear your thoughts, your fears, your hopes and dreams as well as your worries?  What is your favorite memory? Your worst memory? Your scariest memory?  Who was your first love? Your first kiss?

Who first broke your heart?  Please give me the details on you, so I can piece the mosaic together and work out where to place myself in the tapestry of your life.

Intimacy is the secret to lasting love and to a life worth living together.  It is the essence of human existence, the lack of which, studies show; has contributed to divorce, addiction, mental disease, learning disorders and crime.

Physical intimacy is often mistaken for emotional intimacy; 'because we have sex, we are intimate.' Although they are both ways of being intimate, they are still two very different ways of relating. Physical intimacy can be a result of practicing emotional intimacy.

Can it be made easy? Yes, in fact, for me it has to be to be accessible. If it wasn't easy, there is no way I could have experienced the 42 years of intimacy I have enjoyed and continue to exercise with my wife, Aileen.

However, it wasn't always easy, what I learned over time was that I was the one making it difficult. So difficult, in fact, we almost got divorced very early on in our marriage.

The following four tips are what set the stage for me to establish an intimacy that is effortless,  and when practiced diligently and wholeheartedly can reap benefits beyond expectations.

Remember, that these tips are an invitation for you to consider how easy intimacy can be, not another way your partner should be with you.   


1. Set Your Expectations to What Is.

Expect to find your partner's best qualities buried under your assumptions. I have spent 30 plus years as a trainer, coach, and consultant and I realized early on that the self-help gurus are wrong! I do not believe we can create an intimate relationship where we participate one hundred percent one hundred percent of the time.


If we are truly going to be intimate with anybody, we must get honest about what it means to be fully human. And, there is no way to be fully human without, at times, getting stuck or being completely absent.  One of the ways we make intimacy hard is spending energy and time trying to change the gravity of human nature. All that will happen by resisting our humanity is that we get extremely tired because of the tantrums that come along with going to war with what is.  


2. Show up!

Meaning, be here now with what is.  If you are saying something like, I would, but I just don't know how. Maybe you are asking the wrong question or just asking the right question in the wrong way?


Showing up is being in the moment with whatever is happening. I will never forget Aileen and I talking about how disconnected we had been in the days leading up to the conversation. I asked her to tell me what she was thinking, and she told me how she was experiencing my absence even at that moment.  


As we listened to each other's account I began to realize I was experiencing intimacy through the process and as I spoke up to tell her of the paradox, she said, "Wow, I feeling intimate by hearing what you are saying about your lack of intimacy with me!" We ended up laughing, sharing wine and having an intimate evening.


Remember, it isn't that you aren't showing up, it's that you haven't noticed how you are showing up.


3. Stop Shoulding On Everyone

We automatically decide how something or someone should look or behave, then hold reality to it and find ourselves confused, disappointed, angry and resentful because, what is, disagrees with us about what should be. Eventually, if we don't let go of our superstition, we go to war with what is, and the suffering begins.


We should all over ourselves and our partner. One complaint after another, "you should," "I shouldn't," "you shouldn't," "I should" and we shouldn't," should we?


The next time you find yourself angry, irritated or rolling your eyes at your partner, ask yourself, how should___(Partner's Name)___________, be for me to feel better about this situation?


And wait for the answer....should happens!


We get so much should on us we can't see each other.


The second I am willing to let things be what they are I make friends with reality, and it is amazing what becomes available. Instead of using my imagination to invent fantasies of how Aileen should be, I can use it to explore and become intimately acquainted with who she is at that moment.


You will be amazed at how easily intimacy will emerge if you will stop shoulding long enough to be with what is and get curious about who IS there.


When you stop shoulding, you suspend any offense and open a possibility to connect intimately.  Intimacy generates trust from which difficult conversations can be processed deepening intimacy in the process.


4. Get Curious About Who Is There With You.

It is neurologically impossible to be angry and curious at the same time. After you have stopped shoulding, ask yourself, "If ____(Partner's Name)_________ wasn't who I thought ___(he/she)_________ was, would I want to know?" If the answer is yes, continue to be curious about who’s been hidden by the should on them...  

Act Now on our entire Intimacy Made Easy Process Package  which includes: 

  1. PDF  The Intimacy Made Easy Blog

  2. PDF  Rate Your Intimacy Now Survey

  3. PDF The Intimacy Made Easy Process

  4. Audio File(s) of the Guided Intimacy Made Easy Process 

Authored by Dan Tocchini



Our use of "ethos" comes from the modern idea that it is the spirit, mood or characteristics that arise out of the relationships we cultivate in our lives.  

In a nutshell, ethos is our personal culture; it determines the character of our lifestyle. "Ferns do not grow in the desert," proposing the significance of ethos in realizing desired outcomes in life. If we aspire to something new in our lives, being intentional about the particular environment we generate with others impacts the character of the results produced.

The question is, what is next in your life? Will the ethos you are cultivating in your relationships be favorable for your next level aspirations?

Heroic living begins with exercising our imagination by asking what is next, what is wanted and needed to break through to our next level experience, impact, expression, etc.? What is the next level of vision that is calling me into action?

We believe that to productively engage these types of questions it requires what has been described as the foundation of a life well lived: humility.


“The first product of self-awareness is humility.“ Flannery O’Connor

Humility is an attitude which produces a supernatural ethos nourishing the most profound of human aspirations.

Every heroic adventure begins with a vision, a deep-rooted current experience of what the future holds. Unfortunately, a majority of us never get to actualize what we originally set out to accomplish and pride is more often than not the cause of the disappointment.


Because we took our eyes off the horizon and turned them inward on ourselves, our romantic sensations about who we have been, who we think we are and who we’ve convinced ourselves we will become, often disassociate us from the authentic concerns of our family and community. Our influential minds labor to delete, distort and generalize reality to confirm our self-serving bias unwittingly exiling us to wander through the desert of ego.  

The aimless ruts that disconnect us from our relationships are most often the manifestations of pride and vanity. Conditions that can only be remedied by a humble heart committed to a ferocious interrogation of current reality.

The term "humility" may be translated as "humble," but also as "grounded," or "from the earth," since it derives in turn from humus. (earth).

Heroic ethos emerges from connecting to other people on their ground, where they live their everyday lives. Through our struggles, failures and foibles we can choose to relate to circumstances as a chronic complaint or a heroic adventure. We can choose to be cynical about our circumstances or we can choose to be inspired by our circumstances.

Imagine that, our attitude, the soil from which our relationships grow, offers us some sort of future. For example, what future does a relationship grounded in suspicion offer us? What future does a relationship grounded in understanding offer us?

Have you ever considered that your attitude was making an offer to you for a particular type of future?

“In life our first job is this, to divide and distinguish things into two categories: externals I cannot control, and internals I can control.  I can can control how I relate to the things I cannot control. I do control where I find good and bad. In me, in my choices.” — Epictetus

The practice of humility has a far-reaching impact on the quality of our relationships with others, with our work as well as our relationship with ourselves.

If you juxtapose humility over and against pride and vanity, you will see what it means to be confidently grounded in the moment, simultaneously opening the possibility of deeply connecting with others because your energy isn’t robbed by ego’s need to protect and defend itself.

After more than 30 years of working with people, Dr. William Glasser describes this way, "People's sense of themselves tends to range from flattery to pure fantasy," shedding some light on what may be a profoundly pernicious contributor to divorce as well as the breakup of professional relationships.


Excerpt from the E-Book The Hero Being.

Be sure to download your copy today.