Growth is essential for relationships. When individuals don't grow; relationships don't grow. If relationships don't grow then they become unhealthy. These unhealthy relationships inhibit individual growth. Notice the potential for an vicious cycle to develop. Lack of growth leads to unhealthy relationships; which leads to unhealthy people who won’t grow; which in turn promotes the unhealthy relationship.
Intimacy only occurs in relationships that are healthy and growing. (Important Note: Sex is not the same as Intimacy, but sex is an important part of intimacy.) Dr. David Schnarch proposes there are two levels of intimacy.
Level 1 Intimacy:
Arises from compromise and compassion. This requires listening and understanding. That creates security which feels safe. (Blaine and Bethany were good at this.)
Level 2 Intimacy:
Arises from challenge and confrontation. This pushes the individuals to challenge insecurity and creates change. Level Two is high energy and exciting. This can also be great for the sex life. (Anna and Alex were good at this.)
Neither level is better than the other; both levels are necessary. Couples need times of safety and security, and they need times of confrontation and change...
Learn more in Part 5 tomorrow...