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Relationships are messy + delicious. Learn about how Robyn D'Angelo, The Happy Couple Expert uses science to effectively help couples in Orange County, California to master the messiness of couplehood, together.

The Blog

Cuddle Up, We're Getting Intimate This Week!

Emily Porta

Hi, Robyn D'Angelo here, The Happy Couple Expert.  I want to talk with you about intimacy today.  This is a topic that, especially as someone who coaches people on how to have amazing relationships, comes up often. 

 
 

There is a three part definition for intimacy:  1. it’s a closeness, a familiarity, a friendship; 2. it’s also private or cozy atmosphere, so you think of maybe a concert that you go to where there's only a handful of people; and 3. then of course is the act of being really close.  Often times, it's sexual intercourse, but not always.  Could be cuddling, kissing, holding hands, dancing, anything that requires closeness of you and your partner.  Intimacy is huge, but it's also really vague and abstract!  

I actually just recently read an article but Zoe Hicks, about the Five Stages of Intimacy and I won't go through all of those, but I encourage you to look it up, it was really fascinating.  She compares it to kind of the five stages of grief because they are both intense and there is dullness and then theres gains and then theres losses.  Intimacy is different for everyone.  

She talks about it starting with the stage of infatuation and I thought this was really important to share because we've all been there, right?  You meet that person, you go "Oh my gosh! This is the one!  I can't stop thinking about them! I'm texting them all the time or I'm checking my email.  I want to be with them!" And, you know, research shows that when we hit orgasm, our brain releases so much dopamine (up to 95%) that it looks like and mimics our brain on heroine.  This is phenomenal.  This also means that it's not a sustainable state, right? Like, our brains would fry if we like operated at 95% dopamine release similar to, heroine use.  Not possible.  

Which kind of leads into the next stage which is about, I think she calls it landing, where you wake up one day and you're like, "Who is this person that I got married to? Their jokes are not funny.  Oh my gosh, you know he's so neurotic, I can't believe it.”  And there was an article in Psychology Today that I think said, "The day you wake up and say 'Oh My God, I've Married the Wrong Person!' that's the day your marriage or relationship begins."  Because, it's the day you start to realize, ok I'm dropping out of the infatuation, but we're still really close, like we're so close that we're showing each other the parts of us that aren't so glamorous.  And that's real intimacy.    

So, I just wanted to share a little bit with you about intimacy and what this looks like and I want to encourage you to have a conversation with your partner: "What does intimacy look like and mean in your relationship? Do you want more of it?  Do you know how to create more of it?" And if this is something that you struggle with, please know you're not alone.  My goodness, you are not alone!  

I'd love to work with you if this is something you feel like you'd like a little bit more help with in your relationship.  Feel free to reach out, contact me directly.  This is what I do.  I help couples reconnect, deepen the intimacy, maybe even create it in new ways.  Intimacy, it's simple.  It is, but it's not easy.  So if you need some help, reach out, let's connect, let's work together! And, here's to building a more intimate relationship. Talk to you guys soon. Buh-bye!