Step #4 to Better Intimacy: Respecting Differences
Do you remember the first time you “fell in love”? Was it love at first sight? Did it feel like everything just “clicked” as if the two of you had a lot in common?
In the early days of courtship we are attracted to qualities that match or complement our own personality. As the relationship evolves, we soon find that we don’t always agree or see eye-to-eye on everything.
It takes time to become more fully aware of another’s personality and to understand it. Each of us is a mosaic of personality traits that create the composite of who we are. Like a mosaic, even if the same colors are used, no two creations are exactly alike.
Tirzah began to notice that Daniel’s weekly requests were always asking for her to come alongside him in cleaning off surfaces in our home. This highlighted how important it was to Daniel that areas be kept picked up and uncluttered. Now, we have a plan to keep spaces picked up and clutter free so that Daniel can be more comfortable at home.”
To build back the connection takes awareness, acceptance, and skills to work with differences and similarities that don’t work well for the relationship. It’s also important to celebrate our uniqueness. Here are steps to begin:
- Identify your individual personality characteristics.
- Name how similarities and differences influence the relationship positively and negatively.
- Choose one trait or situation and brainstorm ways to change the pattern to achieve different results.
- Create an agreement for when that situation arises in the future. Agree what you will each will do differently and how you each would like to be reminded if you forget.
- Celebrate our teammate’s similarities and traits that balance our own.
Following these steps will open doors to more intimacy as we respect and celebrate the unique qualities in each other.