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What Is Your IQ (Intimacy Quotient)?

by Dr. Doug

Survivors usually have a deep capacity for closeness in relationships. Often that capacity is damaged by the abuse experience(s). Give your spouse or loved one a unique and lasting gift this year: a commitment to take action on several of the components of intimacy listed below. Rate yourself on a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 as "out of tune" and 10 as "deeply intimate" (or "very accomplished") for each item.

Rate Yourself in the Following

Time Together:

I take the initiative to plan and prioritize time alone with my spouse on a weekly basis. During this time, we talk about meaningful topics

Problem Resolution:

I take care to resolve problem areas quickly so as to not let them build up or create distance or tensions between us

Withdrawal:

I do not often withdraw from the relationship in ways such as being too busy, reading, TV, alcohol, drugs, too much time with friends, sports or activities, being sullen, angry, irritated or "pouty"

Emotional Deposits:

I thoughtfully and purposefully make "emotional deposits" in my partnerís account by kind words, compliments, gifts, remembrances, doing things for, being patient, keeping my word, etc.

Fun Times Together:

We regularly do things together that we both classify as "fun"

Blame:

I refrain from blaming my partner for problems and take responsibility first for my part

Trust:

My partner can count on me to do what I say and keep his or her interests at heart

Commitment:

I am deeply committed to this relationship and to nurturing and caring for my spouse

Communication:

I know and practice healthy communication, especially when we are having problems

Space:

I do not control or try to control my spouse and encourage his or her differences and uniqueness

Sex:

Our love-making occurs in an atmosphere of emotional closeness and reflects our feeling of emotional intimacy. Sex is by mutual consent, communicative, safe, of satisfactory frequency, and mutually pleasurable

Plans and Goals:

We have plans, goals and interests in common, and review them occasionally

Listening:

We nurture each other by careful listening, understanding and empathy

Eggshells and Off Limits:

I do not have to "be careful" when talking, and we have few or no subjects which are "off limits" for discussion

Balance:

There is a healthy overall balance in giving and receiving in our relationship

Notice that few of these items have much to do with "feelings," as love is better defined as the caring things you do. As you begin the work of intimacy building, you may have to face fears that arise because of the inherent and perceived risks of intimacy. A score of 150 makes you a "genius" at intimacy. The less your score, the more your "challenge" to work toward a closer, deeper relationship. Start today. After all, you only live once!


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