I liken love to a dance. It’s a dance of intimacy, full of social and emotional dips, turns, and spins.
In our best dances, we hold each other close and seamlessly engage with one another, mutually taking turns, gently leading and following, respectful of each other’s space but also not afraid to become one. But like even the best professional dancers, we occasionally fall and trip and step on each other’s toes. We get hurt. Maybe crushed at times. And then we get up and start over again — at least that is the hope.
The dance continues. Partners might change, we learn new steps and moves, and we perfect old ones. We draw close and we step back; we move together in harmony and we go out on our own, proud to do our own thing occasionally. The dance continues, weaving through time and space, yet grounding us in the here-and-now.
There is one crucial step, though, in order for your dance of intimacy to survive. And that is, reparation. In every intimate relationship, disconnection happens; it is an inevitable step of the dance of intimacy. What is most important, however, is how (and if!) you come back together to repair the rupture. Are you able to say, “I’m sorry” or “I messed up”; “let me try again; I need a do-over.” Or “I overreacted – please forgive me”?
In other words, can you own your part and take responsibility for the way in which you hurt the other?
Repair is the key to relational intimacy and long-term success as a couple. We see this in research studies across the lifespan; from cradle to grave, reparation leads to reconnection and is essential to loving well!
So cue the music, my friend, and get yourself out on the dance floor — knowing that when you hurt or get hurt, reparation is the next right move in the dance of love.
And here’s a little cheat sheet to help in this process!