There are three stages of relating, according to David Deida an international teacher and author. He calls these stages Dependent, 50/50, and Intimate Communion. In his book Intimate Communion he defines these stages according to the polarity differences between men and women.
The Dependent Relationship is the type many of our parents had in which the roles of the man and woman are clearly defined in a traditional way. You may notice the couple often represents the extremes of what is considered masculine and feminine. He may look very macho and or his energy will be very masculine in a more stereotypic way. She may depict the extreme of what is considered feminine in a woman. Some images that come to mind are where the man throws the woman on the bed and takes her almost forcefully and she surrenders to his dominance. Partners may confuse some version of master/slave relationship with real love. She is the more passive of the two and often desires to feel vanquished. She might also desire to be seen as his property or his woman and he her man.
“A Dependent Relationship involves partners who become dependent on each other for money, emotional support, parenting or sex."
The sex in this type of relationship may be very good due to the extreme attraction between the two polarities, especially after a fight. And, due to the extreme polarity, these relationships can be very volatile. Partners often end up feeling rather limited by these roles. If the relationship continues one or the other or even both parties need to shift out of these roles. To do so they will need to learn to build personal boundaries and take care of themselves, rather than always catering to the needs of their partners.
“Safe boundaries and equal expectations for men and women.”
In this type of relationship the partners want to feel safe and independent. You might recognize this type as our “modern” version of relationship, which is most popular. It is thought to be very healthy as two independent people coming together and working out an equitable relationship. Both parties will want to feel that everything is equal. This type of relationship is often devoid of much sexual energy, as the polarity needed to ignite the passionate, sexual fire may be missing or have diminished over time.
On the surface, they might seem completely turned off and react as if any form of forceful and passionate sexual ravishment is an act of rape. Deep down, however, they might be wistfully turned on, reminded of the depth of sexual loving that may be missing from their safe but lukewarm love life.
Both may have their own income and together they divide everything 50/50, from household chores, parenting and financial obligations. However, as many have discovered, there is a potential problem with this ideal sounding relationship. They may even find that their relationship is more about being best friends, companions and that the polarity between them is not very strong. If the woman feels her feminine self less and the man his masculine self less then the natural charge between the two people will be less and less. Often what occurs after the passion and sexual aliveness diminishes is a feeling of incompleteness. The inner longing to be met and be touched deeply never occurs. Eventually one or both partners may become dissatisfied within the relationship and they may look outside the relationship for it’s fulfillment.
“I relax into oneness and spontaneously give my deepest gift.”
There is an opportunity to grow beyond the 50/50 Relationship, to achieve a relationship in which the best aspects of the dependent relationship, the sexual fire, is joined with the mutual respect and trust of the 50/50 relationship into a dance of Intimate Communion. To do so you must no longer be cautious or afraid to give your love fully to your intimate partner. At times you may beg or desire to be ravished. Other times to be tender and sweet. Your intimate connection is filled with fire and sexual aliveness and the polarity between the two of you dances back and forth, as in a true tantric relationship. You consider your relationship an expression of your deepest love and are not afraid to go beyond your limits or to push your partner to his or her limits of that love. You actually are living a deeply fulfilling intimate communion, a true sacred relationship .
Most important, in the practice of Intimate Communion we learn that love is something you do, not something you “fall into” or “out of”. Love is something you practice, like playing tennis or the violin, not something you happen to feel or not.
David Deida states that “ in this type of relationship you learn to practice loving even when you feel hurt, rejected or resistant. First you practice love, and then your native sexual essence blooms, naturally, inevitably, because you are learning to give from your core, which includes the root of your sexuality.”
I invite you to discover what form of relationship you are attracting in your life and to learn more about the different stages of intimacy by reading David’s book, Intimate Communion, or taking one of his workshops or that of his assistants.
Luminessa Enjara is an Ordained Minister and Priestess, Akashic Record Consultant, a Spiritual Evolution Coach, and a writer for the Examiner.com, E-zine Magazine and blogger. She offers Akashic Record Consultations by phone or in person and is available for on-going spiritual guidance and mentoring. Luminessa is also a teacher of Sacred Relationship and Tantra for singles and couples and is the founder of The School of Womyn's Mysteries.