"If you were to define love, the only word big enough to engulf it all would be "life". Love is life in all it’s aspects. And it you miss love, you miss life. Please don’t." Leo Buscalia

The word "presence" is not a word that’s commonly used in discussions on love. However, there aren’t many other skills as important when it comes to successful intimate relationships. The depth of a relationship will be directly related to our ability and willingness to let ourselves be fully present with one another.

Being present means being able to focus our attention fully on another, even if it’s just for a brief period of time. By doing so, the other person feels seen and cared about. By neglecting to do so, the other person feels neglected and unimportant. It is our ability to be "present" that makes "quality time" occur in relationship interactions.

Throughout the whole life cycle, humans need others to be present with them. Without parents being "present" with their newborns, babies would not learn to attach to other humans. Without parents being present with their preschoolers, behavior problems will arise. Without teachers being present with their students, children will not blossom into learning. And without lovers being present during lovemaking , sex will be dull and lacking in energy.

In reality, being more present will enhance all forms of relationships. But the closer the relationship the more need for the willingness to be present. If this skill is poorly developed or we are simply not conscious of it’s importance, relationships will not be deep.

One simple way to improve any relationship is to consciously let yourself be fully present with the other person for a few moments and watch them respond in a positive way. You do this by focussing all your attention on them and emptying your mind for the moment, of all other things. Be curious about all you can notice about the other, either through observing or questions. Show interest. Love!

A powerful but simple exercise that couples can do to be more fully present with one another, is to look into each others eyes and breath together for just a few minutes. As simple as this sounds, you might be amazed at the unusually deep contact that can be made by doing this.

During the "falling in love" stage of an intimate relationship, or when our children are newborns, most people find it easy to be fully present and attentive. But after the relationship grows older the skill of presence often seems to disappear. But the good news is that simply deciding to be more present with another and doing it, will usually enhance intimacy. Many problems in the relationships can disappear with an increase of presence.

How often are you fully present with your partner, children, and friends? Are you missing out?

Author's Bio: 

Krisanna Jeffery, BSW, M Ed., is a sex educator trained at the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality. She has had the privilege to work on sexuality issues with many couples and individuals as a practicing psychotherapist since 1983, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. In 2001, she received the Professional Care Award from the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors for exhibiting special creativity and effectiveness in providing mental health care. Krisanna has dedicated her life to helping others be the best they can be! She is currently a practicing psychotherapist and speaker on the topic of healthy sexuality. www.krisanna.com