How To Increase Mental Intimacy

How To Increase Mental Intimacy | Relationship Coaching

Welcome back to part two of this deep dive into learning how to increase intimacy in our marriages. If you’re joining for the first time today, then I am so glad you are here, dig in and then please go back a few weeks to my article on what relationship intimacy is and last week’s message on how to increase spiritual intimacy. Please come back over the next three weeks as I explore three other intimacy areas with today’s article about increasing mental intimacy.

When most of us hear the word intimacy, we automatically go to the picture in our minds of holding hands, touching, cuddling, and this is definitely one important area of intimacy, but when that is the only type of intimacy we have as a couple we soon find ourselves feeling empty. We often resent our partner and withdraw physically because we aren’t getting any other intimate nourishment, and that’s where this series comes in.

In this series I am helping you explore other areas of intimacy and learn how to start introducing them into your relationship.

Let’s review the definition of intimacy: showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.

Then let’s look at the definition of mental which means being related to the mind.

When I combine those two words and meanings I get a definition of mental intimacy as a close union of minds, an intimate mixture of our minds.

Let’s look at how to increase mental intimacy.

First of all, you want to have the desire to increase intimacy in your marriage because if you’re not interested, then none of this will work. You have to be willing to explore your reasons for not wanting to put effort into connecting with your partner intellectually. Is it truly a lack of desire to explore topics, or might it be a fear of not sounding intelligent enough? No one expects someone else to know the answers though together you might explore the topic and discover new things; the whole point is to explore each other’s minds and seek growth, new understandings.

Think about times when you’ve read a book or listened to a teaching; a good Sunday sermon could be a great example. When you’ve actually listened to the words you are absorbing, does it make you dig a bit deeper into the concept? Is it something you keep revisiting and exploring in your mind? This is what can also happen with your partner; you can discuss a movie, a book, a course, something someone brought up at work, or even the Sunday sermon. Share your observations and what you might be thinking about them, what you might be questioning, ask your partner what their takeaways were and start a conversation. I always find it interesting to hear what other people heard because it’s usually something different than what I heard. Often we hear what we want to hear, something that applies to us and our life, then we start going somewhere with it, and someone else is hearing something completely different as it pertains to them and their life.

Increasing mental intimacy has to be intentional.

If you are used to quiet rides together in the car, that is completely fine, but taking a few moments to think of something to explore doesn’t take much time; it takes practice. I also find that my weekly huddle leads couples to discover things they’d like to explore on a deeper level. Create a note on your phone and write down what may have come up in the huddle and what you’d like to explore further.

To some people, this all sounds like so much work that if they were with the right person, this would all be so much easier. The work is what brings about the result you are looking for; if you want more intimacy and connection in your relationship, you have to create that result. When we get to learn more about each other, it makes us appreciate each other more. Check out my article on scheduling time to improve your relationship with ideas to create that time.

Too often, we get out of higher education and stop learning; we stop growing while expecting everything to happen for us. Sure, we’ll put in extra time at work to learn the new project we’re developing, we’ll take a few courses to learn more about that hobby we’ve been exploring, yet we won’t take a few moments to come up with strategies to deepen our desire of the one we’re with.

As I started exploring this area of increasing different areas of intimacy in my relationship with Jeff, I started falling deeper in love with him because I started exploring him and myself on a deeper level. This allowed us to start connecting on a deeper level and that felt really good, so we kept on exploring new ways to increase this connection. The same thing starts to happen in the relationships of the women and men who go through my AwakenYou program; as they build a loving and trusting relationship with themselves, they start becoming more comfortable exploring that with their partner.

I’d love for you to join me on that journey of relationship growth and exploration of what is possible for you and your romantic relationship.


I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Three Ways To Increase Spiritual Intimacy

Three Ways To Increase Spiritual Intimacy

Last week I started talking about what is relationship intimacy. In that article, I gave an overview of intimacy, how important it is to develop in our romantic relationship, and then shared five types of intimacy. Over the next five weeks, we’re going to take a deeper dive into each of those different types of intimacy, starting the series off today with spiritual intimacy.

Let’s start with defining what spiritual intimacy is and of course, this is my definition of spiritual intimacy which I’ll explain why in a moment.

In last week’s article I shared this definition of intimacy: showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.

Now let’s combine that with the definition of spirituality which is a broad concept with room for many perspectives. In general, it includes a sense of connection to something bigger than ourselves, and it typically involves a search for meaning in our lives.

To me, spiritual intimacy is being able to share your ideas about spirituality with your partner and allowing your partner to do the same in a supportive, non-judgmental way. Spiritual intimacy is the mixture of our ideas coming together, not to change one’s belief but to understand better and appreciate our partner.

To be honest though, the selfish part of me wants to say that spiritual intimacy is him having similar spiritual desires as me.

With that said, let me explain my definition. When I went searching on Google for the definition of spiritual intimacy, many Christian definitions came up. Though I highly encourage couples to pursue this area before a marriage commitment to make sure they are equally yoked, the truth is that many of us aren’t. This is true in my relationship, and it is definitely an area I seek to challenge myself to grow in, so this is why I didn’t include spiritual intimacy as a sense of unity and mutual commitment to God’s will in our lives and marriage. I highly encourage couples to pursue an equally yoked spiritual belief because you are going the same direction and bring different strengths to the walk, which creates a deeper connection with each other and your belief.

I believe that my definition spans over all committed relationships, whether both are believers or unequally yoked. When we share our beliefs, it keeps us open and honest around our struggles, not defensive because the other one doesn’t believe what we believe.

Increasing Spiritual Intimacy

Let me share my personal experience with spiritual intimacy in my marriage relationship because this is definitely an area that I have struggled with and am gingerly pursuing with curiosity. Since intimacy is about creating a close union between a couple, all topics want to be brought up and explored together; nothing should be kept inside and not shared because that restricts the union from growing closer. My personal experience has been that I have been insecure in my own spiritual beliefs and felt awkward talking about them out loud. This is where the problem started early on in my relationship with my husband.

This is what it looked like:

Me: “Are you Christian?”

Him: “Yes.”

Me: “My relationship with Jesus is important to me, is that ok?”

Him: “Yes.”

That’s pretty much where it ended and that caused a lot of drama later in our relationship, so much so that it was the foundation of why I started seeking relationship help. There was a point in our marriage where words came up around who was more important to me, God or my husband, and my innocent response spiraled a threat of separation. In the end, it was one of the best things that could have happened for me, my relationship with my Saviour and my relationship with my husband, Jeff.

As I continue to pursue a better, more close relationship with my Saviour and my husband, I see that the area of spiritual intimacy is missing. Because of that, we have put up a barrier to connecting more deeply intimately.

The first step to increasing spiritual intimacy in your romantic relationship is to let go of expectations.

It’s time to stop judging and start exploring each other’s beliefs. I love the emotion of curiosity; it helps me explore other people’s beliefs and consider them within the context of my own beliefs. Does someone else’s belief increase my current belief? I say always. When we listen to someone else’s belief with an open mind, we get to dig deeper into the why’s behind our own belief. Yes, it might pull us away from what we currently believe, but we wouldn’t feel compromised by this pull because we’ve done our own research and re-created our own new beliefs.

Secondly, be open and honest around your spiritual beliefs.

Even if that means that you haven’t thought much about it, the invitation to talk about our beliefs helps us to explore what it is we want to believe and why.

Why do you think we close up when a topic is brought up? It is often because of fear, fear of judgment, fear of someone disagreeing with our opinion, fear of sounding stupid, or worse yet, someone telling us that we’re stupid. As we continue to do this work of re-wiring our brain what we learn, as I spoke about in my previous article about other people’s opinions, other people telling us we’re dumb doesn’t need to mean anything if we believe that we’re not dumb. Only when we believe what someone tells us is that we get defensive and lash out or withdraw.

The third way to increase spiritual intimacy is to embrace the discomfort around putting yourself out there.

If you and your partner have not explored your spiritual beliefs together as a couple, starting now will feel uncomfortable. In pursuit of a more intimate connection in your relationship, what would you choose to do? I am a big believer in planning, and this is no exception.

When you think about the goal of wanting to increase spiritual intimacy, what steps might you want to take? This is completely personal but here are a few suggestions:

  • Think of a good, simple question to ask; an example could be: “What do you think happens when we die?” This question has brought several interesting conversations for Jeff, my daughter, and me.
  • Don’t have any expectations or judgments around their response, but one rule I have is that they can’t say “I don’t know.” Included in no expectations is that your question may not be reciprocated. They may not want to know what your response is, especially if they judge themselves as not knowing the correct response, yet the truth is, there is no correct response, just their response.
  • After the conversation, you can look at what worked, what you learned, what didn’t work (maybe you got defensive), and what you might do differently next time. This process allows you to look at what you accomplished positively and learn how you might take the next step forward.
  • I also love using the following phrase, which helps open up the conversation to going further versus shutting it down, “What I love about that is… and…” With this approach, every idea is appreciated rather than judged before the next idea is generated in reaction to it.

Once we start opening up to sensitive topics, we start learning more about each other, which increases our desire to be with them and fuels the desire to know more.

Also, to be aware of the word “sensitive.” Take time in your planning to understand why you haven’t talked about these things and why they feel sensitive. One of the biggest reasons we feel sensitive is because we are opening ourselves up to be judged as wrong or ill-informed, and the process is learning how to be ok with that and not making it mean that we are wrong. These exercises of opening up to a more intimate relationship with our partner are about exploring and learning, not judging one as right or wrong.

I’d love to hear about your journey to becoming more spiritually connected with your partner and what you have done to obtain that result. If you’d like more help learning how to start the process of becoming more spiritually intimate with your partner, please reach out; I’d love to chat with you about it.


I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

What Is Relationship Intimacy?

How To Increase Mental Intimacy | Relationship Coaching

There might be one of two reasons you decided to read this article; maybe you want to learn how to be more intimate in your current relationship or want your partner to be more intimate. I’m super curious what comes to your mind first when you hear the word intimacy; if you’re anything like me, the first thing I think is physical intimacy. My work in this upcoming series on intimacy helps you think differently about intimacy, know all the different ways we can express intimacy, and get you on the path of exploring the intimacy you want in your relationship. With that, let’s talk intimacy!

What is relationship intimacy?

The Google definition: showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.

I sort of love this definition of intimacy because it talks about two people’s blending in all aspects. I also am in love with a description of intimacy from the Focus On The Family website, where they talk about intimacy being “in-to-me-see.” It’s a blending of our heart with another’s, so we can “see into” who they really are, and they can “see into” us.

The truth is, as Erwin Raphael McManus simply puts it, “our souls crave intimacy.”

We go to great lengths to attract the opposite sex for that reason and that reason only, intimacy and love.

True relationship intimacy can only happen when you are connected to your own heart

Pure, connected intimacy in your relationship can only occur when you truly know who you are. “In-to-me-see” can only occur when we are fully connected to our own heart; that is when we can let someone fully in to see all that is us. Until we know who we are, what we are afraid of, what our wild and seemingly crazy dreams are, what our hopes and desires for this life are, we won’t be able to let someone else in to see.

True intimacy comes when we have nothing to hide, when we’ve worked through all of our insecurities from our past, our shame and guilt over what we’ve done or haven’t done. The process of getting to a place of being fully loving and accepting of who we are, all of who we are, is the first step to open up to intimacy in our romantic relationship fully.

Can you do this process in the middle of a relationship? Can we start this work when our relationship doesn’t feel intimate at all? Yes! It’s the first place we start in my 1:1 coaching program.

Five types of intimacy:

• Physical intimacy

• Mental intimacy

• Experiential intimacy

• Emotional intimacy

• Spiritual intimacy

When we start learning how to be fully transparent in our relationships, we can start to look at all of the different intimacy areas and decide what they mean to us. As we develop our own love personality, we start to get in tune with what we want to believe for ourselves, and we create an open mind about other people’s beliefs. When this happens, we can open up to conversations that don’t make us shut down because we disagree with their perspective. Instead, we get to open up to their perspective, learn more about them, and grow closer through the process.

Over the next five weeks, I will break down the different types of intimacy and help you explore who you are, who you want to become, and how you want to open up to all areas in your intimate relationship with yourself. This will lead you to the beginning of creating an intimate relationship with your partner that is honest, seen, and full of love.

Want to read more about how to bring intimacy back into your relationship? Go read this post: Four Steps to Bring Sexy Back to Your Relationship


I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Stop Wondering If You Married The Wrong Guy with Candice Toone

Loving Your Sex Life with Amanda Louder | Relationship Coach

Today’s guest Candice Toone is a Master Certified Life Coach. She helps women stop wondering if they married the wrong guy and start trusting their choices again. She mentors in The Life Coach School’s Self Coaching Scholars program, coaches in Jody Moore’s Be Bold membership, and guides her own clients – lovingly referred to as her Bees – in her private coaching program, Defying Gravity

She holds a Master’s degree in psychology from Utah State University and worked as a Marriage and Family Therapist before becoming a coach. She’s a women’s fiction author, a connoisseur of grapefruit juice, and a Jazzercise enthusiast who lives in Herriman, UT with her husband, 3 children, and their dog.

Listen in as this emotional expert shares her journey and how she helps women stop wondering if they married the wrong guy.

You can find Candice on her website: Candice Toone Coaching

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Candice’s recommended reading: Untamed by Glennon Doyle, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth

I also mentioned the book I am currently reading: The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, M.D.

Enjoy my other Expert Interviews by going to my YouTube channel.


I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

The Importance of Healing Past Relationships

The Importance of Healing Past Relationships | Relationship Coach

🎧 Prefer to listen to the audio version? Click here!

Last week, during my quiet time, I was reading from Mark’s book in the New Testament, and there were two verses in the second chapter that made me pause and take deeper during my prayer time. The verse helped deepen the belief I hold around the importance of healing past relationships being included as we do the work to improve our current and future relationships.

First, let me share Mark 2:21-22 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.”

Creating your new self relationship starts today.

Much of the work we do in AwakenYou my 1:1 coaching program is about coming up with a vision of who you want to be in your relationship. I work together with my clients, helping them dream and explore what that might look like for them, and we do the work of making that dream a reality in their life. As we start doing this work of evolving into the person we want to be, there is a lot of cognitive dissonance around who we have identified as in our past and who we are becoming.

The work is multi-faceted in a way that as we peel off our old identity, just like when we exfoliate our skin, past “impurities” begin to rise to the surface.

As we do the work of living into our future self we have to do the work of sorting through and healing our past.

Many of us have stories from our past that we’d rather forget. Sometimes we think that we don’t want to forget them; they are part of who we are. Our past is definitely part of who we are, but as we start creating our future selves, it is important that we also do the work of sorting out our past and seeing where we are holding on to stories that aren’t serving us anymore.

As we work on creating a fierce new romantic relationship, we carry with us all of the old relationship stories that get in the way of us fully experiencing the love that could be available in our current relationship.

Here is where the verse comes in. Jesus talks about creating a patch on an old garment with new fabric and how the new will pull away from the old, making the tear worse than before. This is exactly what happens in our lives when we start repairing and living into our potential if we don’t do the work of healing our past relationships.

What healing our past relationships looks like.

This process is about re-writing our current past life story in a way that serves us. I love to ask my clients to think of three ways that their past relationships could be turned into a gift and opportunity. I also ask them what unresolved matters from past relationships might be keeping them from having the relationship they dream of with their current or future mate.

Jesus’ words proved several things to me, the first being proof of how He speaks and teaches us truth through The Father’s words. The second being how powerful the work being done in my coaching program is and how much it aligns with my goal of bringing people closer to a life they were created to live; a life full of love that feels fierce and free.

I want to invite you to come experience what this freedom feels like for you in your life and in your closest relationship.

🎧 Audio version of blog here!

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I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.

Scheduling Time To Improve Your Relationship

Scheduling Time To Improve Your Relationship | Relationship Coach

🎧 Prefer to listen to the audio version? Click here!

When you think about scheduling time to improve your relationship, what comes to your mind first? Most of us won’t think about our time to ourselves or with our partner; instead, our to-do list comes to mind, all of those things we told ourselves we MUST do. We schedule, or don’t schedule, our to-dos and leave ourselves, and our relationship, to the left-overs. Maybe we do have “self-time” on our to-do list, but if we actually carve time for ourselves, all we think about are all of the other things we should be doing instead.

We fill our minds with lies like:

  • I’ll get to that later
  • My relationship can handle it, we are made for each other
  • When I get that promotion I’ll schedule time for that
  • I’ll have time for that when the kids are out of the house

We get exhausted thinking about it.

Let me be clear about something, I am speaking from experience; I know all too well the powerless cycle of believing the lie that I don’t have enough time. If you are “too busy for all of the things I should be doing,” then I feel your pain, and I want you to know I have a masterful solution to your problem. My solution will free up your day to bring in time for you and your relationship without rushing to get it over with, so you can move on to that next super important thing.

Learning how to manage the 24 hours we are each given every day will allow you to start prioritizing the things in your life that are truly important. If you find yourself not prioritizing your relationship above your job and your to-do list, I want to challenge you to ask yourself why. Why do you think it’s not important to prioritize yourself and your romantic relationship? Trust me, if you’re telling yourself it’s important, but you don’t have time for it, you are really telling yourself that it’s not that important. Tell yourself the truth, which is this: all of the things you do fill up your 24 hours with are more important than your relationship. Check out this article where I explain why you aren’t doing what you want to be doing.

Today I am going to share six tips to start managing your day and prioritizing you and your relationship.

When I ask people why they don’t take time to work on their relationship, the top response is around time. They think they don’t have enough of it. I used to believe this as well, but then I started thinking about the Creator of time and decided that He probably knew a bit more about time than me, so I decided to test a new belief. The second reason I hear is that they don’t know how to start making time, so I’m glad you are here because I will help you figure this out.

When I told myself that I didn’t know how to make time for myself and my romantic relationship I felt confused.

Confusion is an emotion that keeps us from moving forward, it is what I call indulgent meaning it produces more of it. More confusion? No thank you.

First, it’s important to recognize it, and then to get out of confusion ask yourself what one step you can take to get closer to the solution.

If you want someone to guide you, like a coach, and you continue to sweep it under the rug, let me suggest you pick someone, go with it, and be all in on your decision. Will it be the right choice? Maybe or maybe not, but deciding will help you discover the answer. Deciding will mean you find your dreams’ guidance or find solutions that move you forward towards your next solution.

Let’s dig in!

Goal setting

Not setting goals is a way to avoid failure ahead of time; it does not move you forward; it is a false sense of protection. If you want to stop using the B-word (busy) as a way to validate yourself and the things you want to do but aren’t, then go ahead but recognize it. Stop blaming the outside world and start looking to your own inner wisdom to plan and conquer. I ask you where you want to be one year from now in your life and your love relationship? Then I want to ask you how you will achieve that life if you can’t manage your time?

Planning

Start with a list. Write down on paper ALL of the things you want to do, get those nasty cobwebs out of your head. This includes work, personal, relationships, family, all of the things. If you’ve been dreaming about going to Nepal for 10 years, then either take it off of your list or give yourself a deadline. A deadline is a sure way to get you moving into the planning stage of making the trip of your life with your partner a reality. Afraid you’ll forget about this trip of a lifetime? If you forget about it, then was it really that important to you?

Then I want you to go through the list and realize that all of the things on this list are optional; NONE of it HAS to be done, like paying the electric bill, not necessary unless you want some power in your place of residence. Then decide which ones you “have” to do, you “want” to do, and you don’t want to do. Those you don’t want to do, cross them off your list.

Ask yourself what the consequences are if you don’t do the things on this list.

Then ask yourself what is getting in the way of completing these to-do’s, how might you need to break them down into smaller tasks?

Lastly, start prioritizing the list, one is top priority all the way to the last to-do.

Scheduling

Yes, it’s important.

Maybe you’ve tried it before and it didn’t work. Let me suggest that it didn’t work because the teacher didn’t teach you how to overcome that thing called your brain. It didn’t teach you how to overcome that voice that told you to keep working on a task past the allotted time and to skip that personal time you scheduled for yourself because, you know, it’s for people who aren’t as busy as you. Your last system didn’t work because you gave up, you didn’t take massive action, you didn’t learn from your failures, you made it mean that something was wrong with the system.

Schedule your day so that your day doesn’t schedule you.

Schedule personal time first

Yes, this is most important, and I know how hard it is to do. As a recovering “I haven’t done enough” addict, I understand but trust me here, it’s important. This includes intentional time with your partner.

Daily question

“What will I do today to improve my relationship?” Ask yourself this question every day, be deliberate. Relationships require intention, especially those that mean the most to us, like our partners and our family.

Small steps

Take small steps; it took you a lifetime of beliefs to get where you are. A lifetime of listening to others talks about how busy they are; breaking this habit and breaking habits take time. One step forward at a time.

Managing the time you have in a day isn’t finding the right time management system; though it helps, it’s about managing what happens in your head. Time management is about trial and error, just like anything else you want to get good at, it’s about planning what’s important to you and letting go of the rest.

Never saying or using the “busy” words in conversation or as an excuse is freedom, pure freedom. Owning how you choose to use the time we are all given is one of the most powerful things I have done, and I love sharing this skill with my clients. If you want to learn how to have more time in your day, I would love to help you find it; trust me; it’s there for you. Let go of buying that next time management book and instead schedule some time to have a conversation with me about AwakenYou; let’s start opening up your calendar to the love you want in your life.

Want to know more about how I manage my time?

🎧 Audio version of blog here!


I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true self. My process isn’t about changing your partner, it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.