Copyright 2018 Marline E. Pearson Distribute the worksheet Chart a Relationship (Resource 10a, pg. 204): (PP) Point out that this chart contains six kinds of connections that build intimacy. Instruct teens to draw a symbol for each one on their worksheet as you describe them with the text below. Physical: This connection pertains to the physical part of intimacy. There exists a whole continuum of physical intimacy from lesser to greater. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. This continuum can go from holding hands, hugging, a gentle kiss to French kissing, increasing physical affection, greater sexual touch, to intercourse. (Key words: Physical Affection and Touch) Verbal: When partners can really talk openly, honestly, and easily, they feel more connected to each other. When partners are interested in learning about each other, regularly sharing what’s on their mind and their daily experiences, they build a bond of connection. (Key word: Talk) Read aloud the following example of verbal connection in action: “When Sherita and I are together,” says 17-year-old Jamal, “we talk a lot. I mean really talk. And we have a lot of fun. I never thought I could feel this close to a girl. A lot of my friends are pushing their girlfriends to have sex all the time, but nothing seems to last. The way I look at it, I don’t want to do anything to risk what I have with her.”2 Emotional: This connection relates to feelings. It’s about how warm, strong, and genuine your feelings are for each other. The feelings are mutual—you both have healthy and strong feelings for each other and know you can share freely. If you feel you must pretend to be someone you are not to keep your partner, or if you suspect his or her interest in you is based mostly on material stuff or sex, it is not a healthy emotional connection. If insecurity or neediness is driving the relationship, it’s not a healthy emotional connection. Sometimes unmet emotional needs can lead a person into poor relationship choices—just to be with somebody. (Key word: Feelings) Social: This dimension relates to togetherness—the time spent together doing things a couple enjoys. Shared activities and interests bond a couple together. (Key words: Activities and Interests) Spiritual: When couples talk about the things that are really important—like their core values, who or what’s influenced their life, or their philosophical, moral, political, or religious beliefs—that is spiritual. Being in sync and talking and sharing on this level can truly make two people feel like they are soul mates. (Key words: Values and Beliefs) Commitment: This is about trust and commitment. You can trust that your partner is in your corner and you can count on your partner to be faithful. It’s about supporting each other and being concerned about each other’s well-being. It’s doing nice things for each other. (Key words: Trust, Support, Healthy giving to each other, Faithful) LESSON 10 193
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