I remember my first hard break up after a long relationship my day asked “Were you intimate with him???” I was at first taken aback because it was my dad and the answer was of course. We had been together for years through the end of high school and the beginning of college so I didn’t think he needed to ask. I remember my Mom saying when you’re intimate the lost is greater. In this context they were talking about sex. I’m not sure I believe that sex solidifies an emotional connection as my parents implied. I think vulnerability does
Intimacy is about being vulnerable. Trusting that the people you have deep connections to, outside of family, will always have your best interest and will never intentionally hurt you. I believe that when you trust a person enough to allow yourself to be vulnerable you create intimacy. It is human nature to protect oneself whether it emotionally or physically. Intimacy may not be long lasting and it may only happen for moments at a time, but as we all know moments turn into minutes, turn into hours, turn into days, etc. Intimacy in my circle of friends seems to exist most in friendship not in relationships. It is amongst ourselves that we are completely ourselves without trying. I think that is because we are the generation of overt sexuality, instant gratification, attention deficit and last but not least divorce. We have seen intimate relationships fall apart more than stay together and people who spend more time planning a wedding than they do staying married.
The parts of relationships that create intimacy have been blurred for us. It seems that we spend more time trying to one up each other than we take getting to know each other. That we are so fond of the idea of intimacy, of being in Love, that we don’t know what it takes to have intimate connections with a significant other. This is not totally our fault as we have been bombarded with conflicting images and ideals for most of our lives. Sex has at times become a substitute for real emotional connections. Or we are so caught up in the physical that we don’t know how to be emotional. Partly because sex is instantly gratifying; no real work necessary. We are so guarded that we don’t know how to be vulnerable and we are plugged in that we don’t know how to just be… It’s kind of like intimate relationships have to sneak up on us, and we don’t even recognize when they happen.
Sex does not equate intimacy for me but everyone is different. Sex can be intimate but for the most part at this point in my life it’s just sex; no emotion necessary.