Relationships and Intimacy

   Valentine’s Day is here and thoughts of romance are in the air. Some relish in their romantic relationships, others are in anguish because they wish for romance. These types of holidays are always bittersweet. I draw your attention to intimacy, romantic or not, and the incredible love that is found there. Like other holidays, Valetine’s Day should be an everyday affair.

   Love is simple, relationships are very difficult. There are so many different kinds of connections that create relationships, not just romantic or physical. This is a list of possible connections that create various relationships with others;

   Social = friends, acquaintances, co-workers

   Family = relatives both close and not so close

   Spiritual = religious, beliefs

   Caregiving = all aspects

   Professional = client, service worker, customer, supervisor

   Sensual = significant other, life partner, sexual

   Greater/Lesser = Teacher/Student, Supervisor/Employee, Parent/Child

       You can connect to others in one or more of these ways. The relationship that you have depends on what connected you in the first place as well as where the relationship may grow or change. Relationships are fluid. They can and do change. Just because a relationship changes, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t remain precious. I still love and care about the women I have known in my life. My wife of 20 years was a wonderful woman. I suppose that there were needs that I could not fulfill and that my wife could not have filled otherwise within our marriage. Our relationship ended badly but it doesn’t erase the many, many years of love, wonder and beauty that we had. I will always be grateful for that time and for her. Other relationships had their own uniqueness and their own treasures and tortures. I will hold on to the beautiful memories and lessons from them as well. I have made friends, lost friends, connected and disconnected with relatives. Relationships are in constant flux. We must accept them as so.

   When someone says “relationship” though, we usually think of a romantic connection, which certainly is possible. In regards to a romantic connection, it can vary in intensity depending on the level of intimacy. Intimacy is a connection that is very deep, very complete and very safe. If you can speak your heart to someone without fear, then you are experiencing intimacy.

   You can share intimacy without sex. You can share sex without intimacy. Sex and intimacy can be enjoyed together.

    Intimacy is not just between lovers. It can exist between any two individuals who allow themselves to be a safe haven for each other. If a romantic relationship also involves intense intimacy, then that relationship is indeed strong. There are different types of intimacy. You can experience one or more of these types. The more ways you experience intimacy with a particular person, the deeper your love and connection can reach.

    Intimacy can be obtained on these levels: emotional, intellectual, sexual, spiritual, and physical. Intimacy means real connection. Intimacy means trust. Intimacy means giving yourself completely to someone because you know they have only your best interest at heart. Intimacy means not expecting perfection but expecting sincere effort and granting forgiveness. Intimacy means the risk of exposing your very soul. Intimacy is an incredible form of love, romantic or not.

  You can share intimacy without sex. You can share sex without intimacy. Sex and intimacy can be enjoyed together.

   Some think sex and intimacy are the same. Mostly men think this. I can say this as I am a man. Intimacy is a skill. It must be learned. It must be experienced. It must be practiced. It comes easier to women, I think, because they are taught to nurture and to be caring, and are probably naturally inclined that way. Boys may be too, but I was taught that boys don’t cry, they don’t show emotion as that denotes weakness, which I have since unlearned. So ladies, be gentle with us. We need to be taught that intimacy is possible and that it is different from sex.

   You can share intimacy without sex. You can share sex without intimacy. Sex and intimacy can be enjoyed together.

    You can have an intimate relationship with people who you have no desire to have sex with. You can have an intimate relationship with a friend, a relative, a mentor, or anyone else you have trust and respect for. Most importantly, you can have an intimate relationship with God. God certainly loves you. God wants what is best for you. God is a safe haven for everyone. Find intimacy with God and you can share yourself easier with others.

   Emotional intimacy allows you to cry, to laugh, to scream, to be still and allow yourself to be loved. Intellectual intimacy allows you to share ideas, dreams and thoughts without fear of ridicule or rejection. Sexual intimacy allows you to give your body and to share theirs for the glory of sensations that our minds and body crave. Spiritual intimacy allows us to solidify our faith in others, in ourselves, and in God. Physical intimacy is a handshake, a warm hug, a kiss, the holding of hands, a shoulder massage, an abandonment of personal space that welcomes the touch and closeness of another. Guys, this is called “cuddling” – a powerful way to show your love.

   During this time of Valentine, don’t just concentrate on romance, but think about all the different kinds of relationships that you have. Think about the level of intimacy that you have with different people. Let those lucky enough to have intimacy in your relationship know how much you love and appreciate them. Love is a tremendous gift and a powerful force. And never forget, grow your intimacy with God.

   God bless you. Take care, stay well and be safe.

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2 responses to “Relationships and Intimacy

  1. The capacity and desire to form emotional relationships is related to the organization and functioning of specific parts of the human brain. Just as the brain allows us to see, smell, taste, think, talk, and move, it is the organ that allows us to … Be aware that for many of these children, touch in the past has been associated with pain, torture, or sexual abuse. In these cases, make sure you carefully monitor how they respond — be “attuned” to their responses to you.

  2. Pingback: Fear of Intimacy

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