The other day I had a chat with a friend who is having a rocky relationship and during the convo it was clear she’s blaming lack of intimacy as the reason for her woes. As a person who hasn’t been involved in the business of love for ages, i sought to find out what she meant with intimacy because it could different from what I knew. Of cause it doesn’t harm to learn something knew. In her response she said Intimacy to her means a sense of closeness shared with her boyfriend that can take some time and work to establish in a relationship.She added that intimacy is about loving trust and support as well as accepting and sharing in her partner’s feelings, being there when he want to let their defences down and knowing that her boyfriend will be there for her.What was clear in her was that intimacy was more about words and actions, and sharing feelings and experiences, pain and sadness, as well as happiness and love, hard work and humour. And as a result i asked her what among all those she was missing, and answer was none. Though i didn’t want to be nosey, i just told her to take a summer break with her man and see if she can lay out her views and get a solution. Such kind of tantrums are what makes me nauseous about love, its mostly about individualistic rather than collectiveness.When I was growing up, a friend whose one of the parents was tragically killed in Port Arthur massacre of April 1996 used to tell me that intimacy can be sexual though it can also be a reassuring touch, really listening to your partner and occasionally allowing them to to cry if they wish to. For someone who value being independent like me, its probably impossible to be close to someone, to do things together, to know that am loved and accepted, despite what some of those close to me describe as faults, i call them my wishes. Of cause its important to know that I may matter deeply to someone else, wherever they maybe….but i love being alone.Back to my friend case, by seeking to develop more intimate caring relationships, it can be useful to explicitly differentiate sexual intimacy from other forms of intimacy like work intimacy, play intimacy, cultural intimacy, emotional intimacy, intellectual intimacy among others.
She advised me that it important to let a partner know they are loved and appreciated. In her case, she has created plenty of channels to build her intimacy with the boyfriend by offering opportunities to go out together even if she at times don’t really feel like doing that. She also claimed to listen to her partner whenever he wants them to talk about something troubling and help them find a way through the problem, even if she think it’s not a big deal. Also, she’s tried to talk to her partner about what happened when both feeling calm enough to reflect on challenges affecting their relationship. She has been showing care and love by opening the door to talking and sharing important dreams and hopes with the boyfriend but the bloke simply doesn’t care according to her. She can see areas where her man fall short, taking little steps to make changes but her efforts of getting support from a friend has failed to make a difference. Not that your blogger is a counsellor but he’s know to the lady as a person who says it as it is. No doubt for many couples, the most intimate they feel is when they are making love. My elementary teacher used to teach us that sexual activity involves trust and the risk of being vulnerable with each other. Arguably, intimacy and sex are not the same thing, but they are closely related. Sex is only one part of intimacy. The closer the couple are in ways other than sex, the more rewarding their sex life often becomes. Perhaps that is what my friend need because when you can share common experiences as well as feelings of hurt, sadness, joy, you create intimacy as well. For her to talk to your blogger, it was about sharing emotions and feelings that are particularly difficult for her because her boyfriend was brought up believing that real men don’t show show their feelings. In seeking to make intimacy more a part of your life and relationships, it is vital to recognise that intimacy is relational. Intimacy is not something you can do on your own, especially those who are singles like your blogger, the degrees of intimacy possible in a relationship is dependent on there being a shared commitment and interest. Negotiating and building intimacy in relationships is, therefore, dependent on a clear knowledge of both partner’s preferences and a willingness to put time and energy into the relationship. That is what I lack myself, particularly time.