"Relationships are stale or
nonexistent without intimacy. By "intimacy" I do not to
refer to sexual interaction, but to feelings of closeness
and interconnectedness. Intimacy connotes having a sense of
familiarity with your partner's inner experience. Intimacy
is the feeling of knowing and being known as you truly are.
When there is love between you, intimacy becomes the means
through which love flows from each to other. Without it,
loving may not ever get through, and being loved may never
be felt. Intimacy is crucial, then, for your continued
deepening in love.
intimacy, and maintaining intimacy, is not itself a goal.
Making it a goal can actually be detrimental, because it can
lead to pursuits that themselves do not foster intimacy. An
example would be trying to have a conversation with your
partner about their feelings when they are unwilling to
talk. The result of such efforts often serve to put greater
distance between you, not create more closeness at that
moment. Intimacy emerges from conditions that allow it to
happen naturally. Consciously creating and maintaining these
conditions are useful goals for your relationship.
Basic conditions that foster intimacy
"The primary condition
for intimacy is your willingness to be intimate with your
own self and experience. This means a willingness to bring
the full truth of your feelings, desires, thoughts, physical
and other experiences into your recognition. It means that
you stop lying to yourself about where you stand, and what
you are doing and not doing. It is a surrender to yourself
as you are. This does not signify that you have given up
ambitions to change, they too are a part of yourself
important to recognize. Try to let go of ideas or illusions
about who you are. You will not feel closer to yourself,
life, or anyone else by identifying with an idea of who you
are that masks the reality."
© 2000 Mark Shafer