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"intimacy" in relationships

Discussion in 'Friends, Family & Social Skills' started by AwkwardSilence, Aug 31, 2019.

  1. AwkwardSilence

    AwkwardSilence Active Member

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    Just read a number of posts here on the difficulty of making and keeping friendships, and this reminds me of my psychologist's big interest: intimacy. Not necessarily sex, but emotional intimacy.
    He believes that the most rewarding relationships have a balance of stability and intimacy. I guess the stability makes you feel safe and grounded, and the intimacy gives the relationship interest.
    I've made it clear to him that stability is welcome, but intimacy...well, I start getting tachycardia just to hear the word.
    Not sure where I'm going with this, but I'll add that if someone seems to be welcoming me into a closer relationship, I start wondering what's wrong with him/her or thinking there's some hidden motive. So even if there's an opportunity for friendship, I tend to run from it before long.
    Reminds me of the old Groucho Marx saying, "I wouldn't join any club that would have me as a member."
     
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  2. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

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    So basically trust would be an issue?
     
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  3. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    Intimacy is something that you have to grow in to together. Boyfriend and me made a record run at attaining intimacy by spending literally all our time together 24/7 for the first six weeks after our first kiss, most of which drinking and talking about our feelings. This is not the normal course of action. Most people would take months and multiple dates getting to know each other better and on a more intimate level, personally.
    Of course, all of this is hard if you’re suspicious of other people’s intentions with you. For a long time I was scared my prospective boyfriend wasn’t in it for the long run, and wouldn’t like me if he got to know me better, but I decided to throw caution to the wind and just put it all out there. We actually shared our most horrific and shameful traits and acts with each other to see if it would scare the other person off. Through sharing these things we grew incredibly close in a very short period of time. And with each day we grow closer. We also went through a pretty horrible bout of food poisoning in our first week together, so we got to know the worst of each other’s bodies as well ;)
    In the six years since then he’s supported me through two serious depressive episodes and major personal turmoil and has proven to be my loyal and loving counterpart. He loves me and cares for me even when I’m at my worst. I did the same for him.
     
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  4. AwkwardSilence

    AwkwardSilence Active Member

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    Definitely trust. Grand Canyon-size gap between what I have and what I’d need.
     
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  5. Schism

    Schism New Member

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    Trust is an issue. But it's more emotional intelligence, of which I don't have much of it seems. Reading a book on it atm & find it not surprising that we all can have emotional memories that are essentially subconscious as they occurred before we had cognitive thought to describe them. Particularly if we had difficult childhoods. Thus, as adults, intimacy (or other stressors) can trigger these 'emotional memories' & we react hyper emotionally (or shut down) without knowing or even being aware of why & these override our rational minds.
     
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  6. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I crave, NEED emotional intimacy in friendships. Friendships without intimacy are more like acquaintances. While enjoyable, they're like "work friends" - coworkers I hang out with at lunch but don't have much real intimate connection with (over the years "work friends" can turn into real friends but certainly not all of them do.) Facebook friends, friends of friends, casual acquaintances...

    Real friends are the people who know the nitty gritty of my personality, my past, etc and want to spend time with me anyway. We get to know each other on a deeper level. We aren't together because of work, or because of a shared interest (and that's the only thing we discuss), but because we want to spend time with each other.

    (Not to disparage casual acquaintances, which are certainly fun and enjoyable to have! I think for most people. That's just how I see the difference.)

    What bugs me is when people use "intimacy" as a code-word for sex (in romantic relationships). I'm asexual, and for the most part, sex doesn't appeal to me at all and even gets in the way of emotional intimacy. But when people say things like "intimacy is so important in a relationship" and what they really mean is "sex is so important in a relationship" - there's potental for disappointment and miscommunication all around.
     
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  7. Aspychata

    Aspychata But this is my happy face.....

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    In situtations where l am unsure of trust or trust issues, l move super slow because both individuals need to feel acceptance and secure.. There is nothing wrong with that. But if it is scary for one side, it probably is equally scary for the other person. l like talking things out, knowing whats important to both people so that happiness is achieved equally with tenderness and devotion. Just ask what do you expect? And by the way,this is what l expect. If you start with the same foundation, there are no surprises, and you achieve intimacy.

    Some people have trouble stating what they want, that is a fear of intimacy. If you can't state what you need and what you expect, then intimacy turns into a hit or miss proposition. Not everybody needs to do this but it helps. That's why l never ask or state anything, l have always had this fear.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
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