Intimacy..What is it…?
The word intimacy brings to our minds a physical contact of bodies in a sensual way. When we refer to being intimate with someone we are more often than not stating the fact of our relation having a sexual element to it. However there’s more to it than just physical closure.
The word itself has a Latin origin which originally referred to “a feeling of closeness / togetherness”. Closure , its something we all crave for. The in-suppressible and the most honest of all urges a human mind can relate to. But again , different souls find closure in different things. Its something we all have felt at different points of time and its something that defies logic , reason and occasionally even morals.
Intimacy can exist on different levels. Physical , emotional , intellectual or in a common interest. Almost all of these involve two most important factors. Trust & Vulnerability. Its interesting to note that both these states can be an outcome of the intimacy or the prime reason for it. You maybe intimate with someone because you are vulnerable and you trust that person. In some cases , situations lead to intimacy and then you develop a strong sense of trust and vulnerability.
Physical intimacy is arguably the most intense & passionate feeling we experience. We have all felt the insatiable desire for a sexual connection. It is not just about the intercourse but more to do with the urge to feel the presence of another person in all his or her physical existence. That longing to make contact of every inch of our body with the other person. The beauty of this is that you let your guard down , physical and emotional to let the other person invade the most private of places and indulge in romance that can leave you high for days. The experience of the scent , the sounds and feeling the core physique of your partner. Physical intimacy can start with a deep eye contact and slowly (in some cases rapidly ;-) ) work its way up to an embrace , a kiss and finally result in two ignited bodies expressing something it is impossible to express in conventional language. It is the time when words become superfluous and we talk to our partner in body language. We express our affection through our gestures and acknowledge it through our eyes and voice. This is bound to happen when both your heart and your body is connected with your partner. Lovemaking is essentially different than sex wherein no emotional attachment but a little affection is sufficient for the latter. “Friends with benefits”. Physical intimacy in some cases has the power to strengthen your relationship with your partner. It results in the release of hormones namely Dopamine (I’m sure you’ve googled that one before) & Oxytocin along with others. Dopamine is what you would refer to as the “reward drug”. The pleasure high , the fireworks you enjoy are all traces of dopamine. It is known to influence your actions in order to satisfy the “craving”. Its the same when despite of the heavy rain , you go out and get yourself a certain chocolate muffin. The craving is just dopamine cycle that kicks in and influences your actions to sate the dopamine expectation. Oxytocin is the ecstasy , the high. It is also termed as the cuddling chemical. Levels of Oxytocin surge during physical intimacy and that is the ecstasy you recall during an orgasm. These are the primary reasons why humans tend to bond or feel much closer to their partner after being physically intimate.It is probably the worst addictive drug you try.
Then we talk about the sort of intimacy that extends beyond the confines of 4 walls. Intellectual intimacy is one of them. During the course of our lives we come across people who share common ideology , interests & thought process as our own. There is a instant sense of connection which is reflected through the need to talk or share ideas and beliefs with the other person without the fear of being judged. We enjoy just talking to the person , sharing our thoughts , enjoying the similarities in each others opinions. Mostly it has to do with just one aspect of life be it humor , food , heart-break , drudgery of life , parental woes , career aspirations. Our frequencies instantly resonate when we are communicating about certain things and it may not be the case when you talk about something else. Such connections generally occur when we are in the “No one gets me” state of mind which maybe an illusion but a true feeling nonetheless and someone comes along who we feel has had a similar experience at some point in their life. Here too we present vulnerability in the sense that you are letting the other person into our thoughts , views and in some cases revealing our deepest & darkest fears , desires & experiences with the trust that you are not being judged and what you are showing to the other person shall stay with that person.
There comes a point in our life where all we need is unconditional & unadulterated love. Love for who we exactly are. With all our strengths and shortcomings. The need to feel accepted. The need for a person to share the most trivial happiness and the biggest of disasters. A connection which goes far beyond likes , dislikes , interests & enjoyment. We get so transparent with one another that being with that person is actually what defines “being yourself”. Emotional intimacy may or may not coexist with physical intimacy but when it does it definitely adds to the spice of the latter. Emotional intimacy is essentially Love in the traditional form. Selfless , without logic & forgiving. That unwavering faith & support of our partner in our dreams however crazy they may seem at present. It goes much beyond talking about how the day at work was , or enjoying a delicious meal in the candle light and things like that. Emotional intimacy is a differentiating factor between relationships that work out and ones where we make each others lives a living hell. You must be empathetic towards your partners feelings. If you abandon your partner when he or she is in dire need of emotional support it clearly indicates lack of emotional intimacy. Essentially , emotional intimacy extends much beyond sharing happiness and joy. True EI is reflected through how much willing you are to be there for your partner in case they go crazy , talk irrationally or have a twisted view of the world or themselves for that matter. This is the true essence of closure that nothing else can fulfill. Unlike physical intimacy , emotional intimacy cannot be a destination. It is more of a journey in which we uncover and accept personalities of our partner that even they themselves were subconsciously unaware of.
Be it physical , emotional or intellectual. Intimacy is something we all need and undoubtedly find. It might be with a single person , or 3 different individuals. It is much of a need than desire. Lack of intimacy in a relationship may turn out to be the reason for infidelity. It may lead us to find closure somewhere else outside of the relationship. The key here is communication. If you are unable to communicate your needs to your partner , it is inevitable that you shall be left wanting for more and your own shortcoming might justify the reason for your action for the cause the drift. On the other hand , this drift can almost always be sensed by the other individual and the moment you get the “something is definitely wrong” signal , its necessary to reach out and act upon the issue and find a solution rather than play the safe game saying “You didn’t even tell me”. Intimacy definitely has the power to make and break a relation.