Personal Development, Relationships

Intimacy, Beyond the Physical

Intimacy is an important part of a relationship, even friendship being able to hug someone when they feel down and need it. Physical intimacy matters in healthy relationships, but it’s important we go beyond that, look beyond that. What are the other aspects of a healthy relationship?

Emotional intimacy matters. One has to be able to share when one is feeling happy, but also sad, frustrated, even upset, in a constructive way of course. It should be able to happen without ridicule, mocking, dismissal, but rather some level of empathy, understanding. Feeling safe expressing emotions, concerns is important, whether friendship, academic or other types of relationships. One should be able to do so without the other taking advantage of any vulnerabilities.

Intellectual and Spiritual intimacy are important. One won’t necessarily agree on everything, that includes political and faith issues, parenting, finances. However, it is important to be able to exchange ideas and do so in a way that doesn’t create anger, resentment and such. Often we might have an opinion, a view and not really understand why. It could be that we followed what others have told us our whole lives or been taught in academia and never really sought to engage in independent learning to see what do we think on various subjects, issues and why. If you and the other person come at it being well informed and still hold those opinions for various reasons, fine, share that. When sharing opinions etc…it can’t just be because that’s how one feels, feeling alone are not the basis of opinion. Being willing to learn, even learn together is important. Sharing a similar philosophy is always a positive, so even if you do not share the same religious faith, but share the same core spiritual philosophy about some of life’s issues, you have a basis to build on that.

Intimacy through experiences, shared experiences. Will we have all the same interests, hobbies as our friends, family, partner? No we won’t. An important part of growing and being supportive is at least seeing what the appeal is of the activity, hobby for the other person. Maybe the creative, ceramics, is not your thing, but going for a few fun ceramics events may not be a bad idea. Trying to at least share some activity, even if it’s watching old movies together is important in forming a stronger bond. Who knows you may end up liking that hobby, activity, so long as it does not force you to compromise your ethics, moral boundaries.

A strong relationship is not based on just physical attraction or attributes, but rather on shared experiences for example.


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