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What is the Importance of Intimacy?

In-ti-ma-WHAT?!?...
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What is the importance of intimacy?

In-ti-ma-WHAT?!?…

Each week Nik and Jill receive a Connect52 Question. Their answers will be submitted independently of each others knowledge so that we can be the beneficiaries of their  perspective. Nik and Jill will be our Yin & Yang our Jack & Jill our Mars & Venus.

“The goal of this blog is not to just highlight the differences between men and women but to also hopefully assist in helping tear down the divides that too often we put up in our own lives. Whether it is religion, race, country or sex, there always seems to be a way for us to draw a line in the sand. And overtime a wall is created, leaving us to defend beliefs that only separate us from the fact that we are just human beings – just humans “being”. As we start to recognize those walls, we can see that we are no different. We are all just beings looking for our purpose and striving for connection.”

Jill
Single
32 years young
Drives a bad-ass Toyota Tacoma Baja
Enjoys her developing career in AccountingJillena Shaver 2
Most often, the topic of intimacy is taboo, off limits and certainly not discussed in public or even between loving, committed partners. In my experience, intimacy is misunderstood and some, perhaps most, are ashamed to discuss such an “inappropriate” topic. While intimacy can include sacred experiences like physical activity or (gasp worthy), sex!; these things do not even scratch the surface of a trusting, honest connection that truly intimate people share.I asked Google about intimacy (wink, wink) and the first thing that came up, to my surprise, was not a giant, flashing STOP sign, it was the definition: “close familiarity or friendship; closeness”. Not scary or taboo at all, just simply, closeness. Opportunities for intimacy are all around us and it’s unfortunate that it has been given taboo status. I say unfortunate because the taboo-ness of intimacy is preventing us, me, from open connection with other beings.

Again, by definition, intimacy is closeness. I wonder why, as a community, we are so scared of closeness with others, strangers, or even friends? We tend to keep only those that make us feel safe close. Why not give others the opportunity to be close to and learn from you? I would love more opportunities to learn from and connect with others. However, I haven’t always felt this way. My history is full of missed opportunities of intimacy. The most obvious and perhaps, unfortunate, were the missed opportunities with my significant other(s); yes, I have had more than one ‘significant other’. Each time I found myself in a new relationship…they seemed to sneak up on me… I would get stuck between feeling like I was worthless (and all manner of self-degrading thoughts) and hoping so greatly that ‘this’ man was the solution. Both things, I have since discovered, are not true. And yet, until recently, I spent my relationships hiding emotionally from the other person, giving them just enough info and affection as to not lose them. I felt ashamed of my inability to be intimate, close, and even more terrified to talk about it because if I did they would surely leave. Over the past year and a half, I have been discovering all kinds of ways I can be the solution for me and give myself the things I thought I needed from a relationship. In other words, I began an intimate relationship with myself. I quit drinking (over a year ago), started questioning things like the food I eat, the need to wear makeup, and if I like exercise. Turns out I don’t enjoy eating foods that hurt my body, I don’t have to wear makeup and I really enjoy running! …deep breath in… and that’s just the beginning.

One thing I realized I had been missing out on is that intimacy is not taboo! It is a beautiful closeness between beings and is not limited to any specific relationship. I have plain old, beautiful friendships that are the most intimate relationships I have had the privilege of experiencing. They are relationships that allow me to be close to another being, connected, open, vulnerable, honest, and trustworthy, which are all aspects of intimacy in any relationship. I also know that I feel cheated in current relationships where the other person is guarded and secretive, preventing me / us from having intimacy, closeness. In my experience, the most important thing about intimacy is the opportunity to connect with and be close to you.

Nik
Married
Father
35 years old
Enjoys making a difference one crazy idea at a time
Nik Wright
The word intimacy at first glance brings up so many emotions.

Yes, being intimate with someone can mean having some sort of sexual relations, but as I focused more on the word itself, I realized that it could mean so much more than just that.

To be intimate is to become familiar, to achieve a closeness and ultimately gain a deepened connection. Using that definition, I can see where intimacy shows up throughout my life in so many different forms and how important it is for me to recognize that.

The goal of this blog is not to just highlight the differences between men and women but to also hopefully assist in helping tear down the divides that too often we put up in our own lives. Whether it is religion, race, country or sex, there always seems to be a way for us to draw a line in the sand. And overtime a wall is created, leaving us to defend beliefs that only separate us from the fact that we are just human beings – just humans “being”. As we start to recognize those walls, we can see that we are no different. We are all just beings looking for our purpose and striving for connection.

Intimacy can only be achieved once those walls start to come down. Think about a new relationship unfolding. As you become more comfortable and trusting with a new partner, you let them see more of the real you. As the relationship grows, you allow your insecurities to subside, maybe only momentarily, but the connection grows and the level of intimacy increases.
I think this pattern can be seen in many different types of relationships.

Another definition of “intimacy” is a private, cozy atmosphere. Funny that I have never thought about how intertwined the two different meanings are. In restaurants you may hear the word “intimate” as a descriptive word for a certain type of setting or experience. But combined with the deepened connection of intimacy itself, maybe the setting or environment has less to do with it and more to do with whom you are sharing that experience with. Interesting to think about.

Even in a professional setting, as trust grows between a team, their focuses and goals become aligned and their intimacy level deepens.

I had no idea how difficult it would be for me to submit my answer to this question. Although I “finished” my answer a few days ago, I refused to send it off. I have made excuses, procrastinated and even told my wife that I was thinking about not sending it at all. Here I was writing about intimacy and I was ultimately worried about what people may think about me opening up about certain subjects. Assuming anyone would even read it, “Could I put my money where my mouth is” is all I could think. Yeah, in the right setting, with certain people, I can share my honest feelings, beliefs and fears. But could I really just be vulnerable and lay it all out there and not have any control of the outcome.

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