Intimacy, a basic human need…
We humans engage in various types of intimate exchange all through our lives.
When we are denied intimate connection with other humans we suffer from a deprivation that is very nearly the equivalent of torture. It is as if we are alone in the world.
Intimacy as process
When we effectively interact it is a mutual exchange of deep and personal meanings between one person and another. when we do this ineffectively we can be imposing our feelings on another or feel imposed upon by another. Hence: mutual exchange.
In an agreed intimate relationship the understanding is that we are free to express our personal intimate feelings. This will vary on the people involved and there is no “one way” or “right way” for this to be. However, there is an understanding that we will always be authentic in our expression of our feelings.
The deeper intimate connection couples share is achieved when both partners are able to be open and authentic with themselves and each other. We are sometimes held back from this kind of open-authentic connection by our past experiences, sometimes going back to childhood.
Early mother-child experiences are particularly important when we are considering the being “in relationship” with others.