Author: Ann Schiebert
There are many models about the cycle of intimacy. Let’s explore how the cycle of Intimacy works as a formula. 1. While we may have many acquaintances, we often feel alone. In our interpersonal relations, we begin to look for commonality – interests or attributes that we share. As we look for these, we also begin to notice differences – characteristics that we don’t have in common. Many of us tend to focus more on differences because these give us an excuse to distance ourselves.
Following the scrutiny of commonalities and differences, we come to the great divide! We either go on the path toward intimacy or we go on the path toward being alone. 2. On the highway that leads toward lack of intimacy, one is unable to accept the differences of the other. The differences become much more of a focus than the commonalities, and we become closed and hardened to the idea of having an intimate relationship with this person. We distance ourselves and remain alienated an alone. Let’s note that sometimes, the differences between people are just too great to be overlooked. Here, we are talking about a trait in which a person has a propensity to withdraw from others.
On the other pathway, we do investigate the things that we have in common with someone else, and we also explore the differences. But we become open to them. Contrasts can deepen a relationship and make it much more interesting. When we become accepting of personal differences of experience, thinking, beliefs, likes and dislikes, we allow ourselves to be more vulnerable because we have participated in those deep discussions that have expanded our knowledge of the other person, and their knowledge of us. Those confidences that we have shared, those secrets that are now in the safe keeping of the other person, when not violated, provide us with feelings of familiarity, affinity, confidence, understanding. And these are the very elements necessary for an intimate relationship.
Each of us have the freedom to decide which path we want to take. Chances are, you’ll be more protected from emotional hurt, if you decide to be on the path of being alone. You will also avoid those sweet, endearing, loving, life experiences that take us out of ourselves so we can give the gift of intimacy to others.