The Struggle to Define Intimacy

young couple


Dear Ann: I am pulling my hair out! I hate that my boyfriend won’t talk to me. I mean, REALLY, talk to me. I want to be so close to him but he only wants to talk about work or sports. I want to tell my boyfriend that I love him, but I’m afraid he’ll run away if I do. We’ve been dating four months. He alludes to loving me but never comes right out and says it. Also he’s busy so much of the time. What should I do?

What is this elusive, almost indefinable, concept that so many people strive for but can hardly describe? It appears that it is rare to encounter intimacy in the world. Is intimacy the heart’s search for union? Does this union then create a many faceted being that was not there before? Is eternal longing the consequence of not having intimacy? Does this lead to a depletion of the soul?

Intimacy is the joining of two people who agree to converse about thoughts, wants, dreams, personal history, beliefs, feelings, and perceptions with accepting kindness, gentle regard for the other’s vulnerabilities and careful respect for another’s gift of soul sharing. Intimacy brings with it responsibility for the caring and nurturing of the other’s soft places. The point of intimacy is to be known and understood by someone else.

If one wants intimacy in one’s life, it means they are choosing to give up a life of self focus – they have to expand themselves. One’s internal color must broaden. It will be enhanced past the primary colors of the self to embrace those of another…like the blending of paint in a watercolor. Intimacy is not a conversation with one’s self. It is only invited by giving the other the gift of your time – not virtual time via email, texting or phone calls, but the gift of your presence in their life. This gift of being present with the other person is never an obligation: it’s a joy.

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