May 10 – Intimacy

Intimacy takes time. It cannot be rushed or forced. If we keep ourselves so busy that we never have time for those around us, we lose that intimacy and our relationships break down. If we never have the time to get to know someone in the first place, well… you get the idea.

art painting

On the topic of intimacy, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

“We live in an age of instant dinners, instant success, and instant intimacy. We expect ourselves to meet someone and know immediately that we were meant for each other. After all, in our busy lives, we don’t have the time for long, drawn-out courtships.

Instant intimacy is one of the characteristics of addictive relationships. In fact, when recovering women experience a bit of instant intimacy, they have learned to run for the hills. This kind of instant connection usually does not wear well.

Intimacy takes time. It is a process. It needs to be fed, valued, nurtured, and allowed to grow. When we try to manipulate intimacy, we kill it. In fact, we often use instant intimacy to avoid the possibility of real intimacy.”

This concept of instant intimacy reminds me of those people who try to force their relationships. Have you ever met someone who seems nice enough, but they just try too hard? It’s like they want to be best friends right away, so they blow past the normal “getting to know you stage” and skip right to a deeper level of friendship that is not normal. It takes time to develop that sort of intimacy. When you force it, it comes across as desperate and off-putting. It makes people uncomfortable. Similarly, it reminds me of relationships in early adulthood when we first start dating. Our significant other quickly becomes our whole world. It’s like no one else exists, and we spend every waking moment with them trying to rush to a deeper state of intimacy. These kinds of forced intimacy are unnatural and ultimately do not last. We must make time to truly to get to know people and develop deeper relationships.

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