I had a conversation with a friend the other day about relationships, specifically intimate relationships. She said to me that she was, “Great at friendships but not at all good at intimate relationships.” She even went as far as to say that she was, “A failure at intimate relationships.” By her definition that meant, in her life thus far, all of her intimate relationships had ended. She is getting divorced after a 14-year marriage. I haven’t seen her feeling this happy in years. Since she made the decision to dissolve her marriage, she has been feeling more joyful, more at ease and smiling much more. She and her partner have not gotten along for quite some time on many levels. She decided it was best to move forward separately. Of course, she feels sad sometimes and scared, but mostly relieved and happy. As I sat listening to her, I had a thought which I shared with her. What if she IS “successful” at intimate relationships. Because whether consciously or subconsciously, she knew when it was time to move on. People come and go in ALL our lives. Why is one marriage more successful than another because they were together for 40 years? Yes, that is a long time and commendable, but would you agree that it is commendable to know when it is time to take action and move on? I know many people who stay in relationships because they are afraid of being alone or that they won’t find anyone else to be with but feel so miserable and unhappy being with the person they are with.
What if the people who stay in a relationship when they feel miserable are the ones who are “bad” at intimate relationships?! Because really, they are not honoring their heart and are not honoring the intimate relationship they have with themselves! The only lasting relationship in each of our lives is the one you have with yourself. So, isn’t it most important to honor, be true, love and accept yourself above all else? That will help you honor, be true, love and accept others.
After I said that to her, I could see her contemplating whether or not what I had just said made any sense at all. She then said, “Hmmmm, that’s an interesting way to look at things.”
I love how life evolves. Later, after our conversation, I was talking with another friend who brought up that we all have different definitions of intimacy. Some people’s definition is holding hands, for other people it’s sexual intercourse and others can feel intimate by just being in the same room with a person. My girlfriend then remembered the movie, Pretty Woman, where Julia Roberts played a prostitute. In the movie, she would have sex with clients but never kissed her clients on the lips. She considered kissing on lips intimate. That is where she drew the line! The point being, that everyone has a different definition of what is intimate for them.
Since this conversation, I have gone down the rabbit hole with the word intimacy! Some definitions of intimacy are:
Marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity
A state marked by emotional closeness
Belonging to one’s deepest nature (intimate)
Of a very personal or private nature
The word comes from intimate, which comes from the Latin word intima meaning “innermost.” Then I remembered at a dinner party a while back, someone breaking intimacy down to this play on the word “In-to-me-see.” Meaning go into your innermost self (your heart). In some of the definitions of the word, it appears to be referring to being intimate with another. But try looking at it for yourself. “Belonging to one’s deepest nature. Familiarity.” Would you say that you are connected to your innermost self (your heart) and familiar with it?
I define intimacy as connection to my innermost self, my heart. This is what I do daily. I am also in a space now where I can receive experiences and relationships as they come. In other words, I do not define them as “good” or “bad” but more, what has this taught me or brought up for me to see within myself? So, I am actually ALWAYS in a relationship, because I am ALWAYS with ME!
I invite you, if you don’t already, to look at the relationships in your life as experiences. Instead of labeling them as “good” or “bad” or “successful” or “unsuccessful,” look at what is showing up for you to learn. Then you can recognize that you can make a different choice if you choose. I also invite you to think about what you consider to be intimate with another, then apply that definition to being intimate with yourself. If your definition of intimacy is sexual intercourse, see if you can conjure up the emotions and sensations that arise in your body when you are in that situation and feel what is being nurtured in you. Can you nurture whatever those sensations are when you are in a different situation? See what comes up for you. Are you listening to your innermost self, your heart? Can you allow your heart to guide you to know who you are at the center of your being? Once you connect with your heart, then you will be able to truly have an intimate relationship with another.
♥much love and light