It has often surprised me that most books about relationships do not attempt to define intimacy – probably because it is so multidimensional and means something different for everyone.
One concept of intimacy is to view it as a broad series of intimacy styles based on thoughts and actions around personality, gender, age etc. Viewed in this way the following intimacy styles are examples that could be regarded as an intimate connection:
Emotional intimacy: Being able to communicate feelings to one another by sharing one's self or self-disclosing.
Lifestyle intimacy:Involves a place to live which represents a way of expressing oneself eg. the ‘hippies’ of the 60s living in a bus.
Parenting intimacy: Talking about your children and relating your parenting experiences.
Third Party intimacy:This involves a connection on a basis of a third party that may involve children, but may also involve a pet, family business, or house.
Affectionate intimacy: Involves allowing another into personal space verbally and or physically.
Physical intimacy: Touching and sharing your physical body with another.
Historical intimacy: This applies to individuals that can relate on the basis of a shared history that may be generational or simply sharing an event.
Humorous intimacy: Individuals can share a similar sense of humour.
Intellectual intimacy: Discussing ideas that have been read, heard and seen in a stimulating way with one another.
Spiritual Intimacy: Making connections at the soul level.
Recreational intimacy:Having fun by playing cards, bush walking, sharing a hobby etc.
Social intimacy:Enjoying a dinner party, going to a movie or joining others.
Economic intimacy: Budgeting, sharing property, investing and devising ways to prosper.
Household intimacy:Sharing home duties with others, from cooking meals to making beds.
Vocational intimacy:Time spent with another person at work.
Cultural intimacy: Individuals may share either a particular place of origin or culture.
Gender intimacy:This type of connection comes broadly under the heading of ‘us guys’, ‘us girls’ or 'us same sex partners' etc.
Personally I like the following definition that I collected from somewhere:
Intimacy depends on the giving and receiving of messages from the inner world of one person to the inner world of the other.
I also think that this play on words '' in–to–me–see''says it all.
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