Relationships of every kind make for more than just essential connections that define human existence. They also are necessary, and necessary not just in a particular assertion of feelings but encompassing the entire range of emotions that stem from living the human life. It can be tough to explain exactly what drives this need of animate beings to foster multiple relations, in all their uniqueties. While there of course is the ever crucial concept of companionship to live a life enriched in the many joys that what living entails, relationships largely tend to be more emotional than physical. This however is not to deny the importance of the physical traits manifestant in human connections. Think for instance the numerous times you were feelin really low and had been done a whole world of good by a warm hug and a tight embrace. Or how the mere act of holding hands had managed to spark a light in your soul, igniting in your deepest recluses such a fetish for the hand holder that managed to translate its essence into being a life long source of togetherness. It then is a veritable mix of the emotions in manifestations of the physical and the emotional and the spiritual and the logical that spurs every human on the path of harbouring and nurturing relationships at almost every point of time in their lives.
While it is emotions that lead relationships to develop and connections to foster, the build up on the premises of the realisation that takes shape somewhere in the inner confines of the mind and soul to develop into a full fledged relationship in body and spirit embarks along a path dotted by numerous blocks of perception. And one particular craving that drives this desire of us humans to forge bonds with people outside of our immediate family is that of intimacy. Often misunderstood as something that needs to be exclusively and always physical, intimacy however is that aspect of human desires that take a broader meaning than what it appears to be at the outset. Intimacy of course can be physical but that does not mean that there does not exist an intimacy outside of the bounds of the body. Even when it is physical however, intimacy needs to be distinguished from sex or even gestures with sexual annotations, as there is more to intimacy than what drives the desire for satisfying physical urges. Whatever that may be however, important it is to understand intimacy in all of its encompassing aspects, that which also includes the physical, for a greater understanding of how we derive what we do from relationships that mean the most to us.
In its realisation, intimacy comes across as the sum total of a whole lot of other basic instincts that we cherish so much in our lifetime. Values like trust and honesty as well as notions of dependence and reliance are closely interwoven with the concept of true intimacy. It of course would be ambiguous to attempt to define intimacy very coherently since what speaks intimately of you might not do so for someone else. But it still is the underlying notion of being so innately comfortable with someone that intimacy rests in its premise. For true intimacy to find way into a relationship, it’s absolutely inevitable that the involved individuals relate to each other on an altogether different level, almost as if they connect with the soul. This again, however is not to mean that you can be exclusively intimate with only your soulmate, that which in most occasions is viewed also a person with whom you share a romantic connection. Much like its physical notions, the romantic notion of intimacy too is skewed as intimacy well spans beyond the connection with such people in your life with which you share a type of love that goes past its romantic inklings.
Intimacy perhaps is one of the prerequisite of every relationship in that a relation that does not enable you to be fully intimate with each other would likely not stand the test of time. It is something we inherently crave and look for in every important bond we build, whether unknowingly or by choice, this feeling of being able to share yourself completely with someone is what drives us all to connecting with someone or the other in the first place. Intimacy also is acceptance and awareness, being fully knowing of your self before making the effort to open yourselves up completely for others is the first step in establishing true intimacy. To such ends, intimacy is crucial not for development of healthy relationships but also aids us in our own healthy identity. In having us be more perceptive of ourselves so that we can truly and wholly offer ourselves to others, in whatever capacity, intimacy prepares us for a life long stint with acceptance. Intimacy also is strangely natural. It isn’t something that can be forced, or needs to as well, as it stems effortlessly of someone when they indeed meet up with the right person in life. It in fact is a very strong assertion of the free flowing nature of intimacy that we do not encounter it with the same intensity in every other relation in our life. There’s a reason why not all your friends work up to be your bestfriends even when you are amicably real with all ofthem. This also explains why you don’t end up falling in love with every person you find attractive or just why you manage to share a greater repo with your sibling over even your parents. In fostering its identity as one that perhaps is the truest reconciliation of souls, intimacy comes across as a starkly vulnerable facet of your person yet endows you with the power of a strength that not everyone is fortunate enough to experience in life.
Intimacy is a safe space, one that allows you to be vulnerable in your relationship in the deep trust you have in the other person and relax in your insecurities, as you tread upon the inner reaches of your truest self, almost as if you are delivering in soliloquy. And just like intimacy isn’t exclusively physical, it isn’t only emotional as well. True intimacy in fact comes across as a combination of all its four types- physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. It is a kind of bare it all exercise, except that it does not really feel like one because of just how fluid a nature it encompasses in its most genuine assertion. But while intimacy is indeed about connection and acceptance and coming across as real, it also is as much about appreciation and admiration and acknowledgement. It is the very nature of intimacy that does not place two intimate persons in conflict with one another even when they don’t dwell anywhere in the same range of alignment as far their views and thoughts and beliefs go. And yet, intimacy also is not about discovering a suitable middle ground where you walk upon a path of compromise. It is more rooted in understanding and based on respect and stemming of course from love than being just another added stake in the romance horizon. Whether it be overruling the egoistic interventions in friendship or not conforming to the more demanding liabilities of familial ties, intimacy means not holding yourself back irrespective of how wrong or right you might tend to be. It is the comfort of having another person see you as you exactly are and know full well that they still would be very much there for you, even if it is to make you more aware of the paths that lead to the right. It also stands as much as the comfort of the realisation that there is someone outside you in this whole wide world for whom you are as important as they are to you. It is seeing your worth in someone besides yourself and thereby also according them the respect that strives to make you better humans.
And despite its many intangible effects, intimacy works surprisingly well for your health as well. In impacting your emotional and mental health positively, intimacy touches upon also aspects of your physical well being even without it having to be physical itself. And yet, none of us attempt to cultivate the intricacies of intimacy for its physical benefits, even when we tend to correlate it most to physical relations as well! Equally surprising is the fact that even in the course of romantic relationships, intimacy can tend to be as platonic an affair as what you experience in familial ties or in long standing friendships. In such coursings of intimacy outside the purview of the physical, that is to say in case of emotional intimacy as well as intellectual intimacy, the feeling experienced of course has to be non sexual. Because emotions and intellect are concepts that defy the norms of gender and do not conform to the bodily urges, it follows necessarily that intimacy of such stemmings are as basic as can be. That is to say, you might very well experience similar closeness with a parent as what you do with your spouse. As regards to physical intimacy as well, since it is not wholly overlapping with the pursuit of sexual closeness, it is no alarming a matter that cuddling up with your sibling might bring you levels of comfort not even the confines of your lover’s arms can. Intimacy, after all, comes differently to different individuals. In all its forms and across all its manifestations however, one thing is constant- intimacy lets you lose yourselves in another even when being the truest version of your own self. Now that’s what the magical profession of relationship by the experts sounds like!