Patterns of Intimacy

Intimacy is a space you share with another, in which you are the closest it is possible to be with another human being, in which you couldn't be any closer.

Intimacy is a moment of truth sharing, of being emotionally or otherwise naked, and that being OK – in fact, better than OK, welcomed, honored, and loved.

You crave intimacy, but you keep yourself from it.

You are, like most human beings, afraid of intimacy, mainly because you think if you reveal a part of you that you have otherwise covered up and denied and compensated for, it will be exposed as a reason for someone to reject you. Show the real you, get left, is the erroneous belief.

It is the hiding and covering and pretending to be something other than you are, that blocks intimacy. The sharing of a fear – or any truth about yourself, really – is what creates room for intimacy to be.

The space of intimacy is sort of the opposite of the tough shell we need to walk around and do work and survive in the world. So we get to open up, become available to intimacy, through different ways, and those ways are different, usually, for men and for women.

For women, our intimacy pattern is spiralic.

We move toward intimate situations in a steady path, always closer, always deeper. Men can be very confronted by this, because they are not ready for more or to go deeper just yet. They need to digest what they're chewing on already and digest that, before they want more.

Men have a pattern of intimacy that is a bit like, "Approach, Retreat, Regroup, Repeat."

They dip in for some intimacy, take in their capacity, and then need to high-tail it out of there and get some space. When they've had enough, they come back for some more closeness. Repeat pattern.

Women can be really confused by this. You share this really intimate moment with a guy, and next thing you know, he takes off, leaving you wanting more and wanting to go deeper, wondering what the hell just happened, feeling confused and hurt. Why wouldn't he want more, or to go deeper?

If you can understand and respect the differing patterns of intimacy that men and women have, it takes the confusion, misunderstanding, hurt and sting out of it all.

And makes it possible for intimacy to flourish.

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