When the word intimacy is brought up, most people think of the post sexual cuddling that happens in the bedroom–the time and place where you are closest and most vulnerable. Often this is the time when we tell each other our secrets, dreams and goals. It feels safe and it feels right.
Its fairly easy to have the intimacy in the bedroom. Even if you’re discussing trivial things like a show on tv or a book you read recently, it seems important at the time because the oxytocin levels are still running through the brain and you want just be close to this person. You want to be at that deeper level and should be at that level.
However, intimacy also occurs outside of the bedroom. Even during the mundane rituals of daily life, intimacy is what keeps a relationship going–separating it from a close friendship or a friend with benefits.. Achieving this kind of intimacy takes more work and dedication. Its about trust, security and feeling that closeness even if you aren’t in the same room together. Its about knowing you have a connection with this person that goes deeper than friendship. You can be sexually active with someone but never achieve this next level because the intimacy is missing. You can also have intimacy before you even start a sexual relationship because you trust him. The sexual part simply deepens that intimacy.
Unfortunately, there are times when you bang your head against the wall because you can’t seem to get that deeper feeling. The intimacy is missing because the other person is emotionally unavailable or just doesn’t understand how to provide or accept it. Now, I know that many men just want to roll over and go to sleep after sex, but if he truly cares for you, he will let you lay in the crook of his shoulder. Its usually men who seem to run from intimacy but when they really like a woman, they have no problem with it and it comes naturally.
I’m a woman who craves intimacy in my relationships. Its not about the orgasm during sex or even the act itself, its about what its all packaged in–feeling safe and knowing I can let go with this person and enjoy us together. My end goal isn’t that climax, its that oxytocin/endorphin high that comes to us through intimacy. I also crave that feeling of knowing he is thinking about me and wishing he could be with me when we’re not together at the moment. I love that call before bed that says, “I hope you had a great day. Sleep well.” There is something intimate in knowing he is thinking about us before going to sleep.
That being said, being in a relationship where I don’t feel that intimacy is extemely frustrating. I don’t understand it and I can’t grasp it. I never feel secure or comfortable enough to talk to him about what I want or need and when I do try, he shuts me down completely which really hurts my feelings. Its not a joke that I am asking him to reach out to me for once and make plans or invite me somewhere. When I ask him to do something like a attend a wedding with me, its hurtful when he just says something like “I don’t know so and so” and walks away. That is completely opposite of intimacy and even takes away any intimacy we have achieved prior. I don’t trust him with my feelings if that is how he is going to treat me. It obliterates the intimacy. Strangely, we were very compatible together, but he just wouldn’t let me into that part of his heart which I needed access to.
It took me a long time to realize that I can’t accept a relationship that is missing that key component. Its what I crave. Its what I NEED. I need that intimacy between the two of us so I feel secure and can trust him with my body and my heart. I need intimacy to complete the circle. Most of all, I need it to know I am more than just a friend or friend with benefits. I am a girlfriend.