Each of us has five significant parts of intimacy in our lives. We have the physical, the emotional, the mental, the social, and the spiritual. All five of these parts are designed to work together in harmony. The primary focus is on the physical followed by the social component of intimacy. Physical intimacy in usually a sexual attraction based on appearance.
When the physical appearance fades or vanishes in the winds of time, the relationship often suffers.
Recently, a friend of mine told me that her sister’s husband of eight years left her because she had a mastectomy and it left her with a deformed body. The husband was actually in therapy to overcome his reluctance to sleep with his wife. He claimed to love his wife but couldn’t stomach seeing or thinking about her scar tissue. I later learned that the two were married in their early twenties and the wife worked as a nude dancer when they met. He was a bartender in the same club. It’s not a major assumption to surmise that since both worked in a sexually charged environment that their relationship was also centered on physical intimacy.
Social intimacy develops when two people have social interests in common such as music, political views, movies, sports, literature, drinking, drugs, racism, criminality, perverted tastes, charitable work, and/or religion to list a few. This is enough to keep them intimately connected socially, which may extend many years beyond a mere physical intimacy.
Social intimacy can lead to sex, love, and even marriage but the couple can also grow apart if either one changes their interest or outlook.
The highest and most valued forms of intimacy for mature people are under the banner of mental, emotional, and spiritual, which are closely related but distinctly unique. Mental or intellectual intimacy is created when two people are on similar mental levels. They seem to think alike with similar levels of logic. Couples that develop mental intimacy usually are within 10 IQ points to each other.
The wider the gap in IQ points the more likely the couple will argue and disagree. The closer the IQ points, the most likely the couple will respect each other’s logic even when they disagree. Nevertheless, many relationships with a wide gap in mental intimacy survive because of the intimacy they share in at least two of the other areas of intimacy.
Emotional intimacy carries a lot of power in binding a couple. When a couple is emotionally connected they can withstand the harpoons that sink many love boats. Emotional intimacy includes a similar level of values, morals, empathy, compassion, honesty, trust, and loyalty none of which is necessary to experience physical, social, or mental intimacy.
Of all the intimacy components to a relationship "spiritual" intimacy is the fuel that drives the engine.
Spiritual intimacy does not refer to religion or religious beliefs but the spirit and soul of the individuals.
Spiritual intimacy is the closeness that creates a unity or oneness. A spiritual intimacy is when each party is committed to the happiness and welfare of the other. When such a commitment is operating on all cylinders the intimacy cannot be breached by time or circumstance.
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