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Real intimacy isn't sex, so how do you get there?



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I finally met someone who got me out of the dating pool. It is interesting that this wasn't some crazy hormonal charged ubber romantic chance meeting thing. It has grown slowly from someone I was attracted to someone I want to grow a relationship with. We have a tenancy to define intimacy as sex. I think it is much more than that. While sex is important, its a servant to intimacy not the master.

What I am finding as this grows is finding the right person was vital. Duh? Well what I didn't realize was how important it was to find someone who was really emotionally healthy. For me it turned out that it was important to find someone who had suffered trauma and overcame it. This is why I'm posting this insight here.

For many of us who have undergone major transformation via WLS we had issues with food and the weight literally and spiritually blocked us from people for years. If your goal is true intimacy, I think this a consideration you might want to put on your list. In the back of your mind when you are getting to know them, listen to their stories of how they overcame bad things. It might be the point of connection that might lead to the deep intimacy we all crave.

So what I am hoping to start is a conversation on growing truly intimate with another human being.

  • What were the things that made you comfortable enough to be vulnerable?
  • Can you do it too quickly?
  • What are the joys and risks?
  • How do you nurture it?

I think negative experiences and lessons learned are just as important as the positives.

While I have posted a great deal on dating and finding the right person, there was always a goal. I am sure I have crossed that goal line, now its taking it to the next level, so veteran or newbie I'm curious about how you see intimacy and how you grew it, or blew it.

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BTW the best book I could find on the subject: http://www.amazon.com/Mapping-Terrain-Heart-Tenderness-Capacity/dp/1568217900

If you have not really thought about "what do you do when you actually meet someone" this may be a source of thought and inspiration.

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Some thoughts ....

I think that true intimacy between two people is possible and grows when they both are:

* Brutally honest with themselves and each other

* Good communicators -- able to communicate well and describe what they've been through, what they want, and how they want to get there

* (To your point about having been through tough times and struggled / recovered ...) Able to take some personal responsibility for the past bad situations they found themselves in ways that led to their own recovery, by which I mean -- even if his/her ex was a bitch he/she still saw that he/she played a role in creating that situation, even if that was only refusing to leave the situation

* Will pay attention to you, listen to you when you share things, care about your thoughts and feelings and be there "for you" (some very good research tells us that this behavior is the best predictor of a couple's long-term marriage success)

* Able to hear feedback without being *too* defensive and willing to give feedback that is constructive, not destructive, while encouraging each other to retain the right to make their own major life decisions

* (This one is the capper, because not everyone can do this ....) Is capable of trusting and loving another person and being loved and trusted by another person. I do think some people's development was arrested early on by how they were raised or they were traumatized by life events and they just can't trust or love others again.

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This is a good topic. I am also currently in a new relationship that seems like it is progressing really fast but also it is really comfortable like we have known each other forever. We have a lot in common. Real intimacy is something I have always avoided, but now since I am older, it is something I crave.

The thing that made me comfortable with him is when I am with him, is I have his complete undivided attention. He is looking me in the eyes all the time we are together, and when we go to events he watches my reactions and talks to me about it. He really pays attention to me. I know that he is really into me, so that makes it easier to open up to him.

We talk openly and honestly, he is willing to expose himself which makes me willing to expose myself.

While I think it is possible to move too fast, I think with the right person there is no real time table. Things happen in their own time.

I believe that apathy is the death of intimacy. Taking someone for granted, not paying attention. It is something that you have to fight to maintain every day. Also, secrets and lies.

Right now the more time we spend together, and the more he asks about how little I eat, I feel like I am going to have to tell him about surgery really soon. He knows I low carb, work out and have been losing weight. There is a copy of Overeaters anonymous on my night stand, I know he has seen it, so I am not exactly hiding my issues, we just haven't had a deep conversation about it.

I have spent my adult life focused on my career and my business so, relationship and intimacy are new to me. I do have the benefit of watching my peers get it right and wrong over a long period of time, so I think I can learn from the triumphs and mistakes of others.

I know there are some people here that have been married a long time I would love to hear what they have to say.

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I met the love of my life online. We communicated by email every day for a bout six weeks before we agreed to meet at a local restaurant. He was 53, I was 52. We both had been thrown away twice and were a bit reluctant to bare the most private details.

We "grew" on each other over a period of time as we discovered how much we had in common, right down to our standards for housekeeping. It does not matter that he is tall and I was round. We looked like an apple and a pencil together! It does not matter that he has olive Mediterranean skin and I am as pale as porcelain china. It does not matter that he has a few replacement teeth or that I have replacement joints.

Here is what holds us together to eventually take that final walk towards the sunset. We will probably be that couple who lives until they are 98 and die within minutes of each other because we could not imagine life without our mate.

1. We compromise. I get to control the temperature of the house, and he gets to control the remote. He tucks the sheets in at the foot of the bed and I pull mine out. He does the work in the garden and I take care of the flower beds.

2. We share household chores. I keep the toilet, sink, and floor clean and he scrubs the bathtub and glass shower curtain. He is a better cook than I am, so he cooks and I clean up after we eat. And by the way guys....a man who helps with the housework ups his "sexy" game by several points!

3. We understand each others' love language. I touch him many times throughout the day and tell him how much I appreciate and love him. In the nine years we have been together, he has never said "I love you", but he DOES "I love you" every day. He remembers my birthday and holidays without being reminded. He is unselfish and brings home a surprise or me every time he goes to Menards or Walmart or makes a trip shopping anywhere. He reseeded the flower gardens and brings me fresh flowers everyday through the blooming season.

So far, I have not mentioned Shakespeare's "Beast with two backs" because that is a result of our intimacy, not the definition of it.

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This is so timely for me, @OKCPirate. My husband and I are currently battling about physical vs emotional/intellectual intimacy. It all comes down to physical for him. I have sexual issues anyway (yes, I'm in counseling, etc) so it feels almost like being violated - if that makes sense - to just have sex for sex. I need to feel the connection we used to feel. There is SOOO much more to it than the physical part.

Thanks for the book referral!

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@@VSGAnn2014 - (This one is the capper, because not everyone can do this ....) Is capable of trusting and loving another person and being loved and trusted by another person. I do think some people's development was arrested early on by how they were raised or they were traumatized by life events and they just can't trust or love others again.

I agree. It has been the hardest thing to relearn after a bitter end to my 21 year marriage. But keep telling myself to man up and be vulnerable. That takes courage.

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@@OutsideMatchInside - I told my girl friend rather early. She's a sharp cookie and read up on it and has good insights. She appreciates why I did it and thankfully the end results.

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@@Miss Mac - great story and since I am beginning this new adventure in my life at 52 (and BTW, so is my new girl friend) particularly interesting. I do let her control the temps, I can adjust clothing, she can't adjust a post menopausal internal thermostat. ;-)

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@@TealSister - My thoughts are with you. Those are tough issues. You might get some hope from the book. Especially Chapter 5 which deals with healing old wounds with new loves. It is the most interesting scholarly book on romantic love I've ever read.

NOTE TO GUYS - umm, this isn't a sappy chick book.

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@@OKCPirate I think he will be totally cool with. He is active and cares about his health and fitness. The issue is just me and my hang ups. I want to make sure it is really real. It feels real, but it just seems to good to be true. I have given myself a drop dead date I have to tell him by but for now I am still holding some cards close to my chest.

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Can I just say (from a womans perspective) the fact that you reached out to find out how to become more intimate with your new love is sexy as hell?

Actually WANTING to become more intimate with your partner is a good start to becoming intimate with her. She's a lucky gal!

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Yo, @@OKCPirate ... you're definitely on the right track.

Very, very best wishes to you guys.

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That's great op new relationships are exciting and I wish you all the best

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