Getting Real Intimate
Intimacy is not for the faint of heart. Anyone can talk about feelings, but very few can intimately connect and communicate on a level that transforms. If you’ve ever been intimate or in a relationship with a person who practices what we call emotional bypass, you’ll understand first-hand how empty and bored you feel.
Emotions by themselves are just physiological processes that are constantly happening in the body, and particularly within the nervous system. These emotions only have meaning when we attach our own thoughts and perceptions to them. Everyone emotes, but not everyone feels. The difference can often be seen with narcissists and anyone on the spectrum of this kind of personality disorder. Narcissists claim to have feelings and put on a very good show around being intimate, but what they offer is far from intimate.
Deeply feeling people, empaths, and reflective individuals have a true capability for being intimate. This means they can feel, think, reflect, and speak about their feelings in a way that generates a deeper connection and understanding of the self and other. False intimacy is very different in that it actually drives a wedge of insecurity and profound instability because it’s shallow and not founded on anything real.
So many of us have been traumatized by bad relational experiences and toxic lovers. This makes it hard to know what real and authentic intimacy looks and feels like. As a result, we end up feasting on crumbs only to come out the other side malnourished and empty. This kind of settling can go on for years because it’s possible to get by with the most minimal amount of connection and affection.
Ultimately, a healthy and intimate relationship will be devoid of insecurity, uncertainty, and mind games. If there is any confusion about what’s real, or if there is no clear sense of who or what you are to the other person than there is a lack of true intimacy. Feeling like you can say or do anything (within reason) and being able to be authentically be who you are indicates that you’re on the road to intimacy.
Beware of the fakers and manipulators. Intimacy is a learned skill that requires a strong sense of self, a powerful amount of self-value, and a willingness to go to the mat with vulnerability. Those who are truly capable of being intimate have often been deeply hurt, experienced trauma, or have even been deeply loved throughout their lives. Anything short of real connection and thoughtful communication should be left for the weak and weary who choose to stay safe in the bubble of their own creation.