NRE versus Intimacy
I recently was referred to a book, "The Dance with Intimacy", by Harriet Lerner. I have not bought it yet but managed to find a blurb online.
I actually emailed the following to my hubby and C. Neither of them seemed to 'get' what I was trying to say by sending this.
Please have a quick read and see if it strikes a chord with any of you. Once I get a few replies, I will respond with what I took away from it.
Excerpts from DANCE OF INTIMACY | By Harriet Lerner
I was cleaning my attic when I came across a poem I wrote during my sophomore year of college in Madison, Wisconsin. I vaguely recalled the brief attachment that inspired these lines-a steamy start which turned into an unbridgeable distance before either of us knew what was happening:
Once you held me so hard
and we were so close
that belly to belly we fused
passed through each other
and back to back
stood strangers again.
Neither the poem nor the romance was memorable, and my words certainly did not capture the anguish I felt when an initially blissful relationship failed. But I was reminded of what intimacy is not. And also what it is.
“All beginnings are lovely,” a French. proverb reminds us, but intimacy is not about that initial “Ve1cro stage” of relationships. It is when we stay in a relationship over time — whether by necessity or choice — that our capacity for intimacy is truly put to the test. It is only in long-term relationships that we are called upon to navigate that, delicate balance between separateness and connectedness and that we confront the challenge of sustaining both-without losing either when the going gets rough.
Nor is intimacy the same as intensity, although we are a culture that confuses these two words. Intense feelings — no matter how positive — are hardly a measure of true and enduring closeness. In fact, intense feelings may block us from taking a careful and objective look at the dance we are doing with significant people in our lives. And as my poem illustrates, intense togetherness can easily flip into intense distance — or intense conflict, for that matter.
Finally, the challenge of intimacy is by no means limited to the subject of men, marriage, or romantic encounters, although some of us may equate “intimacy” with images of blissful heterosexual pairings. A primary commitment to a man reflects only one opportunity for intimacy in a world that is rich with possibilities for connectedness and attachment.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
~ Oscar Wilde