I set out to define intimacy in one sentence that encompasses all aspects of the word. But I could not, not well at least. Intimacy is varied. At times it is well defined and other times it has shades of gray. My own definition was tainted and discolored from my past so I looked up the Webster’s definition.
I have a fantastic old dictionary I picked up from a thrift store, it is dated 1941.
In` ti-ma`- si (n)
A close or confidential friendship; illicit sexual intercourse.
ILLICIT? Really? Illicit, according to the same aged dictionary means Not authorized, or allowed, unlicensed, unlawful.
I think a lot of people still live with this 74 year old definition as their intimacy mantra. Quite possibly relationships in the past did bring sex and intimacy to the table as unauthorized, unlawful, and not allowed and those offerings have changed our viewpoint of what sex and intimacy are supposed to be.
The current definition for intimacy:
(Thank you Dictionary.com)
- State of being intimate.
- Close, familiar and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group.
- Close association with or detailed knowledge or deep understanding of place, subject, period of history, etc.
- Act or expression serving as a token of familiarity, affection, or the like.
- Amorously familiar act; liberty.
- Sexual intercourse.
- Quality of being comfortable, warm, familiar.
I found it perfectly wonderful that sexual intercourse was listed 6th out of 7! Sex, as my husband likes to put it, is the culmination of an intimate relationship. So, what does intimacy look like day to day from a couple that has a sex record of 584 days in a row?
To us, intimacy looks like working together around the house, doing things for each other, listening to each other and speaking each other’s Love Languages in action. Daily we can be found reading our Bibles and having coffee together, playing with our kids, eating dinner, or driving to baseball or church all while being together. We use these everyday “mundane” activities as intimacy, because they are. They are not sexually related unless we tell an off color joke and giggle with each other. These moments are not filled with undressing each other while making dinner, or being inappropriate in front of our children. But, what these moments of everyday intimacy are filled with is hand holding, leg touching, sweet smiles, kind words, listening ears, eye contact, and verbal and emotional support for each other. These are the “fillers” in some relationships that are often used as a means to get something from the other person instead of being used to fill the relationship with depth and meaning.
What are you doing with your “Fillers”? Are you using mundane moments of everyday life to get something for yourself? Have you looked right past the everyday stuff and brushed it off as nowhere near intimate? Are your mundane moments filled with various screens and technology? How can you change your viewpoint on the mundane, everyday tasks of life and change them into intimate moments to deepen your relationship?