On Intimacy

May 11, 2012

What does it mean to be intimate with someone?
What does it feel like? How do you know and how do you get there?
People often describe intimacy in terms of the physical which I believe is so limited. For me intimacy is defined way beyond the physical. It represents a true private, personal, close connection that comes about from sharing a unique bond, a deep sort of friendship. I’m still learning about what it entails but I feel like I have struck gold.

A while back my partner and I were having a conversation about what makes relationships special- I think it’s what first made us both start talking about what intimacy meant to us both. There were a lot of things that had to happen before we were that comfortable. The most important thing I think was opening ourselves up to vulnerability.

Being vulnerable is a scary thing. It’s opening yourself up to the possibility of being hurt and most people would rather not go through that, but there’s also so much power in vulnerability, if you shield yourself from the the probability of hurt you also shield yourself from experiencing a powerful bond with another human being. We had both experienced hurt in different dimensions so making a decision to be honest and transparent toward each other wasn’t easy and we had a lot of rocky moments where our trust for one another was shaky. As we continued to slowly build our trust in each other we were able to be more vulnerable.

I can’t say the moment in which it changed but I can tell you that the first time I felt truly intimate with my partner was one day when I had a huge problem. I was at my wits end and completely lost as to what to do. As I had the courage to tell him what had happened, he quietly said “let’s pray”. At that point I was already in tears and even if I wanted to protest I couldn’t. He began to pray and I was truly moved, because every word that came out of his mouth sounded like it was coming out of my heart. It’s a moment i’ll never forget for the rest of my life.

The second time was walking into church one Sunday, we were walking in front of my mum, hands linked. I’m not sure if I’ve talked about my spirituality here before (post for another day maybe) but mostly I’ve had a rather shaky journey and to me it was such a big deal for someone not only to allow me to grow in my own pace but also be concerned and offer help along the way. I guess it was all symbolic.

I’ve watched my parents find intimacy again and it’s just beautiful. I saw them watching television on mute one day, sitting on the couch holding hands, I knew in that moment they were connected to each other, I quietly left the room and I’m sure they didn’t notice. Their relationship has been a difficult one, but somehow they are finding what they once lost.

It’s one of my favorite things about relationships (everything I’ve said and I’m saying can be applied to non-romantic relationships, just using mine as an example). Intimacy seems to be lost in a lot of relationships these days, since I’ve only recently discovered it I can’t really give many pointers, but its so powerful, it’s the thing that still makes me feel so close when I’m over 10,000km away. I’ll say this though; be honest, be honest about what you want and who you are, don’t be afraid to let it all show, be honest about your fears, your dreams, even the silly ones. Be true to the person you are.

Love always,

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  • Reply CB's Suga May 11, 2012 at 9:20 am

    This is so beautiful, I agree totally the intimacy is so much more than just the physical, it’s about vulnerability like you said and comfort, true comfort in being yourself.

    Love it. It’s always a good feeling to discover things like this

  • Reply beforesheimplodes May 11, 2012 at 10:29 am

    Wonderful….that paragraph about your partner speaking words from your heart.
    Beautiful…God bless you both.
    Yes in my finite wisdom i also agree you have struck gold.
    *Hugs and Kisses*

  • Reply Folkeezy May 11, 2012 at 10:40 am

    This is a lovely piece… Thanks for reiterating my thoughts on this topic… I so much agree with these points that even though I’ve been hurt and my trust has been betrayed on several occasions, I believe I’ll get there… Above all I crave intimacy with God, I fail him often but I know he won’t give up on me…

  • Reply Sayo May 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Just stumbled on this piece. Intimacy is something everyone wants but not all can get it.
    I hope I stumble upon it, with God and people that matter to me dearly.


  • Reply moyin :) May 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Its interesting how timely these posts can be. I am struggling with this as well. And its the vulnerability bit. I made a promise to a friend that it was going to be 100% with us. I agree with the prayer bit though, I remember once when I was really ill and I told one of my friends, she told another one and they organised a ‘prayer intervention’, I cried and cried and cried after because they said all the things I had not had the courage to say in prayer.
    Intimacy is very important in relationships, but I struggle with knowing who to be intimate with,and learning to be vulnerable (its really hard)
    Beautiful piece 🙂

  • Reply Dolapo May 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Beautiful. Just so beautiful.


  • Reply Miss Enigma May 11, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I’m not 100% sure what it means to me, but I know it goes beyond the physical. But I feel like when you’re comfortable enough to bare yourself, be vulnerable with another human being you both def have a connection that can be described as intimate.

    I’m glad your folks are finding that connection again, that in itself is a beautiful thing!!!

  • Reply Curious_me May 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Beautiful post. I find it very very difficult to let myself be vulnerable. I’m working on this tho…Hope I get there soon 🙂

  • Reply Anonymous May 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    When I think about intimacy, i think about a relationship with God. Somehow, he knows everything in about your life but when you talk to him in your private moment, he expects you to bare it all, i mean all of it. All your secrets, lies, fears, struggles, wants, everything.
    Now imagine having that relationship with someone else? Say your boyfriend/husband. It will be heaven. Getting to that moment were your “partner” almost knows you more than yourself because there is nothing you have not been able to share. It is indeed a gold mine. I have not reached this myself, but somehow, i fight for it every single day. It is worth it.

  • Reply Mz.T May 11, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    This was so beautiful. I honestly have no words but I feel like crying.

  • Reply teniola May 11, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    This is beautiful.

  • Reply Sabirah May 12, 2012 at 4:30 am

    Thank you so much everyone for all your lovely comments I’m glad this post touched you in some way.

  • Reply Bimbo F May 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Wonderful. Really nice. Can’t say much. I just hope i get there, with God’s help.

  • Reply highlandblue May 13, 2012 at 7:24 am

    I think the “Love Always, Sabirah” did it for me. 😉

  • Reply Anonymous December 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    This post touches me 🙂 I have felt intimicay but for many years i havent opened my heart because of fear. now i want to open it again and i feel ready to be intimate again. I now know what i want and need. i deserve it

  • Reply Anonymous March 11, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I know this is late but yesterday, a very special friend & I were talking about intimacy. I realised that for a long time, I had based intimacy on sex & apart from one r/ship which left me fulfilled while it lasted (it was void of sex btw) & empty when it ended (he died), all my r/ships have been without that feeling I once enjoyed cos I stayed within my walls & didn’t want to come out. I’m learning now how to get out of those high walls & trust me, it’s hard but I realise I’m missing out on a lot of good things. I have someone who helps me & maybe when I’m completely alright, I’ll take the step into entering a r/ship. Thanks for this, Sab.

  • Reply haworrey May 22, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Beautiful piece.. thank you S.


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