Intimacy is one of the most misinterpreted concepts I can think of.
For years we have been viewing intimacy in one light and have bypassed the other possible meanings due to the way society's current beliefs surrounding the word.
The majority of people naturally define intimacy as the sexual connection or bond that two humans share with one another. If you have ever watched the Bachelor or Bachelorette, you know the word intimacy is thrown around and mentioned about every five minutes. Intimate connection this, intimate connection that. Due to watching the show, it conditions people to immediately think of sex when they hear the word in the real world.
This is not the sole way I view intimacy. Though a sexual connection does come to mind, I see beyond the surface.
Intimacy also means closeness, togetherness, or familiarity. None of which have a sexual connotation.
It is so much more than a sexual connection. You can have intimate relationships with your friends, family, teachers, a mentor figure in your life, or really anybody you connect with. Hearing me state you can have an intimate relationship with a teacher sounds very wrong. Intimate and teacher are two words not often placed next to one another. Intimate and family are also not typically said in the same sentence.
The truth is, any relationship we develop with another human is considered intimate when you take a step back and change your perspective.
View it from a larger scale. Out of the billions of people on this planet, during our lifetime, we can only make so many friends. We can only have so many romantic partners. Yes, the opportunities we are given and decide to act on are bountiful and theoretically unlimited, but that being said, we do only have a certain amount of years of life on earth. This means we can only interact with a relatively small amount of human beings over the course of time.
The fact that we are so limited to the number of humans we are able to interact and get to know deems each of those individual relationships made as intimate.
Likewise, you can have an intimate relationship with an enemy. It sounds far-fetched but you can have an intimate relationship with an enemy because at one time you were intimate as close friends. Maybe you were intimate as romantic partners and something went awry which resulted in a developed hatred for the other person.
A short fling you could have had with a person can also be deemed intimate because you, out of billions of people, were lucky enough (or maybe not so lucky) to have gotten to know that person even for a short period of time.
This perception I have developed on intimacy is the reason why I hold each special person I meet so close to my heart. I feel they were brought into my life for a reason and I am lucky enough to have met them and gotten to know them.
I am incredibly grateful for everyone I have met because each and every person has left an impact on me whether it be great or small.