the case for true intimacy

when i was ill a couple of weeks ago, i thought to myself, "man, this is when it sucks to be single...no one to hug you, bring you soup..."

then i remembered the ex had never been there when i'd been sick anyway.

granted, i don't get sick often. regardless, he'd never nursed me beyond a sympathetic phone call or two. once when i had a bad cold, he brought me a bag of treats.

in six years, we'd developed no daily, weekly or even monthly rituals. we didn't have a song. pet names were used liberally--cute, but what did that really mean?  a waitress at one restaurant came to recognize us, but we didn't have a place to call "ours", really.  i hardly knew anyone in his family and never met his parents, although i finally came to know a few of his friends.

by all accounts, this was never about lying or cheating.  he'd simply learned to wrap his life in neat little packages so that if anything happened, he could walk away, no hard feelings (for him). never mind what that did to me or us as a unit.  in the end, he finally understood this, albeit too late.   

i was a wreck for weeks, not because i wanted him or even missed his smile, but because i became conscious of what i'd lost by settling for a relationship so far below my understanding and experience of intimacy, affection and love.

even at times when i thought i should miss him, i found there was nothing to miss. he had given me so little of himself compared to what i had tried to give him.

deep intimacy was nearly always reduced to purely physical moments; towards the end, even those moments became rarer than usual.  if we weren't fucking regularly, all the ugly gaps started to show, and nothing seemed to fix them. whenever the distance grew, i was the only one who seemed to know how to bridge it.

hell, even casual lovers need attention and cultivation. now, if i fuck you on the first date or what have you, i'm willing to deal with the fact that i might stir up your bullshit around "easy" women or simply confuse the hell out of you*, but if i catch a whiff of said bullshit, don't expect me to accommodate you.

at this stage in my life, i have no time for men who overthink to the point of complete inaction, who are full of fear or trapped inside their own insecurities and hangups. there will be no re-raising, coddling or praise for half-assed displays of affection.

i was "brave enough" to try to navigate all that once.  no longer.

if you want me, let me know. i'll respond in kind.

if you leave me alone, i'll leave you alone. i'll show you i'm interested, but after that, the ball's in your court. play it, or not.

i've learned very well what hides behind intimacy issues**, and i don't need those demons visited upon me or my heart again.

*i haven't had this happen, by the way. on the rare occasion i have had the will and the opportunity to do this, the reaction of surprise/confusion is far more common, with the confusion stemming from the fact that i do so because i want to, and not in an effort to please and/or impress them. this is where women who do not own their needs/comfort levels are making it hard for broads like me...

**note that i'm not using the word "commitment", although i think folks often use that and "intimacy" interchangeably.  from where i sit, everyone with commitment issues may have intimacy issues, but not everyone with intimacy issues has commitment issues. there are plenty of folks who can "commit" without doing a damn thing to deepen their relationship(s) with other human beings, typically because that's what they've been raised to do--i.e., if you love her, you gotta marry her and have babies 'cause that's what "proper" folks do...damn the fact that you don't know how to talk to her or even check in with yourself.

in my opinion,
commitment means honoring whatever bond/agreement you have with a particular person(s) (e.g., remaining sexually monogamous). intimacy has to do with how you operate in relationship; a way to measure emotional health.  can you touch/kiss/pleasure with ease? can you reveal yourself at appropriate stages in the relationship to help it grow? what are your triggers, and can you discuss these effectively with your partner?  do you know how to be consistently present and emotionally available--whether or not you are physically present? shit like that.


BeingStill said...

Hands down, this is the best blog I've read all week! I've always known I had intimacy issues but sometimes I try to deny it. Not healthy, I know, but admitting things can be tough at times. Thanks for writing this blog, I needed to read this.

ms. bliss honeycomb said...

thanks for reading...i'm glad you got something out of it. we're all growing in some capacity.

it's taken time for me to actually name this problem and open myself to the signs. if i see it coming down the road again, i can get outta the way before this sort of damage is done.

Anonymous said...

I'm co-signing with BeingStill. I love this entry and the last 20 pages of older posts I just read to see if you are a one-hit wonder.

This entry on intimacy issues is so important as it speaks a lot about people who avoid intimacy in relationships (consciously and sub-consciously) and the accomplices who lack the self-awareness and -esteem to discuss it with their partner and/or walk away.

ms. bliss honeycomb said...

@doninkognito - lol...that's probably the most unique introduction i've heard here. welcome!

i think you make a good point.

in my situation, and in others i know of, all this "sludge" revealed itself once i was already invested, so i tried to stick it out. when these issues are covered with a lot of intelligence and good intentions, the saga can stretch out longer than you'd like...

either way, lesson learned.

cripchick said...

you've put words to experience/relationship i've been trying to wrap my head around for months. this is it exactly.

ms. bliss honeycomb said...

@cripchick - it's the strangest thing. there are so many places this stuff can "hide" that you often don't realize wtf is going on until you're pissed off and exhausted, trying to claw your way out of the whole mess.

Anonymous said...

@ms. bliss honeycomb - That is a good point, the scenario is not easy to gauge, at least the first time around. So, "lesson learned" is an appropriate sentiment. It's prolly moreso the habitual sludge-seekers who need to self-assess more.

Now as far things being camouflaged by good character and good intentions, I've been the culprit and victim of enough sludge-love relationships that I have a form letter and bus pass ready for the first sign of grimyness.

ms. bliss honeycomb said...

form letter and bus pass, huh? love it.