Viewing all posts on the topic of relationships: communicating, expressing vulnerability, and building intimacy.
I recently had a conversation with a friend about how ironically lonely it could be to have polyamorous relationships. Or, perhaps more specifically, even to be part of the polyamorous community. Not to mention how hard coping with that loneliness could be. The thing is, it’s so easy to not be alone. Or rather, it’s so easy to take small actions that will temporarily quench the loneliness we feel, but that don’t have the depth or the connection or the commitment or presence to really feel satisfying. How do we learn to be satisfied with ourselves without needing to seek validation through constant contact with others?
There are two things I’ve discovered while learning how to be vulnerable recently: it’s really fucking hard, and really fucking worth it. I could never have known how to be vulnerable through most of my twenties; I’m not sure I really knew what vulnerability was. Or perhaps I did, I just didn’t realise that sharing my softest parts could lead to more depth in my relationships. The thing with allowing yourself to be vulnerable is that it allows the most scared, fragile, and young parts of you to be seen, and this process of showing all of ourselves to those we love is what creates the most real intimacy. With…
I read a quote recently which really stuck with me: “People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’ – that’s intimacy.” Taylor Jenkins Reid Before I’d really given it much further thought, I suppose I would have said that ‘intimacy’ between two people meant a kind of sexual closeness; intimate massage, intimate relationship, intimate touch. ‘Intimacy’ becomes one of many euphemisms for sexuality without us having to think twice about whether it’s actually separate, and…
Last Valentine’s Day I sent messages to everyone in my life who I loved, who I wasn’t already in the habit of telling regularly, and told them so. This included family, housemates, close friends old and new. This is not a common thing for me to do. Sending those messages made me feel nervous; a fluttery kind of embarrassment around the vulnerability of being seen. And, of course, the fear of being laughed at, rejected, or ignored. But those were platonic relationships. Easy! (Relatively.) What about lovers? What about those with whom we have no intention of jumping on a relationship ladder with? Or even those we do? How and when…