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Updated: Feb 22, 2022

This warm and fuzzy feeling that is so scary....

It's the feeling of a deep connection we have with someone. It gives us a deep sense of security and a feeling belonging that are essential to us because we are relational beings.

Eiguer (1999) says: "In addition to the personal intimacy, there is an intimacy between two people... When two beings feel that they get along wonderfully, united by a true compatibility, they are intimate."

To have intimacy in a relationship gives us the impression of being important and special for the other person, thus creating a feeling of confidence that allows sharing with that other person personal feelings, accompanied by the expectations of understanding, affirmation and demonstration of benevolence.

Losing intimacy makes us live with an immense sense of emptiness We have all experienced it after the end of a love relationship. Sometimes the separation is even more painful when it is the breakup of a long-standing friendship. We experience a loss of reference points, and there is a mourning to be done which may be accompanied by a feeling of loneliness that leaves us with a feeling bitterness.

In love, friendship and sexuality, the level of intimacy is not the same. Its intensity can vary from one relationship to another, depending on our disposition and that of the other. It can also, within the same relationship, change from one moment to the other according to the elements that surround it and also according to the capacity that we have to deeply open ourselves to the other.

The ability to open up deeply to one's emotions, values, wounds is also the ability to feel vulnerable.

Feeling vulnerable makes us afraid.

Fear of being judged

Fear of being rejected

Fear of being hurt


This accessibility to feeling safe while being vulnerable is something that is built and gradually assimilated. Some people go their whole lives without having access to it, especially if the wounds in relationships of enmity were experienced in childhood. The ability to feel good, to trust and to open up in intimacy has taken a rough blow since childhood and the road to assimilating it can be longer and more difficult, and rightly so, but it is not impossible.

Sometimes, after a great relationship of intimacy is ended, the wound and the suffering are so great that we start to protect ourselves from any deep intimacy in order to avoid reliving this pain. We hold back from being intimate in order not to suffer again.

It's as if being on the edge of a pool and wanting to dive in, but, instead, we are fine with just dipping our toes in and if we're brave, maybe we'll go down until the water reaches our necks, but no further.

Staying on the edge of the pool leaves us hungry for that closeness and we are awash with the feeling of isolation. We keep the people – with whom we feel close – at an arm's length, thinking that we are protecting ourselves.

Assimilating intimacy is possible; It needs the audacity to open up again. This might seem easy to say, but is not necessarily easy to do.

The integrative body psychotherapy (IBP) approach suggests a assimilating this intimacy following the suffering of wounds to give it back this original, oh-so-comforting flavor that we are looking for so much.

To be nourishing and a source of change, IBP suggests that the assimilation process must be done in relationships as well, by setting up optimal conditions to dare to try to get out of one's comfort zone and to experiment with change, trusting that the end result will be different or that it will not crush us.


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