Q: What exactly do you mean by intimacy?
A: Intimacy involves self-confrontation and self-disclosure in the context of a partner.
In 1991, my first book …. pointed out the difference between other-validated intimacy and self-validated intimacy.
Other-validated intimacy requires your partner to validate and accept all your disclosures.
Self-validated intimacy involves validating what you say when your partner won’t.
Most couples-and most therapists-confuse getting acceptance, validation, and understanding from your partner with the process of intimacy itself.
The problem is that other-validated intimacy allows the partner with the least desire for intimacy to control their partner’s disclosures and the level of intimacy in the relationship.
We all want to be validated, but our dependence on it leads to what I call the “tyranny of the lowest common denominator,” and destroys passion, eroticism, and desire in emotionally committed relationships.
This is why I said earlier that our capacity for self-soothing and self-validation determine our tolerance and capacity for intimacy.
Q: What’s the relationship between profound intimacy and passion?
Now I have some questions for you to ponder on your own or with your partner..
How do you hold onto yourself when you are in a relationship?
How do you feel about yourself?
How can you use sex as a window into who you are?
How can you become more uniquely yourself by embodying yourself in relationship with the people you love?
Let me know your answers!