Vignettes in Aging – Intimacy

When we think of intimacy, we think of partners, that person we wish to be intimate with. Intimacy is a physical and/or emotional closeness with another. Some of the most significant ways to share intimacy is through sex.

As we age, we learn there are a lot more different ways to be intimate and that intimacy can be shared with more than just our partners. The power of our partnerships, whether they are spouses or friends or family grows in importance as we age. We rely on these close partnerships with greater intensity the older we get.

How we express intimacy changes too. A girlfriend of mine said she feels the closest intimacy with her spouse when he helps her deal with her colostomy equipment needs. This may sound unpalatable to many, but she feels closest to and honored by this person who wants to help her be more comfortable by helping her adjust and change out her medical equipment.

Intimacy is also when you share personal information including fears, concerns, proud moments, and anything you’d normally keep close to your heart. Telling someone close to you something personal, perhaps something painful, shows a deep level of intimacy and trust. It’s sharing a part of you that you only share with few others, if any at all.

If you feel a lack of intimacy, you may think it’s about sex or displays of emotion. Intimacy can be achieved with conversations, time together, and shared experiences. Don’t define the intimacy or closeness in your life narrowly by sex and/or romantic displays alone.

Celebrate all the ways intimacy appears in your life.

Intimacy = Into me I see