Intimacy in our committed relationship. It can be so elusive. Sure, you get snippets of it here and there—enough to make you long for the real deal. You get glimpses of what achieving the Nirvana of connections is all about, You want it. You crave it. You even know what it takes to get it. Too often, however, the desire for intimacy is overcome by fear, the fear of being naked and exposed in front of someone who has the power to hurt you when you are most vulnerable. You can experience physically intimacy with your duds on—a hug, a kiss, holding hands—but the ultimate intimacy is sans clothing, skin-on-skin, lights on. To be naked in front of another person is to be exposed and vulnerable. Even the most secure of us, will think twice about shedding jeans and tee-shirt if the last time you did, your sweetheart said, “You oughta do something about that gut.” Being clothed makes us feel protected and allows us to hide what at least we perceive to be our flaws. This is even more so when it comes to emotional intimacy. You can—to a point—be emotionally intimate with mental “clothing” to protect those bits and pieces of your life that are painful, embarrassing, or shameful. When you are willing to go only so far, however, you cheat yourself of a truly intimate connection. It’s human nature to hide those things we fear will affect how others (especially our sweetheart) feel about us. To experience that deep connection we all crave, however, you have to strip down to emotional vulnerability. Let me give you an example: Julie and Darren had been dating for several months and one night were lingering over a bottle of wine, sitting on the floor of Julie’s living room, fingers intertwined. Soft jazz was playing in the background and they were talking, still getting to know each other.
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