I’ve always been the relationship type.
I had my first boyfriend when I was 11. I was falling in (what I thought was) love left and right. I would fall asleep to the melody of my crushes’ names and fantasize about my soft, small lips pressing against theirs. I went through many relationships that were (mostly) fulfilling at the time, but growth would always, eventually, stagnate. But, I believe that’s totally normal in partnership—are we meant to be with one person for our entire lives? Probably not.
We’re meant to love and grow and learn from all walks of life and forming meaningful, intimate relationships with all sorts of people is what really kindles the flame of our growth. I’m convinced human connection is the key to success and happiness, but what is success and happiness, anyway? It’s all relative.
When I talk about intimacy, I don’t just mean sex. Intimacy is so much more than purely physical. I’d argue that sex is the least interesting thing about intimacy…and that’s saying a lot coming from a former “sex addict.” Although, was it really sex I was “addicted” to, or was it other forms of intimacy I was chasing?
I’m sure the intimacy I was actually craving was the kind of intimacy we feel when we share our goals and dreams with one another—when we share our soul’s deepest longings.
I was craving the kind of intimacy we feel when we look into another person’s eyes and feel safe enough to not look away.
I was yearning for the intimacy of laughter. The intimacy of vulnerability. The intimacy of sharing the little things in life that make us smile—the little things in life that make us excited.
Intimacy is hard and soft and ecstatic all at the same time. Intimacy is opening our hearts and pouring the juiciest bits of who we are into another person’s cup. And yes, it tastes damn delicious.
Intimacy is what makes the world go round—it creates the space for compassion and understanding. It allows us to genuinely see a person for who they are—not for what we perceive them to be.
But, how do we find someone safe enough to share our intimacy with? Of course, we can be intimate with anyone. It doesn’t have to be with a romantic partner, but intimacy certainly hits different when we can incorporate all four types: physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional.
It makes sense that so many of us are so intrigued and culturally obsessed with sex because we live in a touch-starved society. We’re especially touch-starved after how many months in lockdown? After how many months of crossing the street to make sure we don’t accidentally inhale a person’s breath as they’d walk past us?
We desperately need to be touched. And we certainly can receive physical intimacy from family, friends, and strangers—hugs, massages, arm squeezes…they all help.
But, I know, so many of us want more. And I’ll speak for myself when I say that I crave to show myself, fully.
I want to share my soul as naked and raw as possible. I crave to unpeel the layers of society that I carry around like a weighted blanket every damn day. I want to be seen in my fullest expression of who I am, and I believe we can get there through the ecstasy of intimacy—through balancing all types of intimacy.
It took me a while to find the answer to this question, especially because I didn’t want to believe it, but the answer is: we need to stop looking externally.
Yeah, I hate that answer, too.
I want someone to touch me for me.
I want someone to listen to me.
I want someone to caress my face and look into my eyes and tell me it’s going to be okay.
And it’s important to have this type of relationship with someone, and I promise, many of us will find the person to create this with, but we need to stop looking for it.
We need to stop waiting.
Life is happening right now. Life is not on the way. To live is not something we can wait for anymore.
Life is right f*cking now, and the more we spend our time waiting for our prince to show up at our doorstep, the less time we have to understand that everything we’ve ever really needed lies within.
I know, it’s cheesy as f*ck, but listen: the universe (or God or spirit or whatever you believe in) works in mysterious ways and as soon as we are able to let go of the idea that we must find a partner to live a fulfilling life, they will be delivered. Or not. Maybe they won’t be delivered, and that’s okay, too, because we’ve come to a place of radical acceptance of independence.
Although, I believe that once we can truly embody our acceptance of being independent, the universe will know we’re ready (if that’s what we want).
Simply believing we’ve “let go” of the idea of wanting a partner doesn’t work. It needs to be fully embodied…and that’s the hard part.
It takes deep, inner work and dedication to learn how to love ourselves to get to a place of real embodiment. And it takes time. But most importantly, it takes learning how to date ourselves.
And I understand, to choose ourselves can be a huge sacrifice. I know because I’ve done it over and over again, and it hurts. It hurts to let go of people who no longer serve us. It can hurt to set boundaries and say no.
But we need to choose ourselves.
We need to finally open our eyes to the fact that we are the loves of our own lives, that we are the partner of our dreams, and that we can go do all those things we’ve longed to do on our own.
And, then, who knows, maybe someone will eventually walk into our lives and be lucky enough to experience the love we’ve cultivated for ourselves.
But, who cares?