eyes I watched a beautiful video the other night called First Kiss, documenting the first kiss of 20 strangers. The laughter, the awkward moment, the approach. It was poignant, beautiful. And it made me cry.

At first I thought it was because as a recent (7 mo) divorcee, I was lonely. But then I realized it was more than that. What I crave, what I've been missing for years – long before my divorce- was intimacy.

Into Me You See.

And isn't that what we all want? Someone who sees the real us – behind the facade – and still sticks around. Someone who gets us, likes and accepts us despite of – or perhaps because of – our foibles. Someone who is always there when we need a shoulder to cry on. Someone who has our back. Someone who can genuinely say, “I see you, the real you, and I love you.”

Into Me You See.

Yet, despite the video, I have no inclinations to go out and kiss a random stranger in search of this elusive intimacy. Because a kiss is not necessarily intimacy. (You can kiss with your eyes closed, metaphorically speaking.) Just as sex is not love. Nor is it intimacy necessarily, though many people mistake it as such.

Into Me You See.

Intimacy is its own entity. Its own beast. One that is not tied, necessary, to romance, kissing, or sex. Intimacy can occur with anyone – a good friend, a coworker, a loved one, or a romantic partner. What I realized after pondering that video was that I had been waiting for intimacy to find me. I expected my ex-husband to fill that role because I had confused intimacy with romance. With sex. I thought it was the same as love. But it isn’t.

Into Me You See.

And I what I know now is that I can’t wait for this elusive intimacy to find me. It’s a gift I must cultivate – with friends, with loved ones, and eventually perhaps with a romantic partner. But I can’t start there. I can’t fall into the same trap of thinking that romance is intimacy that an ‘intimate’ relationship with a romantic partner will satisfy my needs. Because it won’t – not necessarily. And, for me, intimacy needs to come first anyway. Before the romance, before the love, before the sex. Because if I don’t believe this future partner ‘sees into me’, then I don’t want what he’s offering. Been there, done that. Was miserable.

Into Me You See.

But what I have come to understand most of all is that intimacy must start with my relationship with myself. Before friends, before loved ones, before a romantic partner. Because if I don’t “see into me,” how can I expect someone else to?

What do you see inside yourself? Do you allow yourself to ‘see into you?’

I am learning. I am ‘seeing’ – perhaps for the first time. Will you join me?

13 Comments

  • Lisa Tener says:

    This is beautiful, Mary!

  • Lorene says:

    It is so refreshing to be yourself. We pretend to be what others may want us to be and we only hurt ourselves in the long run. It takes prayer, courage and understanding of ourselves to realize that we are enough. We should embrace who we are and be better than we were yesterday; not living someone else’s view of who we should be. YES, I have allowed myself to SEE and LIVE!

  • teri goetz says:

    So beautiful, so transparent and raw. What a gift to let others see “inside of you.”

  • This is so very powerful and true. We must know and love ourselves intimately before we ca be intimate with another. I think this is a problem when people put lust or attraction before true intimacy. Thank you for the emotion-filled post!

    • Mary E. Pritchard, Ph.D. says:

      Thank you, Deanna! I have been guilty of putting attraction before intimacy myself. 🙂 Learned my lesson on that one. 🙂

    • Linda Joy says:

      Mary. Woah! Powerrful post…. Your openness and vulnerability is beautiful and that is what will attract the man that deserves the amazing woman you are. Intimacy and depth trumps animal attraction any time!

  • I saw that video too. I love how you connected to it and was willing to share!

  • carina says:

    I was really moved by the video as well. And went straight in and kissed my man. After 9 years I am still totally in love with him. Yet I am learning to be just as in love with myself. Thank you.

  • Oh My! What a timely post that is beautifully written. This has been on my mind a lot lately and you captured what I have been feeling in the perfect words. Enjoy the journey to intimacy – may it be more glorious than you ever anticipated! Blessings!

  • Michelle Dawnn says:

    Beautifully said, Mary!

  • This is a great article, Mary. It is filled with depth and useful ideas. Your writing is poetic and very enjoyable to read.

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