How Emotional Intimacy Adds Meaning to Your Relationships After 60
What is the key to a meaningful relationship? Not just the one you have with your husband, lover, or partner, but any relationship. As we get older, our life journey becomes shorter and time becomes more precious. The answer to that question becomes more urgent. It is more sought after, and often more difficult to achieve.
I’ve noticed that as I age, the realization that I am now on the “other side” of the life span is a glaring fact that is hard to ignore. The balloons at our birthday parties, that we don’t want anymore, now say “Over-The-Hill” and “The Back Nine.” You get the point.
But, as difficult as it is to see those balloons, there is some truth to the words. We grit our teeth, we fake the smiles and force the laugh. Many people are thinking “No! I can’t be that old. How did I get here so fast!”
I remember watching Anthony Hopkins in the movie Meet Joe Black. I cried at the end when he says “Sixty-five years. Don’t they go by in a blink?” The really sad part is that at that time I was only 46 years old. I remember thinking that I had a long way to go before I could say that.
But it’s here. The sixties are here and my child spirit is in denial that I’ve reached that age. I just don’t “feel” like I should be sixty. I’m not fighting it and I’m certainly happy to have reached this authentic stage in life. However, I totally get what Anthony Hopkins was saying. It happened in a blink.
But he also said, “To make the journey without falling deeply in love, you haven’t lived a life at all. You have to try, because if you haven’t tried then you haven’t lived.”
That is what this article is about – how emotional intimacy plays such an important role in meaningful relationships.
What is Intimacy?
To me, intimacy means not only the physical aspects of loving someone but also the mental connection. It reaches into your soul connecting the head with the heart. It’s the sense of “belonging” that we all want. We have a general desire to love and be loved, but intimacy is the string that connects two beings together.
It involves looking into the eyes and truly feeling the connectedness of souls. Intimacy is the unifying warmth of a hand in yours. It’s a hug that is so tight that you can feel the beating of the other’s heart.
I experience it with my granddaughters. When I take their beautiful little faces in my hands and look directly into their eyes, I feel our souls connect. It is an intimate bond. I feel it with my husband’s loving hands or my children’s crushing hugs. We are connecting each other’s familiar souls. These are all forms of intimacy that we all depend on to sustain and nurture us.
Trust and Loyalty Are Key Components to Intimacy
We need to take a good look at our relationships. Are we satisfied or are we craving something more? Opening ourselves up to a deeper relationship with another person involves putting ourselves out there.
It means we commit to give our love and receive love back from someone else. Our tender heart is vulnerable and on the line. To love and be loved. To give and receive. It needs to feel safe to offer itself up for love. So for emotional intimacy, trust has to be a key factor.
An intimate relationship needs a sense of trust and true loyalty. We must believe that our love and friendship can be received by someone who is completely loyal to us. It promises that our spoken secrets and dreams will not be shared or ridiculed. It acknowledges that we are accepted just as we are.
Loyalty from a spouse, child, or friend is essential to a deeply rewarding and lasting relationship. A sense of disloyalty can absolutely be forgiven but will more than likely keep a relationship at arm’s length. We must feel safe. Without that, even subconsciously, a person will hold back. They won’t freely open the door to the possibilities of deeper, more intimate friendship.
Intimacy Loves “Show and Tell”
Talking or sharing is another component that fosters intimacy. We want to share and receive verbal affirmation that we are on the same page. Not only that, but we want to hear about each other’s lives. Without stepping into personal space, we crave knowing how they are. We love hearing their voices and treasure time spent with them. We make it happen. Our souls love “show and tell” and feels replenished when time is spent together.
Lastly, respect for the other person is key to an intimate relationship. We care about their life journey. We acknowledge it. We respect it. We don’t judge. We love anyway. That is respect.
Understanding these components of relationships, intimate friendship is truly the most rewarding part of living. Do you feel blessed every day with the intimate relationships that you have? I do. And I will continue to do my very best to nurture and care for them the rest of my life. In the meaningful days that lie before us, it is what truly matters.
My wish for all of you today is to fulfill your life with intimate relationships making your precious soul so full of love that you can say “I don’t want anything more.”
Are there people in your life that you would like to have a more intimate relationship with? What is stopping you? Do you feel like you have loyalty in your relationships? If you were to be gone from this earth tomorrow, would your soul be fulfilled?