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Elements of Intimacy

Jan 07, 2022

No other moment is as intimate as those in which we are wholly present and at ease with someone we are grateful to have in our lives. Intimacy has many faces, all of which have little to do with sex.

Inspired by the wonderful works of author Dr. Dain Heer, intimacy consists of five elements – honor, trust, allowance, vulnerability, and gratitude.

In honor, we respect our partner for who they are, not whom we wish them to become.

We trust that our partner will make decisions that are good for them and our relationship.

With allowance, we are stepping away from the belief that there is any “right” or “wrong” way of doing things. We release our love from judgment. We choose to find everything our partner says or does as interesting even when we disagree.

In vulnerability, we allow our partner to see us for who we truly are instead of pretending to be whom we think our partner wants us to be.

Gratitude allows us to see our partner for all the beautiful ways they add value to our lives. Love sometimes comes from a place of judgment and conditions. Gratitude always comes from a place of compassion.

For example:

“I love you because you make me laugh and prioritize our relationship over your career.”


“I’m grateful for your sense of humor and your ability to flexibly adapt to my life’s circumstances.”

Showing love from a place of gratitude makes these statements become much more endearing. The energy of the message completely shifts – it becomes much less conditional and more open.

People often mistake intimacy for sex, but in reality, sex is tiny microscopic element of intimacy. Intimacy is about truth. With authentic truth comes groundbreaking transcendental intimacy – both romantically and sexually.

People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.

– Taylor Jenkins Reid

When you can reveal the inner demons you battle, when you can take off the mask of perfectionism, that is where intimacy lies.

We rarely feel comfortable enough with another to reveal ourselves to them. When we do, it’s typically an accident. We slip up, and they see the real us, faults and all. We may meet multiple potential partners along our journey, but the few that get to see the real us – even fewer that stay – those are the ones that help us transcend our understanding. We learn about ourselves and all of humanity through the eyes of another. Our lips taste the sheer joy of their existence, our hands graze upon their physical attributes, and our minds reach the depths of intellectual perception.

“Many people are desperate to find a soul mate, someone who responds to their deep image of love and intimacy.
They go to great lengths to meet people, and they spend considerable time feeling achingly deprived of the joys of intimacy they imagine.
Their attitude is summed up in the frequent lament:
When am I going to find the person who is right for me?
This approach to love seems to reflect the narcissism of the times.
When am I going to get what I need for my growth and my satisfaction?
An alternative would be to give all that attention to one’s own life – developing one’s own talents, educating oneself in culture, and simply becoming an interesting person.
This crafting of a life is a positive way of preparing oneself for intimacy.”

– Thomas Moore

Before you find the one, become the one–the true self. Become the you that childhood you couldn’t wait to grow up to become. Many adults spend their adult years trying to get back what they lost in their youth. They chase instant gratification and validation, but true intimacy is a slow process, the churning of welcoming kindness and acceptance.

True intimacy is when no space, no inhibitions, and no lies exist between two people.
Intimacy transcends the physical.
It is a feeling of closeness that isn’t about proximity, but of belonging.
It is a beautiful emotional space in which two become one.

– Steve Maraboli

Intimacy comes from the heart of truth.
The truth that neither of us is perfect, but continually putting our best foot forward.
The truth that we will grow to greater heights alongside one another than we could otherwise alone.
The truth that although neither of us is at our ideal body image, we still want to rip the clothes off of one another.

Physical attraction is often desired above many things, but you’ll discover it to be short-lived.
Find yourself someone that gets under your skin, seduces the dusty corners of your heart, and provides you with a mental connection.
That is when you’ll know true intimacy.

– M.J. Abraham

Truly connect with how your partner makes you feel, rather than focusing so intensely on what they look like – because physical beauty is only skin deep. External beauty means nothing if a person is bankrupt on the inside.

Your looks are the least interesting thing about you.
Society will try to convince you that being beautiful is a big flex, but the biggest flex is knowing yourself, is being kind to yourself.

Bianca Sparacino

So many men and women go out searching for love and judging their potential partners based on appearance, but more often than not, we fall for someone who looks nothing like the ideal partner we had in mind.
We find someone whose heart speaks the same language as ours, and suddenly they appear much more attractive than physical beauty could dream of measuring up to.

But don’t let anyone tell you intimacy is bliss.
Intimacy is rare.
Intimacy is precious.
Intimacy has little to do with seduction and everything to do with kindness and honesty.
That’s the most challenging part of true intimacy.
Being seductive is logistical like a playbook; that’s manageable.
Being genuinely honest with your intentions, motives, and so on is a bit more difficult.
It’s also thrilling and intoxicating.
The act of opening your soul to be discriminated against by another, accompanied by the pure oxytocin rush of intimacy that comes in when they accept you, faults and all.

Intimacy is not the touch of the hand, rather the flame burning in your soul. It is the creative chaos created in the hearts of two people, and the passion that ignites when two great minds collide and all past sorrows become a story for the history books

We are all hiding a thousand and one things–not only from others, but also from ourselves. Only when two people drop all their defenses can true intimacy flourish.

Love rarely comes at a convenient time.
Love comes when we feel so good on our own that profoundly caring about a love interest almost feels like a burden.
What do I mean by that? Well …
One moment, we are single, feeling genuinely complete and satisfied in our present circumstances … then suddenly … we meet that person, and we think, “dang it, now I can’t stop thinking about you, and I want you to join me in living this vibrant life I have created.”
When love comes into our lives, it often shakes things up.
What exactly gets shaken up depends on your circumstances, but often relationships with our family members and friends get shaken up when we find love within someone new.
Relationships aren’t only peaches and cream; they are also roses and thorns.

When love awakens in your life, it is like the dawn breaking within you.

Where there was fear, there is now courage.

Where there was awkwardness, there is now the rhythm of grace.

It is the rebirth of self and the beginning of a divine convergence.

True intimacy requires ruthless authenticity.

The breaking away of self-limiting beliefs.

The acceptance of mistakes – both yours and those of another.

Men are terrified of a woman’s depth of love – the energy that moves as a woman’s sexuality and emotions. And, at the same time, men want nothing more in this life than to merge completely with a woman’s devotional love and wild energy.
Only as a man outgrows his fear can he handle a woman’s tremendous love-energy without running.

– David Deida

At heart, everyone yearns to give and receive love. At our core, every one of us needs a sense of belonging.

“True belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world; our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”

Allow me to repeat that: our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.

So, in conclusion, intimacy is about so much more than sex. If you haven’t found your love interest, then that’s okay – keep making a great cake out of life, and when your cake is ready, your love interest can be the icing on top.


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