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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Distances of Intimacy

Think of the difference between ‘a distance’ and ‘the distance’ and they communicate vastly different concepts. The first describes something potentially far off and the second describes a measurement. The distances of intimacy, similarly, portray relational closeness in different ways.

One fact remains, however: the distances of intimacy are bound to grow if they are not maintained. The distance will become some distance.

And, at some point the relationship reaches breaking point if it’s not tended to. That may or may not be conducive to our goal.

In more broad terms, the distances of intimacy simply enunciate a phenomenon known throughout life: the vanishing points of perspective.

One Perfectly Visible Fact Of Life

Vanishing points in space (the geometry of perspective) and time (the present moment inevitably becoming history) tell us a lot about life in this realm. It keeps moving—its state, nature, purpose, and identity is dynamic. Life implies movement.

Consciousness cannot remain still, though we often wish we could slow it a little.

All energies obey this law whether they are stored statically, as in a charged battery, or the energy relents, like the blowing of leaves by the wind.

As far as relationships are concerned—and in the poignant sense: intimacy—such a truth is graphically known.

The vanishing point theory demonstrates that intimacy either grows to reduce the distance between us or it diminishes and we grow apart—things measured by distance to reduce or increase in distance.

Intimacy will always require nurturing, and if we are serious about our relationships—not just the romantic ones—we will invest whatever it takes to maintain the closeness of rapport.

Likewise, some relationships we’ll allow to peter out; those that don’t matter so much—those that may dilute our vital intimacies too much.

Both Types Of Distance Are To Our Advantage

Reflecting over the relationships of our lives we can measure the distance of the intimacy in each one; they fit into one of three boxes: the intimacy is about right; there is too much intimacy; or, there isn’t enough.

We are the ones designing the distance. We are the ones who are measuring the preferred space between us. We are the ones investing or divesting accordingly.

The distances of intimacy are to our advantage so long as others will allow and we have the ability and mindfulness to reflect and move in the direction we wish to.


The distance between us and our partners or work colleagues or siblings or other family members etc is up to us. We can at any time increase or reduce that distance. Importantly, the distances of intimacy always shift naturally apart, like floating islands; they require effort to maintain.

Intimacy is a thing we are rewarded with due the effort we put in. Intimacy and trust cannot grow without sustained commitment, as seen via the mode of action.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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