I’ve been having a hard time with intimate relationships, blame it on past trauma, bad experiences, or just not mastering the art of being understood. I think that it is easy to fall into the void of loneliness. It’s easy to feel abnormal when you’re constantly being reminded by society that you are only worthy if you fit the traditional roles. It’s easy to feel abnormal when you are dissociating from reality. It’s easy to feel abnormal when you can’t picture the future. The pandemic is forcing us to reconsider what intimacy is and how it exists in these circumstances. How can you find intimacy in the midst of an apocalypse?
Intimacy starts with vulnerability. Vulnerability is how humans connect with others; it is about being filled with compassion and being brave enough to show your wounds. I know that vulnerability isn’t a concept that everyone has mastered. It’s not easy but I find it necessary. Being vulnerable exists in the little things: letting someone know how you feel about them is vulnerability, letting people know that you’re not doing okay is vulnerability, holding space for yourself and your feelings is vulnerability. I think that being vulnerable is about being open, authentic, and honest.
I’ve been connecting with people online and keeping up with my old friends. I feel like I’m having a long-distance relationship with them but I hold them dear in my heart. Sometimes, I try to do a quick phone call. Sometimes, it’s a quick text saying hey I miss you, you’ve been on my mind. I hope you’re well.
Recently I’ve been leaning towards playing a game called “we’re not really strangers”. I bought the game thinking I’d be able to play it in real life and bond with the people in my life more. I eventually decided not to waste it and give it a shot with my online and in real life friends.
According to the We’re Not Really Strangers website, the game is “a purpose driven card game and movement all about empowering meaningful connections.”
There are three levels of questions and wildcards that will deepen your existing relationships and create new ones.
Depending on the emotional connection that you have with the other person, you can pick which level you want to explore.
It really does deepen your relationship with others and forces you to avoid small-talk. I hate small talk so I’m really happy with this game. Yes, I cried like a baby when I played it the first time with two of my closest friends but it made me feel seen, seen for I am really at the core. It’s such a privilege to be able to navigate through someone’s else soul.
Intimacy exists in little things. It’s being able to say that you’re not doing okay and that you feel overwhelmed when people ask “how are you doing?” It’s being able to reply “I bawled my eyes out for 2 hours yesterday and I don’t know how I’m feeling.” I want you to understand that it’s okay. Intimacy isn’t about perfection, it’s about acceptance for yourself that reflects on others. There will be times when it hurts to be vulnerable, there will be times when you find it difficult to open up. Showing up as yourself every single day isn’t an easy task. It gives me a certain serenity knowing that I’ve opened up my heart without resisting because to me that’s what unconditional love is about. I have been thinking a lot about intimacy and what it means to be emotionally available.
I remember when outside wasn’t illegal and when poetry nights were a thing. One night, I ended up walking this girl and she was explaining how emotional people like us, make a big deal out of nothing.
I replied: “I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with being emotional. I think that it’s brave to feel everything deeply because some people aren’t able to.”