11 December, 2008

Perhaps it is Just My Naivety

A few months ago I had a conversation with a friend about intimacy.  He believes that it is intimate to share something your partner loves – if your partner loves a baseball game, then you go and have a great time whether you like baseball or not.  It is not about you, but about sharing that experience, the love of the game held by the other and the time together. 

I had never thought about intimacy in this sense, but I can see what he means.  There is something about finding something you know someone will love and making it a priority to share that experience with them. 

Joe loves the Pogues.  In September tickets went on sale, and he shared this information with his spouse.  Jane was excited and considered whether or not they should go with another couple or take their kids.  It is December; they still have no plans to attend the concert. 

This boggles my mind.  The story is one that I can not fully comprehend.  How can people want to do something, be excited about doing it, and yet… they don’t do it? 

For Jane it is about finding the right couple, coordinating schedules, and all that was after she decided that her kids shouldn’t attend due to date and time.  Despite her knowledge of Joe’s love of the Pogues, going isn’t high on her priority list.  I am not sure if the idea of a “date night” ever occurred to her?

And I wonder how often this happens?  Is there a point when sharing something that a person loves becomes less important?  Is there a point when it becomes a social event or a cool night out with friends over an “intimate” opportunity?  Joe and Jane have been married for 17 years and together for nearly 20; thus, perhaps the change comes with duration of relationship?  Perhaps at some point people forget about sharing an experience or a moment out of love for the other?

Not intending to sound judgmental, but I cringe at the thought.  I love giving gifts, but enjoy the giving that much more when I know that it is something that the subject will love or enjoy… and then to have the chance to share that with them….*sigh* It makes the giving and the gift that much more special.  I can’t imagine this changing with time or maturing of relationship, but perhaps that is naive of me?

I am reminded of the women who cringe at the thought of (or the actuality of) receiving lingerie from their partner for a gift. 

Now, I admit, it isn’t always my favorite gift either ladies, but… Maybe there is something more significant behind the choice of gift?   Perhaps there is more at play here than just that very favorite of male thoughts?  Perhaps it is not just the thought, but the thought of being with YOU – the recipient?  Perhaps it is the invitation to share intimacy and quality time and… passion?  To share something that he loves, but that he believes you love too?

Intimacy – as my friend above described.  It is the sharing of something that the other loves.  I ponder whether that is intimacy as much as it is general love, respect, friendship, companionship?  Sure, it can be an intimate moment, but it can also be a wonderful experience shared with a great friend.  How often do we find ourselves caught up in our own lives that we neglect to consider those we love?  The simple gift of a favorite meal, a night of passion, tickets to the Pogues – easily done, easily prioritized, and priceless to give and to share.


dadshouse said...

I've never heard intimacy described like that! I think your friend is a little misguided in their view. You don't have to attend events with your partner if you're bored by them. That is silly.

As for Joe and Jane - do not take the kids. Do not take the wife. Go with a buddy, drink Jameson with Guiness chasers, and have a rip roaring time! http://dadshouseblog.com/2008/06/27/dirty-old-town/

Vinnie Sorce said...

I don't believe intimacy can be defined. It will always be different to each individual. As long as the couple has the intimacy level that they want then no one else's definition really matters.

MindyMom said...

I agree with Vinny. Intimacy is definitely a shared experience, but different for everyone.

justrun said...

I know I don't know it all about being married, but isn't spending time together sort of the point? I sure hope so or I'm doing all this dreaming and pining for nothing.

T said...

I'm with you! If someone tells me they enjoy something, I will search it down and buy it or tickets to it or whatever. I LOVE giving gifts like that.

But yeah, I agree with everyone above. Intimacy is different to different people. Just as all of our relationships are different too.

mama llama said...

I think it is incredibly intimate, for example in gift giving, to think of the other person's likes rather than our own. Taking the lingerie example, if given this from someone who wants to see me in it, intimidation could be a factor. However, knowing that I would want to do this for him empowers me, I can find something more flattering to my figure than something that just looks good on a model, and psyche myself up for the experience rather than feel "bullied" or "pushed" into something just because he wants me to...

Does that ramble make sense? But to me, intimacy lies in the sharing of the details...the care of the house, the finishing of sentences, the occasional glances, the fights--and the subsequent make-up.

Be well, TE.

The Exception said...

Intimacy is as different to people as are the individual relationships. I agree that everyone defines it differently.

But isn't there something intimate about sharing something that another loves?

In the end, it is the little things that are intimate to me - the spoken and unspoken... and they are moments as I don't believe that we can live with intimacy 24/7