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Intimacy

Uploaded by Galaghard on Sep 24, 2002

Intimate relationships are one of the most important experiences in life. They can free us from loneliness and isolation, provide love and emotional support, keep us healthy, and help us grow to our full potential as human beings. Intimacy is the deep connection we can have with another person. Intimacy is very rare in our society, however, and there is tremendous confusion and ignorance about what intimacy really is. Most of us are never taught the basics of this essential human skill; in fact, what we usually learn as we grow up is exactly how not to be intimate. (“Creating Intimacy” 1)

So in simpler terms, what is intimacy? As the author in the excerpt suggests, it is a state of personal sharing arising from physical, intellectual, and/or emotional contact. Additionally, it is that process by which each human being in one part of his life or another tries to use to develop positive interpersonal relationships. The focus of this research paper is on emotional intimacy with additional discussion on the added effects of physical and intellectual intimacy practices in dyads. Moreover, a segment devoted to disclosure is also provided as a means to bonding the three dimensions of intimacy.

To start, let one consider the first dimension of intimacy, emotions. Ronald B. Adler and Neil Towne, authors of the book Looking Out/Looking In: Ninth Edition on interpersonal communication, point out this subcategory of communicating dealing with intimacy as “exchanging important feelings” that is personal communication that “needn’t happen in face-to-face encounters” (336). What they mean by this in laymen’s terms is that emotional intimacy is the process by which individual’s may share their “inner and true” self through sharing that person’s feelings with another whom he feels comfortable with. Through honesty in this approach of self-disclosure, the person is oftentimes able to develop interpersonal, intimate relationships where both are able to reciprocate each other’s act of sharing. In dealing with the second part of Adler and Towne’s definition, it follows that, like in their example dealing with online-created relationships, and as suggested by Dr. Joseph Walther—and quoted by Howard Rheingold, author from which the quote is cited—assistant professor of communication at Northwestern University, that although “it took longer for online groups to feel as knowledgeable about one another’s personal characteristics and develop interpersonal relationships as it did in unmediated groups, […] in the longer term, these relationships became even more intimate...

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Uploaded by:   Galaghard

Date:   09/24/2002

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   7 pages (1,518 words)

Views:   2974

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