Mmmm, I love, love. I love intimacy and connection.
All year long…not just in February.
And I am pretty sure you know that to be a very true statement about me, even if you haven’t known me for very long.
This very thing sparked something within me the other day. Remembering a conversation I have had many times over the years with clients, friends, and colleges.
And continues to be relevant for all of us.
Which I feel is a pretty important aspect of you and me in our connections that you may have never thought about. So what is this important aspect??
Well, when I was in college, one of the many times we had an open discussion about sex, love, relationships, and connection (and there were lots of these wonderful, challenging conversations that I’m so thankful for).
I brought up the idea of Platonic Intimacy. Now, this was something I already knew many of us had experienced and never put those exact words to. And for some of my classmates, they realized it was missing- that they too wanted to have this platonic intimacy I was speaking of to be part of their lives as well.
One aspect of this conversation that was a common thread among us all was that we have been programmed to think that intimacy means only within romantic relationships.
So when I bring this topic up within a seminar, with a client, or just chatting with a friend. I consistently hear a specific couple of things.
“I can’t do that cause I’m not in a relationship with them.”
Well, if you’re connecting with anyone on a regular basis and sharing, you’re in a relationship. Now there are different levels of relationship. Hell, I have a relationship with my postman (and he is the best one in the world, by the way). It’s just not romantic, but it’s a relationship—a relationship I choose to have on a much lighter level, not a deeper platonic level. So you get to choose what level of relationship/connection you want to have with some.
So just like we were saying in school. Our programming is such that we’ve not been taught that it is ok to show intimacy for someone who is not romantically involved with us. That belief could be partly why we are not engaging more in this way of connecting when we want that deeper level of connection with someone overall.
The belief that you and I holding hands or cuddling has to lead to sex. Wellll…it doesn’t. Specifically, if that’s not your intention within the relationship. It can be just that, sharing a love and caring for one another in a platonically intimate way. Because you love them, because you care about them and because it’s ok to show this.
And the other one I’ve heard many times.
“It will be uncomfortable to do that.”
Yes, it can be. And when your belief in intimacy is rooted in the romantic relationship only. You’re not engaging in this way, and it will be uncomfortable—no way around that.
Just like a lot of things you try that you have never tried before. And within that bit of awkwardness. If you allow yourself to sink into it. You may discover it feels good to be close, connected, and loved in this way without the expectations of needing to perform or be something other than just loving this person.
I felt this topic of platonic intimacy very relevant to bring up right now since everyone promotes Valentine for February in a way that speaks to partnered people only. Which isn’t the case for everyone.
And remember, it’s not just one month out of the year that we need to be feeling into ourselves about love, relationships, and sex. It’s about learning, discovering, and developing what all of this specifically looks like for each one of us. That’s ALL YEAR long, not one day or one month!
So I want to ask you. If you are not engaging in platonic intimacy, why not? Is it because you have been programmed to think that this is not ok. Because your belief about intimacy is like many of ours, it’s only for a romantic relationship?
If so, I invite you to challenge this within yourself. Be brave, connect with someone with no intention of being sexual. Connect with the intent to show love, kindness, and warmth within the intimacy of the connection.
That may mean asking for a hug, getting consent, and then hugging just a bit longer than usual. FYI: A 30-second heart-to-heart hugs release some oxytocin in your body (the “love/bonding hormone”). So allow that yumminess to flow through you both! You may even want to let this beautiful human know while you’re hugging them that this is what’s happening within your bodies. So they, too, can share this incredible process to support another connection going forward!
Sharing this with others helps you. And in my eyes, this is some of the best helpful education someone can be empowered with!!
So let’s start thinking about what Platonic Intimacy could do for you. And the whole world, ALL YEAR long.
Orgasmic love & hugs from my heart to yours,