You move from relationship to relationship seeking closeness. You get frustrated with yourself, your partner, friends, and even colleagues because there seems to be an intimacy missing that you are searching for, but can’t attain.
You see other people basking in the warmth of this closeness and get discouraged that you may never find it. “Maybe I am not worthy of this feeling,” you think. Then you withdraw from people, hoping not to face what feels like rejection.
Why does it seem so difficult to find this connection? What does it mean to have closeness? Why do we all have this innate desire to feel it? If you could get clarity on these questions, maybe you could experience the elusive warmth of intimacy.
What Does It Mean to Have Closeness?
We all have this natural instinct to be intimate with our environment. Often, this is what causes us suffering.
We attempt to get close, but struggle with our connection to what it is we are trying to move toward; we endeavor to learn everything possible about our subject, but still don’t get the satisfaction we seek. We question and investigate until we feel we know everything about this person.
Yet, there still seems to be something missing, a distance that we don’t know how to bridge.
Closeness is an understanding. It is a comprehension of who or what it is we are relating to. – Amarjit Singh
How Do You Experience Closeness?
If closeness is an understanding and we think we know everything about someone, why don’t we fully experience it?
Our intention is good, but our approach is only a partial attempt. Closeness only comes from sharing and receiving. This is why it is called relating, or having a relationship. You have to share your authentic feelings and be open to receive the other person’s.
When you share something personal with someone, you build a stronger connection to them and yourself. This is the key to closeness. Most of us fall into one of two spectrums: receive a lot of information, but only share a little; share a lot, but only receive a little.
Being open and vulnerable reveals strength. Being closed and guarded exposes weakness.
Learn to articulate how you feel with yourself and others. If you can’t express to yourself without judgment how you feel, you will not be able to do it with others. Learn nonviolent communication to express emotions.
This type of communication takes away judgment and creates awareness of the cause of the emotion.
What Is the Importance of Closeness?
Intimacy comes from sharing internal closeness. If you don’t have this internal relationship, it will not manifest in your external ones.
When you feel closeness externally, it means that you are experiencing it internally; you are connected with your emotional self and most importantly, you are accepting it. Acceptance is an indication of self-love. No matter what emotions you are experiencing, you are present; there is no distance.
You are open to them and not judging.
Unfortunately, we have a habit of closing off to emotions we don’t like. Even if we don’t think we are doing it, we are at some level. Our internal dialogue, whether consciously or unconsciously, judges how we are feeling, causing a distance.
This distance separates us from our emotional self and takes away from our ability to understand. Judgment and understanding CANNOT coexist. It is impossible. When you judge an emotion in any way, you are removing the main purpose of it.
Why Do You Crave Closeness in Your Relationships?
Emotions are the key to self-awareness. When you experience an emotion, it should not dictate your behavior, but focus your attention. It should build a stronger connection to your internal world, which is represented in your external relationships.
This is why, when we share an intimate emotion with someone and they receive it, we feel closer to them and ourselves.
The external closeness you crave in relationships is really an innate desire to love yourself. This constant search for love and acceptance is just a projection of what you aren’t getting from yourself. Once you accept yourself fully, there is no craving to experience closeness.
Every interaction you have will be an expression of your authentic self. You will experience closeness in all your interactions.