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Sometimes people are just in a romantic relationship that feels
intimate...but it lacks the deepening awareness of the other person
that takes place in all intimate relationships...whether they are
romantic or not.
In a relationship that is only romantic...the feelings can burn themselves out without the people involved ever getting to know very much about each other at all.
So for a long term intimate relationship an important ingredient is getting to know and appreciate the personality and values of someone else.
Getting to know someone over time...their faults and virtues...and then deciding that their virtues outweigh their faults results in an intimate relationship of two lives intertwined. Like this loving couple below...
The picture just radiates affection that has been distilled and refined over a long period of time. This kind of intimacy involves the entire personality of the couple...as well as much of their daily lives and activities.
You can have intimacy without romance and romance with intimacy.
This is an important point for clerics and religious vowed to celibacy who often cross romantic and sexual boundaries inappropriately...because they believe that intimacy always involves romance.
The good news is...even celibate ministers can have the joys of intimacy...without sex or romance. You can have relationships that are reciprocal...have strong feelings of affection and rapport...and a deep sense of another person's values...without even a hint of romance or sex!
People who collaborate on an important project can have an intimate relationship in the context of that project.
The celibacy requirement in consecrated catholic ministry forbids the minister from having a romantic or sexual relationships. But the good news is...celibacy does not forbid...or prevent... intimacy.
A good friendship that lasts for years is an intimate
relationship...because the friends understand each others values...they
spend time together...
they work on their relationship so it develops and lasts.
But they may not have the slightest romantic or sexual interest in each other. A proper understanding of intimacy in relationships is crucial to the consecrated catholic minister. The opportunity for appropriate intimate friendship among peers should be a high priority for celibate ministers.
And you can learn to do that as a way of making connection with others. Learn the skills of rapport and you can have intimacy in your life...even if you are a consecrated catholic minister.
And to help you check on the subtle boundary issues in your consecrated
life sign up for our monthly newsletter The Boundary
From this intimate
relationship page go to relationship boundaries.
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