“Inter-Intimate Relationships” — Emotionally Reconnecting.

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An interesting article in the New York Times recently discussed “inter-intimate relationships.” Defined as dealing with emotional intimacy and reconnecting. Here are a few excerpts: 

  • There are many ways in which we show our love and we all need and want different amounts of emotional and physical intimacy. While couples with differing sex drives face hurdles, many couples may also be involved in “inter-intimate” relationships, where each partner has different preferences when it comes to giving and receiving nonsexual affection.
  • ‘Inter-intimates’ describes the incongruent needs and desires that exist between people in a relationship, which inevitably will be mismatched at various times.
  • Touch is a form of intimacy distinct from sex, with its own set of rules that can threaten to undo romantic entanglements.
  • Regardless of quantity, physical affection plays a biological role in one’s happiness. Oxytocin — sometimes called the “cuddle hormone” — releases at higher levels in moments of physical affection.
  • So how do you reconcile your inter-intimate relationship? “Proper communication about affection wants and needs should occur often in the relationship.
  • When broaching the topic of inter-intimacy, it helps to approach calmly and seek to understand and inquire rather than complain or demand.
  • Good communication, a curiosity to understand what makes the other tick and an active interest in meeting these needs are the formula for success in any relationship. In an inter-intimate relationship, it can be the saving grace.
  • Part of what makes their relationship work is a concerted effort from both parties.
  • If you aren’t getting the affection you need in your relationship, there are other options that don’t involve divorce or devastation.
  • If the only touch you get is in sexual activity, then you are missing out on a basic human need. 

To me this short article raised issues that many couples often overlook. It’s a good piece to connect for the first time or to reconnect.

“An Inter-Intimate Relationship.” New York Times (July 27, 2021).

Factors Fostering Resilience.

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     An individual’s resilience is dictated by a combination of genetics, personal history, environment and situational context. So far, research has found the genetic part to be relatively small. Here are excepts from a good article summarizing this research.

  • How loved you felt as a child is a great predictor of how you manage all kinds of difficult situations later in life. 
  • Tools common to resilient people are optimism (that is also realistic), a moral compass, religious or spiritual beliefs, cognitive and emotional flexibility, and social connectedness. The most resilient among us are people who generally don’t dwell on the negative, who look for opportunities that might exist even in the darkest times.
  • Research has shown that dedication to a worthy cause or a belief in something greater than oneself — religiously or spiritually — has a resilience-enhancing effect, as does the ability to be flexible in your thinking.

Additionally, research has concluded the following about resilient people:

  • They have a positive, realistic outlook. They don’t dwell on negative information and instead look for opportunities in bleak situations, striving to find the positive within the negative.

  • They have a moral compass. Highly resilient people have a solid sense of what they consider right and wrong, and it tends to guide their decisions.

  • They have a belief in something greater than themselves. This is often found through religious or spiritual practices. The community support that comes from being part of a religion also enhances resilience.

  • They are altruistic; they have a concern for others and a degree of selflessness. They are often dedicated to causes they find meaningful and that give them a sense of purpose.

  • They accept what they cannot change and focus energy on what they can change. Dr. Southwick says resilient people reappraise a difficult situation and look for meaningful opportunities within it.

  • They have a mission, a meaning, a purpose. Feeling committed to a meaningful mission in life gives them courage and strength.

  • They have a social support system, and they support others. “Very few resilient people “go it alone.”


                    “What Makes People Resilient.”  NEW YORK TIMES (June 18, 2020).