The New Intimacy



The notion of "dependence" gets a very bad rap in our culture. The truth is, we are all dependent upon one another. That's the only way we can survive. 

And yes, there are those who have so little sense of self that they need to feel clingingly close with others to feel in the least way secure. This is not dependence but desperation.

Real dependence is at the core a mature character, someone who is strong, self-confident and resilient and yet humble enough to know he or she does not, in fact cannot, go it alone.

This is especially important in intimate relationships. Over time two people come to need one another -- not just for the day-to-day tasks and chores, but for something far deeper. Their very being together becomes a subtle tapestry woven from their individual identities into the "we" they become. That "we" cannot thrive without each of them investing heartfully into what they each have chosen to create. 

As your relationship becomes significant to you, you need your partner. You depend upon your partner. And in so doing, who you are becomes a composite of each of you individually as well as the couple, the "we" you also are.

In the climactic moment of the film, "Jerry McGuire," Tom Cruise says to Rene Zellwieger, "You complete me." There is a real truth to that line. We do complete one another, even though we may not be able to articulate just how, and that's where dependence comes in. 

To admit dependence as part of who you are is to add to the completion of yourself, because dependence is part of the very fabric of this life. We cannot survive without it, let alone flourish.

So -- how are you dependent upon the one you love? How is he or she dependent upon you? How can you celebrate the ways you need each other? 

© 2006, The New Intimacy

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Intimacy is spelled "in to me you see". - Stan Dale

I have always made a distinction between my friends and my confidants. I enjoy the conversation of the former; from the latter I hide nothing. - Edith Piaf


Husband and wife psychology team, Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski, are the bestselling authors of "The New Intimacy" and "Opening to Love 365 Days a Year." Their latest book is Be Loved for Who You Really Are: How the differences between men and women can be turned into the source of the very best romance you'll ever know. They provide corporate trainings on breaking through resistance to success and relationship workshops about The Magic of Differences--romance based on respect and value for each other's unique ways. As guest experts they've been on over 600 television and radio shows including Oprah, The O'Reilly Factor, 48 Hours, Canada AM, and The View. Visit their website at

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