The New Intimacy


Feeling a Deep Need for Connection

Over the last two weeks we made the following points:

1) that there is a sense of separateness and emotional distance that humanity has believed for millennia to be the only foundational experience;

2) that there is an experience of connectedness that is equally foundational;

3) that as a species we have had to evolve to a point where we could recognize and experience that connectedness in the daily, mundane moments of our lives;

4) that love is the name we give to our desire to be connected with something larger than ourselves.

Now, if being connected were utterly impossible in this universe, we would not feel any desire for it. It is because we feel such a deep need for connection, what we call love, that tells us that a connection already exists.

So, if love is not the yearning for connection but is already the connection itself, then as the poets and visionaries have already told us, we are the love, the connectedness we are seeking. That being the case, at least as much if not more than separateness and distance being the case, then most, if not all, of what we humans have believed about love destines us to heartache, resignation and despair, because it is one-sided.

Have you ever wondered why the theme of unrequited love has been and continues to be so popular? After all, unfulfilled, unreturned love is very painful. Why would such pain be so attractive?

Because longing for love has been more valued than having love. That's not a perverse longing. It is merely the natural and logical outcome of our giving priority to the belief that we are separated, that the distance, the dis-connection that we feel is the only reality.

That word "only" is where we get into trouble. Why? Because we do have the longing to connect. So there must be more than what has been believed for so long. And, if it is love that will connect us, then it only makes sense to set out in search of love. But when we do, we become blind. Why? Because we must deny the veryconnection that we are. Otherwise there would be no need to search for it. As a result, we unknowingly set up a circumstance through which we can only feel desperate, futile, cynical, and ultimately unloved.

However, if you recognize the connectedness between us, that it is an equally essential aspect of our experience, then the distance takes its rightful place as only one part of who and what we are, and another fact comes into view--that we are not distant, merely different. That the sense of separateness is merely one way of interpreting the differentness between us. That's all. Not separate. Not alienated. Not lost in our solitariness. But simply different, each of us a facet of the overall experience of existence.

© 2005, 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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