We in our society see intimacy as something held sacred, between two or several willing and consenting people, usually with regards to sexual relationships. We see that it is not possible, nay frowned upon to be intimate with anyone except our spouse, girl/boyfriend, or partner. Almost as if it is taboo to think of being intimate with anyone else for fear of offending our loved one, or society in general. And we seem to revere the union of fidelity as if it is the highest of all achievements, yet often fail miserably to come anywhere near to living with it.
If we look back a little way in history we will see that things were very different centuries ago. This new romantic kind of expectation came in around the end of the 18th century. Before that men and women shared far more common intimacy regularly. I'm not talking about just with regards to sexual fidelity, but with physical contact. Somewhere we developed a calling to see that 'one special person' with an almost angelic reverence. A pedestal that few could reach, hence the feeling of elevation to a higher plain of importance. Ironically a place no-one would be able to reach, as we set the pedestal so unbelievably high.
Understanding what intimacy is might help.
- close or warm friendship or understanding; personal relationship
- (often plural) euphemistic sexual relations
SynonymsView thesaurus entry
You see initially I thought that this was only about sexual things, but clearly familiarity/closeness/understanding and confidence are all a major part of this word.
So to put this into a better context, I now better understand why the Tibetan and other eastern approaches are far more enlightened as to what intimacy is and how it can be used. So the Dalai Lama can use this connection of compassion to become close to others in ways of understanding and familiarity and be better able to enjoy the fruits of his time, rather than concerning himself over doubts as to more destructive thinking. This is possibly why we as westerners suffer so much when we feel let down by our significant others, wives, husbands, partners, because we place such a high and almost impossible task ahead of them.
If we simply were close to, cared for and were in contact with these people, wouldn't we feel more happy?
Try to see things differently and the world opens up to you, as it has for me, by considering more opinions and viewpoints. Maybe the world is not a tragedy, but a world where anything is possible, as long as we try to include and tolerate others perspectives.
So if we think that loneliness is just not being in close intimate contact with someone, why not try to include more people and get closer to them. (obviously I'm not encouraging sleeping around or infidelity) I am merely saying, stop seeing it as the thing to be feared. A hug a smile, a pat on the back, a hand up now and again is all it takes to feel more connected. As wild as it seems, I have seen a lot of this between guys (who incidentally are supposed to be macho and not affectionate toward other men) when they are in the pub, the football dressing room, they often touch one another in acts of (more subliminally overlooked) intimacy. It is beautiful to see, even if they are unaware how necessary it actually is for their sense of worth in company.
If we continue to evaluate everything within the confines of intimacy only being allowed between sexual partners, then we are going to miss out on opportunities to feel good and happy about our relationships with others. So how we see intimacy will affect our state of loneliness, or our liberation to pure happiness and joy.
Finally, yes is the answer.
To whether we will ever be able to be free of loneliness.
Go from here determined to contact/interact with more people. Become deeply involved with them in acts of sharing, caring, touching (appropriately) them as friends and fellow human beings. Don't sit and wallow in pity at having no friends, be a true friend and others will flock to you, for they will feel welcomed and cared for.
Take heart from my post, you are on the road to recovery when you realise there is a problem, and get stuck into dealing with it. It won't be easy, but it is better than getting lost completely in a world of your own.