A Man’s Tough Lesson On Intimacy
When we talk about being careful who we sleep with, we’re not talking about being careful with whom we’re intimate. Last year, I learned just how different those conversations are from a woman I was sleeping with. Every time we slept together, we were careful, cautious, but I was careless to ever get intimate with her.
As some may recall, I wrote a post about a woman I was no longer dating who threw a drink at me (read it here).
The incident had my mind wound up. On a basic level, I did something that made this woman snap and getting her to this breaking point made me take a hard look at myself. I didn’t want to be that guy who was making women crazy.
Those were my thoughts from the last post, in a nut shell, but in addition to being remorseful, I was also angry. I was angry with her and with myself for reasons I couldn’t quite put my finger on, until I started thinking about intimacy and what it means.
The word “intimacy” is what I call a life word. We’re familiar with the term, SAT words. These are words with absolute meanings, not to be disputed and used incorrectly. Not even context can change their meaning. Life words, like “intimacy,” are something else entirely. They have basic definitions, but we use them in so many ways to describe moments lived, they almost become undefinable.
When the girl and I were dating, things moved quickly. We slept together quickly, but we became intimate just as quickly. I shared things with her that only women I once loved knew, and I did so with a reckless abandon. I didn’t think of any of this during our short stint together, nor when I decided we shouldn’t date anymore for no other reason but I wanted to see other people. We ended things amicably enough, but some of my moves in the days and weeks after is what led to her throwing the drink at me, which wasn’t even as bad as what happened after.
Here’s what I wrote about the incident in the last post:
I didn’t overreact, but I did grab her and took her out a side door, down some stairs, so she could finish telling me off in front of a security guard who was there to make sure she didn’t smack me. I listened to her and didn’t give much of a response.
The reason I still think about this incident to this day has nothing to do with how cold the drink was and everything to do with what she said when she was teling me off at the bottom of the steps.
Before she said anything, she actually asked the security guard if he could leave to give us some privacy. When he refused, she said,”Fine, you can stay.” Then, she turned back around, looked at me, and said, “You know what, Jozen? You’re going to end up exactly like your father.” Under his breath, I heard the security guard say, “Damn.” From the corner of my eye, I could see him turn his neck away from us, as though he just saw something he shouldn’t have seen.
The words read on the screen may not seem like much, but they still hurt my ears. When she said that, I wanted to slide down the wall I was against.
She went there, to that intimate place I foolishly took her. She took things I shared with her together and used them against me in a way I never considered she could, and never have I felt like a bigger fool. Imagine facing someone who has a gun pointed at you, except the gun they’re holding is yours. They found it because you once showed them where you kept it hidden. When she said I was going to end up exactly like my father, I thought, What is she doing with that kind of information? Only to realize, it was information I gave her, and I gave it up far too soon.
I should have never let that woman in the way I did. I should’ve never allowed myself to get intimate with her. I didn’t love her. Sure, I cared about her, enjoyed spending time with her, but how foolish was I to let her in the way I did knowing good and well I didn’t feel that way about her?
The more I replayed this moment in my head, the more I realized the difference between sex and intimacy. The sleeping together part was fine, even the hanging out part was acceptable, but I also let her into my life in this very real way, and she did nothing to deserve such access.
A man may chase a woman for sex, but he never stays with her for sex. For all the talk I hear about men only care about sex, I wonder if it’s women who have put too high of a value on it.
Men don’t make a woman work for sex because men don’t care about sex, but we care about intimacy. We make a woman work for the opportunity to get to know who we are and what makes us tick. That, in short, is what I call intimacy and I learned the hard way, how much more valuable and different it is than sex.