Friendship: The New Intimacy 04/22/2022

Friday, June 14, 2024

Primary Blog/Friendship: The New Intimacy 04/22/2022

Let me start by harkening back to that famous scene in the movie Cool Hand Luke (1967) (hoping you saw the movie, if not see it), “What we got here is the ability to connect, the ability to connect, the ability to connect deeply." Connection is all I know and talk about. It’s what my whole life is based on.

Something happened that made me realize that even I had been living in a box and that there was a lot more to connection and friendship than I ever knew or imagined.

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How deep can a friendship be? And, how physically affectionate could or should two friends be? I started asking these questions during a weekend I spent with the family together, with my wife, older son and his wife, my younger son, who invited his long-time best friend, Charles. We had the whole four-day weekend together. I already knew they were close, but never imagined just how close they were. I wasn’t ready for how physically affectionate they were; sitting close to each other, massaging each other’s heads, arms wrapped around each other’s shoulders, heads on each other’s laps.

Yes, they had a deep connection, but one that was way out of my comfort zone. It took a while to get my homophobic or sexualized blinders off to see that their affection was a natural and organic expression of their connection, the safe space they created for themselves, their built-in trust, and bonds of loyalty. And they’re heterosexual, not gay, and there was nothing sexual going on between them. I never saw anything quite like it – oodles of natural physical affection.

It’s the dawning of a new age – friendship as the new intimacy, pure physical affection, even lots of it, no longer presumes sex or sexual orientation.

Thank you for listening to me sort this out for myself.

Yes, rely on the connections you make and the intimacy you create for sustenance.

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Hi, Daniel

Daniel A. Linder is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Relationship Therapist and Trainer, an Addiction and Intervention specialist, with nearly four decades of experience working with individuals, couples and families.

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