It all seems to come back to this.
Maybe it’s just me. Especially after re-reading my last post, I see that most of my thoughts and experiences these days are drawing me back to this topic and it makes me wonder if there is something “wrong” with me…am I obsessed with intimacy?
The answer is, “Yes”, but the answer begs the question, “Why”?
Biology? Probably a factor.
Is it because of personality type? I’m a Type 2 on he Enneagram – “an intimacy junkie”.
I’m sure that’s part of it.
Is it because of sexual abuse in early childhood? Research would strongly suggest, “Yes”.
Is it because the culture has trained me to seek intimacy? Again, research would suggest it is an influence.
But when I add all these up – in my un-observable, un-measurable non-scientific “gut” – it doesn’t work out. Not even close. When I factor in the large number of others with whom I work on issues of intimacy (with God and with others) I find the same discrepancy.
If were to arbitrarily place a number value on the intensity of impact for each of the four factors I listed above, my “Intimacy Drive” (ID) might add up like this:
Biology (25) + Personality (15) + Environment (10) + Culture (50) = 100 ID
A random person off the street might add up like this:
Biology (5) + Personality (10) + Environment (5) + Culture (15) = 35 ID
That’s a difference of almost 3x.
But if this random person and myself were both to report on the intensity with which we experience the drive for intimacy as expressed by hours per day in contemplation, worry or prayer about it, dollars spent in preparation, intensity of emotion, and resources consumed, we would report ID numbers in the realm of 10,000 and 3,500.
As individuals, we’re still apart by a factor of 3. But more significantly – the cumulative effect of Biology, Personality, Environment and Culture are off by a factor of 100 for both of us.
Now, all of this is a made-up way to illustrate a theory. Please don’t write me demanding my sources for the Intimacy Drive numbers or criticizing my math…the point is:
Why are we driven to “know” and “be known” beyond what the observable seems to explain?
Why does an otherwise confident and self-assured man change careers, alter his schedule, bankrupt himself and suppress his true desires just to stay near a woman who puts unreasonable demands on him?
Why does an otherwise strong, capable woman submit herself to emotional and physical abuse, functional slavery and withering criticism just to experience the security of a “known” relationship?
Why will young people allow themselves to be physically beaten, just for the chance to be part of a gang, or commit murder with the sole motive of revenge for being “dumped” and a desire “not be alone” in some imagined afterlife?
Something else is driving the Intimacy train…