"I Feel the Most Loved When . . ."

How do you describe love and intimacy?

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• Love precedes intimacy. Once love is established, there is a bond of trust that allows you to share yourself unconditionally with a loved one.

• I don’t know that I subscribe to a singular definition of love. I love a lot of people—and I love them differently.

• Beautiful, sacred, private.

• An unspoken knowing of another person; a rapid heartbeat and unrelenting giggle; strokes that cause my skin to come alive and rejoice; having a conversation of quietness, stillness, and soft joy.

• Feelings of safety, security, and complete trust.

• Love is a complete lack of control but in a way that’s unavoidable and amazing. Intimacy is exchanges between two people that cannot be mirrored or understood outside of that exchange.

• Talking about everything (feelings, desires, day-to-day issues, ideas), time spent together, laughing, playful moments, snuggling.

• Love and intimacy come in so many forms—lying in bed with my daughter and we are both reading our own separate books or talking with my great-nieces and -nephews or cuddled up with that special man.

• Respect, consent, exploration, and trust.

• It makes you feel whole.

• Intimacy is the gift of human connection. It is not tied to physical love. It is knowing the other person’s soul.

• Some people confuse sex with intimacy. True intimacy that is long-standing is based on the emotional connection; sex is just the bonus.