– close familiarity or friendship; closeness. “The
intimacy between a husband and wife”
synonyms: closeness, togetherness, affinity, rapport, attachment, familiarity, friendliness, friendship, amity, affection, warmth, confidence;
informal chumminess “the sisters reestablished their old intimacy”
– a private cozy atmosphere. “The room had a peaceful sense of intimacy about it”
– an intimate act, especially sexual intercourse.
synonyms: sexual relations, (sexual) intercourse, sex, lovemaking;
For a lot of Filipinos, I have met intimacy means having sex. But true intimacy is much sweeter than that. It is to build a relationship that is based on trust. It is confiding in each other. It is the exchange of tenderness between two people who are discovering how deep they love each other.
The intimacy between lovers can turn bad days into good days and make your worries seem much smaller.
Intimacy, although for many Filipinos it directly involves sex, is happening more outside the bedroom than inside. It is the silent touching, embracing your partner, a kiss on the forehead, holding hands while walking, it is about bonding. Bonding on every level. Including the level of confiding in each other.
There are numerous ways to be intimate, and most of them aren’t sexual
Intimacy though, for those Filipinos I have met, it has nothing to do with confiding in someone, has nothing to do with trusting one’s heart to someone by opening up.
Although I met very skilled lovers here, real intimacy is a concept that is not understood by many.
With the cultural habit of not wanting to lose face, and not being fond of public display of affection, it is very hard to build an intimate relationship.
Filipinos will seldom share about:
future dreams, they will adjust easily to yours
past failure, you will only find out when asking the right questions and even then you probably get half the story
financial matters, they will not tell you how great the debts are but will ask for money to pay bills without getting specific what kind of bills or which amounts
fears, maybe a Filipina will tell you she is scared, out of a girly sense of timidity but a Filipino will never tell you what he is scared of, he is a macho male, without fear.
Intimacy, to me, is a balance between holding hands and romance, sharing your emotions, opening your heart and having sex.
Do you ever get to know your Filipino significant other?
I lived with a man for 1 year, only to find out he was a complete stranger to me. He told me things he thought I wanted to hear.
He never revealed his true self. Let alone he confided in me.
Like I wrote before: he was a good lover, he had no problems with showing his affection for me in public. Him holding hands with me though, on our outings was almost possessive. Like he wanted to show the world I was his.
But when it came to sharing his deepest thoughts with me, he kinda blocked.
And men, did I ask him. I asked him so often to share his thoughts, speak his mind, to let me come close to him.
I only got a bewildered stare, some half-told stories, and vague answers, and we never reached any intimacy whatsoever.
We did have sex. We had great sex. But it was a physical thing. There was no emotional connection. Sometimes it was almost mechanical, and not so much passionate because of the lack of intimacy.
I’ve heard stories of young women, dating foreigners, wanting sex on the first night out. For them, that is a kind of bonding thing. Showing affection and how much they want you and a relationship with you. But it does not deepen, most of them do not self reflect and will only let you get close physically.
I only know a few that have a relationship that comes close to a relationship as we know it in the West:
build on mutual trust
sharing thoughts, feelings and emotions
showing affection in public
they seem to have to build a relationship where they truly confide in each other, and they are likely to end up like those old folks that have been together for years and can communicate without words.
The Philippines is a country where intimacy is highly underrated. Creating intimacy also creates a longing to be with your partner, to share with them. And with so many overseas workers and broken families maybe to a Filipino, this is hard to handle.
Now let me put one thing straight, there are always exceptions to the rule, and my article is not ‘the rule’ nor is my experience.
I wrote it, merely out of the experience and talking to many men and women dating Filipinos, and like I stated before: I do know some couples that seem to have reached a state of true intimacy that covers the meaning of the word. But they told me it took a lot of time and work to get there.
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Jeanette, a Dutch female nomad, started to travel the world at the age of 17. Walker of beaches, shell searcher and iPhone photographer. Writer and owner of two websites
Currently, she lives in Mexico.
She is an emigration coach and works online.