The Yin Yang of Relationships: Desire & Intimacy

PHOTO CREDIT: JOSIE FOX

I sit down this morning to write out my thoughts, thoughts I have been contemplating for the last 2 years of my life. I have debated on the ethical ramifications of sharing this knowledge freely as I feel in the wrong hands this could be a tool for only the worst of intentions. I have decided that there will always be those who misuse information for their own benefits at the expense of others and that there too will be those that use information for the betterment of themselves and society as a whole. It is to the later that I speak and share this knowledge freely in the hopes and good faith that we as humans may better understand what it means to connect on a romantic level with another, and that love is to be shared, not witheld.

I have a lot of success with women and that is no accident. No, I will not go into the exploits (as some may refer to them as) as social proof. I have always disliked hookup culture, “game”, and those that share freely stories that should be reserved for a select few to hear. Those experiences are for me and the woman in question-memories that are of no importance to this article. Suffice it to say, you will have to trust me when I say that I have repeatable success with the opposite sex.

On a basic level, all romantic connections share two things in common: a combination of intimacy and desire. Intimacy can be broken down into things such as rapport, trust, communication, love, honesty, and “the feeling of being seen by another.” Intimacy is built upon spending time together and sensuality. In contrast, desire is a mixture of lust, interest, intrigue, attraction, and “the feeling of wanting to rip someone’s clothes off.” Desire is built through a lack of presence and sexuality.

Desire and intimacy are the opposite side of the same coin, equally important while completely opposing in nature. It is this understanding of the importance of both that one can create a balance within a romantic connection with another human.

Unfortunately, that is not the course many romantic relationships take; at a certain point desire is forgotten, and intimacy tends to be over-emphasized leading ultimately to disconnection, failed relationships, and divorce. Let me break it down for you.

A Typical Breakdown of a Romantic Relationship that is Doomed to Fail

Phase One: Desire & Initial Attraction

Most relationships start, as they should, with desire. You start to wonder what it would be like to kiss them, who they are, and what adventures you may have together. If the desire is shared, attraction is mutual, you start to progress into the next phase of sexual connection. Note: regardless of whether or not there is sex happening, the sexuality of the connection is the strongest for most relationships during the first phase.

Phase Two: Intimacy & Desire

At some point during the romantic relationship, you both may find yourself building intimacy. This is around the phase that we start to feel love for another person, start talking about defining the relationship and closing off other romantic options. You start to feel like this person “really gets you for who you are” and that you, in earnest, want to be there for them through whatever life may throw. This tends to be what most would also consider the “honeymoon phase” of the relationship, and it is no accident that this is where we experience the greatest genuine romantic connection with our partner. The reason: intimacy and desire are in balance. When intimacy and desire are in balance, we feel the very natural sensation of sexuality and sensuality. The experience is, in short, indescribable through words and only felt through your heart and emotions.

There is a common and widespread idea that this phase, the honeymoon phase, of any romantic relationship is only a passing experience. This is, without question, a lie.

Phase Three: Intimacy Over Desire

Spending time with your romantic partner becomes intoxicating, and the forming of codependent bonds begins to form. You become “glued to the hip” and believe that this is a good way, and the only way, to maintain a healthy romantic relationship. Who’s to blame you though, that’s what we are taught, that’s what we see in movies, and that’s what most of our parents have shown us.

As the love for your partner grows, the desire to experience sexuality with them start to dwindle. In the worst and most severe cases, this is where partners start to experience a lack of sexual interest in their significant other. This is further compensated within the romantic relationship by increasing the level of intimacy and spending even more time to fix the relationship from failing.

Unfortunately this is like trying to build a fire by throwing a shit ton of wood over the flames. Simply put, it is smothering.

Phase Four: Desire is All But Gone, Intimacy Suffers

The next phase is in my experience the saddest. As the lack of interest and attraction in your partner grows, there becomes a distancing within the relationship. No one talks about the lack of sexuality nor the sex that is not occurring. The worst of our humanity starts to bubble, and partners find themselves looking for interest through other avenues such as affairs, addictions, and anger.

As desire dwindles, so does the intimacy until you are nothing but two people who used to be in a romantic relationship.

Phase Five: The Death of Romantic Connection

With little to no desire left and intimacy well on its way out the door, there is little to no reason for the relationship to continue. A choice is made, and the couple breaks up or stays in a loveless, desire-less relationships with the fear of never finding another.

And so the cycle repeats. Over and over, again and again until we die.

How to Create and Grow within a Healthy Romantic Relationship

You do not have to be a part of this cycle. You do not have to keep this “Fast Car” going, passing it down to future generations to repeat the pain, hurt, and anger of lost love. It is old, worn out, and not the way humans experience connection.

The secret to maintaining healthy romantic relationships is to flow in between desire and intimacy. On a very high-level that means having both a presence and absence in your romantic partner’s life. Sounds strange, huh? Actually, it is quite fun.

This doesn’t have to be something strategic that you have to plan. Rather, all you have to do is do the things you love. Hobbies, passions, and your purpose in life need to be fulfilled. It’s not your job to chase a relationship; it’s your gift to chase your dreams.

This will, undoubtedly, create natural space within your relationship, time away from your romantic partner. You see, the time you spend chasing your dreams and taking action in your life outside of romantic relationships is a form of a romantic relationship with the self. As you feel desire and intimacy within your own soul, you fill your capacity to give it to others.

And, when you do spend time with that person you are romantically interested in, you have so much more to give in intimacy and your desire is honest and real. And through this the “honeymoon phase” of the relationship simply becomes the relationship.

So what’s the catch? None. What’s the gain? Everything.

I hope this helps you.

Much love, as always,
Austin

Austin Hunt

Meet the Author:
Austin Hunt

Austin is the lead writer and creator of Points of Connection. He's been studying dating, relationships, and how to build authentic intimacy for over 9 years now. You can find him sipping away at a cup of coffee at a local shop making friends with the stranger next to him.