1. Intimacy Is Good. Over-Familiarity Might Not Be That Good
Intimacy and over-familiarity might be bonded but they are not the same thing.
Everything seems easier when you have Intimacy with some who you just feel safe communicating your deepest stuff, sharing your daily habits.
But, in the long run, you can be also be caught up in overfamiliarity and you feel so confident that you know a person that well, that you don’t bother to communicate with that person anymore.
And that might be a soft killer of intimacy. This is a double edge sword issue, in close relationships.
And there’s another type of familiarity, even more toxic. Very common in these internet days. The one that’s perceived through social media.
One specific type of over-familiarity happens to exposed people (these days aren’t just politicians and actors because the spectrum has enlarged to common people)): you-tubers sharing their personal issues and problems, people on social media, sharing their projections of “apparent light” or “apparent shade”… Some of those in the crowd, who are on the other side of the screen, may develop a false sense of familiarity. They assume all kinds of stuff through their own perception of things, might evolve to an even more distorted over-familiarity: the one-sided-over-familiarity-by-screen. That’s tricky. Kind of sick too.
2. What’s In Stake With Over-Familiarity?
Basically individuality. You no longer consider the other person an individual (or you’re no longer perceived as an individual).
Problems with over-familiarity start breeding when you get so familiar with you partner that you assume you know everything about that person.
You assume you know so well…So much that you lose interest: there’s lack of curiosity about the other person, there’s no romance, boundaries disappear, and with that, respect might have a tendency to disappear too.
And you start to take the relationship for granted. You neglect all that in a relationship yearns for you care, for you time, for your attention, for your love.
And that passion that first drove you to each other’s arms, starts to be forgotten… Till is buried.
One becomes an extension of the other, not seen as individuals, and quiet honestly: piece of furniture in the house. You’ll only notice when it’s not there.
Basically, when you get to a point of over-familiarity in a relationship (whether is blood relations, spouse, or friendship) there’s some kind of entitlement from one of you in the relationship, that gives the right to do what’s best for the other simply because “they know”… Of course, that can easily evolve into an abusive relationship.
Over-familiarity is one of four relationship killers (the others are sarcasm, stonewalling, and criticism: the number one cause of divorce.
3. How To Fight (Fiercely) Against Over-familiarity?
3.1 Respect privacy
In the Portuguese language, the expression “go to the toilet”, in the old days in certain regions used to be said as “go to the private”.
Yep: your significant other doesn’t need to watch you poo or vice-versa, just because you share the life, or simply the house - for little or long time. Some privacies should be maintained.
Some small habits, just kill the romance. Some pudency is required, no matter if your partner knows your body upside down, no matter how many bed-somersault you’ve been in together: a little pudency is required.
3.2 Pay respect, show reverence, and be grateful.
If there’s multi-level intimacy in our relationship: that’s precious. Be grateful for what you have, honor it, and show some reverence for the privilege of having something special with that person.
No: I’m not saying he/she is a god/goddess.
Set your own boundaries so you can be respected and respect the other person as an individual: with personal perspectives, a person that did not begin the existence with you. And certainly, that person’s existence mustn’t end on you.
No matter how close and intimate you might have become: celebrate, honor, and show gratefulness for that person’s presence in your life.
Don’t you take it for granted because nothing really is?
3.3 Don’t Assume: Be Curious About Your Partner And Promote Honest Communication
Don’t assume. Intimacy is great because you know your partner so well that you understand that, look that tone of voice, hat attitude… It doesn’t even matter if you share dreams. Just don’t assume anything: ask.
Your partner has thoughts that he/she doesn’t share. Might be because it was just an idea that crossed the mind or because didn’t give actual importance…
It’s natural she/he had some feelings about something and just didn’t find time or words to verbalize them.
Promote honest conversation by making questions. Intimacy will be strengthened instead of leaving room for over-familiarity to breed.
Don’t assume that you know everything, because you don’t.
So: be curious and ask questions. Ask questions as if you were exploring new territories, as if you were taking a road trippin’ into your partner's mind.
3.4 Take Personal Time
And keep yourself interesting to you and to your partner.
That personal time might be to learn something new, be with friends, or just spend some time alone to recenter yourself and make him/her miss you: sentir Saudade”, that’s the expression in Portuguese.
Keep in mind that you are an individual that is in a relationship: not a person that was devoured by the relationship.
This isn’t a suggestion of keeping a secret parallel life. But sure feels nice to get home or go meet your significant other and share the “news” that isn’t about other people’s lives, is actually news about you…
3.5. Words Matter
Words do matter. They have their own vibration.
Ok, you like to use the whole and immense knowledge about your language lexicon including slang… Fine: if it’s used in between jokes.
But it can be very damaging in any relationship, relating to your mutual respect, if you use slang or harsh words in the middle of an argument, just because you’re mad…
I get it, it can be a challenge, if you enjoy using slang – it’s so liberating…
I get you… But make an effort because words do matter. They have their own vibrations, their own frequency…
No matter how familiar you are, never let go of please, thank you, and forgive me. And that’s just the basics.
Treat people by the name: it personalizes. Don’t treat your partner by the name only when you’re mad or to show discontent…
The goal is to Get Better Every Day! Familiar Hugs From Body&Soul!
Familiar Hugs From Body&Soul!