Is intimacy just a need to feel accepted and see ourselves reflected in someone else's eyes?
Or is intimacy something deeper and more profound?
No. I believe the intimacy with that special someone is more than just a need to accepted and be reflected in someone else's eyes. Intimacy a release, both physically and emotionally. We need to be intimate by venting our frustrations, as well as the carnal way. By "letting it all hang out," we feel as though a weight has been lifted from out shoulders. We are social creatures. Humans don't generally do as well alone, without anyone personally close to them.
No. I think intimacy is the courage to be able to hold on to my own fears of rejection, validate myself, and reveal myself to another. How the other receives my intimacy is something I have no control over. For many people, if the other person does not receive the intimacy the way that they wanted, they feel rejected and invalidated. (This may be what you are pointing at when you say 'reflected'). Mature intimacy understands that it is unilateral, self validating, and risky.
Also, understanding that there are many ways for us to choose to be intimate, including intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and sexually.
We are not meant to be lonely. Or alone for a long time. Intimacy feels good, intimacy is a need, intimacy is a part of our neurological wiring. People are social, it is amazing, but even "self-sacrifice" is a part of our genetic programming. The evolution of humanity is due to its social development, part of which is intimate connections. Without social connection, we, as other animals would have still occupied the jungles of Africa.
An infant does not survive without caring adults, adults can survive isolation, but not without suffering, in fact "solitary confinement" is a torture.
"Whatever our individual sensitivity, our well-being suffers when our particular need for connection has not been met. Because early humans were more likely to survive when they stuck together, evolution reinforced the preference for strong human bonds by selecting genes that support PLEASURE in company and produce feelings of unease when involuntarily alone. Moreover, ..., evolution fashioned us not only to feel good when connected, but to feel secure. The vitally corollary is that evolution shaped us not only to feel bad in isolation, but to feel insecure, as in physically threatened." John T. Cacioppo & William Patrick "Loneliness"
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