Mating in Captivity
读书笔记 More intimacy, less sex
I suggest that our ability to tolerate our separateness and the fundamental insecurity it engenders - is a precondition for maintaining interest and desire in a relationship. Instead of always striving for closeness, I argued that couples may be better off cultivating their separate selves. If cultivating separateness sounds harsh, let’s think of it instead as nurturing a sense of thick the selfhood. The French psychologist Jacques Salome talks about the need to develop a personal intimacy with one’s own self as the counterbalance to the couple. There is beauty in an image that highlights a connection to oneself, rather than a distance from one’s partner. In our mutual intimacy we make love, we have children, and we share physical space and interests. Indeed, we blend the essential parts of our lives. But “essential” and does not mean “all”. Personal intimacy demarcates a private zone, one that requires tolerance and respect. It is a space – physical, emotional, and intellectual - that belongs only to me. Not everything needs to be revealed. Everyone should cultivate a secret garden.
Love enjoys knowing everything about you; desire needs mystery. Love likes to shrink the distance that exists between me and you, while desire is energized by it. If intimacy grows through repetition and familiarity, eroticism is numbed by repetition. It thrives on the mysterious, the novel, and the unexpected. Love is about having; desire is about wanting. An expression of longing, desire requires ongoing elusiveness. it is less concerned with where it has already been than passionate about where it can still go. But too often, as couples settle into the comforts of love, they cease to fan the flames of desire. They forget that fire needs air.
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