Since graduating it seems as though all my relationships have changed. Not just the romantic ones, but also friendships, relationships with family, etc. Our lifestyles have been drastically altered with a new work/sleep/play schedule and it has taken a toll on how we interact with the people in our lives.
The first couple years of college sex was the hot topic of everyone. At the time it seemed to the be most important decision, the most intimate thing we could be sharing with another person. Those who were already sexually active suddenly had a brand new crop of potential partners to consider. Those who were not yet sexually active were seeing a lot of different kinds of sexual interactions that they needed to process and consider. Everyone lived in close proximity to each other so whenever we did decide to have sex there was an audience when we emerged from the room. Sex is carnal. Instinctual.
Now that I have been out of college I can see how inconsequential the sex part of college was. This is not to say that sex is not important, it is very important in both college and beyond. However, since seeing all the walks of shame, breakups, makeups, cheaters, fights, anniversaries and everything else related to the act, I have realized that there are several things that are more intimate to share with another person than having sex.
While sex leaves us briefly vulnerable, physically, emotionally and often socially, I have realized that other acts leave us even more vulnerable. Other acts also teach us more about ourselves and others than sex can. Below is a short list of things that I find to be more intimate than sex.
1. Showering with someone. Not having sex in the shower, actually bathing with another person.
2. Saying “I Love You.” I personally had a problem even typing that phrase, that is how intimate it is. Hearing the words makes me even more uncomfortable.
3. Traveling with someone. You will see someone at their very worst when traveling. The most exhausted, the most aggravated, and often the most dirty (not in a sexy way). You find out how someone deals with stress and other people.
4. Crying in front of someone. I don’t think this needs explanation.
5. Taking care of/Being taken care of when sick. You feel helpless and awful. And someone else is willing to help. They see all your used tissues.
6. Meeting someone else’s family. This is intimate for significant others as well as friends. Seeing where someone came from can tell you a lot.
This is an incomplete list, and some people may not agree with some of it. However, as a Post Grad who sometimes has some issues emotionally connecting with other people, this list may explain a lot. You should feel very special if I have done any of the above with you.