Men and Women Define Intimacy Differently

Football season is upon us. My husband is a huge CU Buffs fan, so for twenty-five years I have joined him in the bleachers but resented it. I hated how he could go four to six hours without saying a word to me. At the end of the game he would be bubbling, thinking we had shared a meaningful day together.

When I was in graduate school I did a lot of research on how men and women define emotional intimacy.

Turns out there may be a difference between how men and women define intimacy.  Ted Huston (as cited Goleman, 1986) found that the construct of intimacy for women meant talking things over.

But for men, intimacy involved action such as doing joint activities together.  Goleman also found that men used intimate conversation much more during the courtship phase of a relationship, but that this type of intimacy is not natural for men.

So women, don’t be discouraged if your man wants to share a day of football with you. It’s how he experiences connection. Grab your sweatshirt, put on your jeans and favorite team cap, and go have some fun together. Then later on you can ask him to go out on a date and do some talking.

 


Lucille Zimmerman is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a private practice in Littleton, CO and an affiliate faculty professor at Colorado Christian University.

She is also the author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World. Through practical ideas and relatable anecdotes, readers can better understand their strengths and their passions—and address some of the underlying struggles or hurts that make them want to keep busy or minister to others to the detriment of themselves. Renewed can help nurture those areas of women’s lives to use them better for work, family, and service. It gives readers permission to examine where they spend their energy and time, and learn to set limits and listen to “that inner voice."
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1 Comment

  1. Rings very true.

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