The chapter on Intimacy and Relationships intrigued me the most, bringing fond memories of some of my best experiences in college. According to the chapter, page 340, “intimacy…does not necessarily include sexual relations”. This concept, especially among young adults is widely misinterpreted to mean sexual intercourse (Blonna, 2007).
Life as a freshman in college is associated with numerous stressors, however, I remember a family friend who had graduated 2 years before I joined college advising me to find a friend with whom I we would be intimate. According to her, she felt that her intimate friends had helped her out in some of her worst days while still at college. I remember thinking to myself that she must have been promiscuous and shallow minded. By then my notion of intimacy was based on Hollywood movies that based perceived intimate relationships as being sexual in nature. However, I would find out later through my own experiences in college that intimacy did not have to be sexual and could actually exist among friends of the same gender.
One year after I had joined college, I had suffered a few mild ulcer cases due to stress both in my academics and in social life. I was not much of an outdoor person and I would consider myself as having an introvert personality. However, when things got tough on me, I thought maybe I could do with a little support from my classmates. I would attend social activities in an attempt to bond with a few of my classmates, and within no time, I grew fond of one of them, Brian. We had so much in common and it almost felt as if he was the elder brother I never had. I could not tell at first whether I was sexually attracted to him, but time would later reveal that our bond was more of siblings. Occasionally I would hear a few rumors about our sex life since not many people thought that friends from a different gender would be as close as I was with Brian without being sexual. Things had become easy for me both in my academics and socially; when I got stressed up, I would talk to him and he understood me and was always there for me unconditionally. Reflecting on our friendship today, I feel it was one of the best decisions I made.
Blonna, R. (2007). Coping with stress in a changing world. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.