13
Intimacy
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13.1
What to Know
What words or phrases pop into your mind when hear the word “intimate?” Say them out loud or write them down.
Did you say or write down words or phrases like “a close friend,” “personal,” “confidential,” “emotional,” or “spiritual?” Or did you write down words or phrases like “sex,” “sexual,” or “making love?” When some men hear the word “intimate” or “intimacy,” they think of sex. That’s because most men are raised to believe intimacy is only about having sex. Many boys and young men mark their passage from boyhood to manhood as the time they first had sex. Then they link how much of a man they are to how much sex they’ve had and with how many women they’ve had sex. As a result, when men try to form long-term relationships with women, they lack knowledge about and skills to create other forms of intimacy. These forms are:
  • Emotional intimacy
  • Intellectual intimacy
  • Spiritual intimacy
Each form is vital to a healthy romantic relationship. This lack of knowledge and skills creates another problem. It makes it hard to create intimate relationships that aren’t sexual. These relationships include those with other men. Your ability to form intimate relationships with other men is key to your overall health and well-being and how good a dad you can become. Far too many men lack comfort in creating truly intimate relationships with other men. As a result, they lean unfairly on their wives/partners (and maybe a few family members) as their sole source of emotional, intellectual, and spiritual support. These non-sexual relationships also include those with a dad’s own children. Not being able or willing to have these kinds of relationships is one reason that some fathers abandon their families.
Do everything you can to develop these kinds of intimate relationships with your children.
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What Else
13.2
Help your children learn to develop intimate relationships with others.
Intimate relationships with other men will improve your well-being.
13.3
What to Ask
Click to scroll through each of the questions below. Grab a paper and pen to write down your answers if you wish. Take your time.
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What’s my level of comfort with non-sexual forms of intimacy in any relationship? What can I do to increase my comfort with them?
How much comfort do I have with non-sexual forms of intimacy in my relationship with my wife/partner? What can I do to gain more comfort?
How much comfort do I have with non-sexual forms of intimacy in my relationships with my children? What can I do to gain more comfort?
How much comfort do I have with non-sexual forms of intimacy in my relationships with other men? Do I fear this kind of intimacy with other men? What can I do to gain more comfort?
Get Inspired
Watch this brief video.
13.4
Learn More
Listen Well.
Praise Often.
Use Gentle Touch.
Play a Lot.
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13.5
There’s no better place to create intimate relationships than with family. Here are some great tips to create those kinds of relationships.
Strike Bargains.
Eat Together.
Create Family Traditions.
Respect Others.
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Intimacy