“Had a great talk with a friend of mine last night. We conversed until well past midnight about life, relationships, and our personalities. We got to talking about Myers-Briggs personality types, and how my friend’s personality is complimentary to mine, mine being INFJ, and hers being ENFP. With our two middle letters being the same and the outside letters being different, our personalities work well together. We joked about how it was a shame one of us wasn’t a guy so we could marry each other.
Later that night something clicked while I was lying in bed: I almost began feeling less lonely. Yes, I still longed for intimacy with a guy as well as sarcastic banter, but I realized that I found it really refreshing to be with someone whose personality complemented mine and who was aware of her mental health. I realized that while my loneliness didn’t go away, she is someone I would feel comfortable being lonely with. Not in a weird, romantic way, but such that we’ve been able to develop a friendship over the years that has allowed us to share personal things with each other. And that realization makes me happy.”
That was a journal entry of mine from back in April of this year. I was visiting a friend whom I hadn’t seen for awhile, and I loved how we could pick back up from where we left off despite not having talked in who knows how long. We have been friends for several years, and if the saying is true that says if you’re friends with someone for longer than seven years you’re friends for life, I guess that means that she and I are pretty much stuck with each other, no matter how many miles are between us.
I share this to express my reflections on the human desire to bond, and how that desire has affected me. Often I would describe myself as being lonely, no matter how often I spend time with people. I have realized that loneliness cannot be cured by another person, and while socialization does help to remedy it, becoming dependent on other people for our own happiness is unhealthy. This is why I say that I don’t want someone to take away my loneliness, but rather I want someone to be lonely with.
A few months ago when I visited my friend, I realized that she was someone I enjoyed feeling lonely with. We were able to share with each other things we struggled with, things we dreamed about, things we thought were funny. While we couldn’t solve each other’s problems, we could offer our friendship to each other, and that has been an incredible gift.
Our personalities are not the same, but that allows us to learn from each other. It is through my friendship with her that I realized that intimacy comes in many different forms. When I hear the word intimacy I automatically think of physical closeness, but it is so much more than that. When conversing with this friend, I have felt somewhat of an intellectual intimacy, if you will, because we would explore philosophical topics and life issues in a way that people don’t normally do in everyday interactions. Other times I have felt an emotional intimacy because I would share with her a personal battle that I was facing.
My realization of the complexity of intimacy is important because it has helped me to understand that loneliness is often very complicated, but that does not necessarily make it a bad thing. Sometimes I crave emotional or intellectual intimacy in the form of something mentally stimulating, while at other times I just flat out want to cuddle with someone. Knowing this helps me to better understand how to take care of myself, and hopefully will help me be able to better care for others.