On Tuesday we went to our third Pre-Cana group meeting and I was so not into it. The two times before we had been super stoked about it, looking forward to sitting around with other engaged couples, laughing about chore lists, and doing other nerdy couple-y worksheets and group exercises. But this time I was just tired and busy and really didn’t want to spend the time re-affirming how much Kamel and I already rule.
But, we went anyway because it’s one of those things where if we cancel, the entire class is canceled and then we drag it out one week longer. Nobody wants to be that guy. So, we trekked off to Sausalito where the session leader’s house is, and I consoled myself by looking forward to the free snacks, and knowing that if anything, we could just float through this one class.
This week the topic was Sex and Intimacy and I was so not in the mood. (That’s what she said. ZING!) I bit my lip and shoved my nails into the palm of my hand so as not to bust out with a giggle every time they used the term, “Making love” and tried so hard not to picture our leader couple (who are 51 and 52, respectively) having sex as they told us the ins and outs of what they struggled with sexually in the beginning of their marriage. Sigh. I failed at that part. I couldn’t help it! How do you NOT picture people having sex when it’s all they are talking about?! Answer me that!! Ugh. Ok. On to the point.
One of the exercises we did had to do with different types of intimacy. Did you know there are tons? Every aspect of your relationship has different levels of how close you are and how much you share. Are you extra intimate when it comes to commitment? (Which is: a sense of being “for” each other, trust, investment in the ongoing growth of the relationship) Or maybe it’s how you handle conflict, or what you appreciate aesthetically (Sharing experiences of beauty – music, nature, art, theater, dance, movies). There are 14 different sections of intimacy that we reviewed and then had to pick the one where we are strongest, and the one we haven’t really explored yet.
In order to do coupling in the class, each group goes to a separate corner and fills out the forms, discusses an then comes back for group discussion. So Kamel and I were sitting on the stairs while first marking which we thought was our main connectivity point, and what we thought … wasn’t.
Kamel said that our strongest place of intimacy was “Creative Intimacy” (Sharing in acts of creating together, parenting and other ventures, mutually feeding each other so that each can realize his/her potentialities as a person). I had thought about picking that one, it was definitely in my top two. But I chose “Recreational Intimacy” (Relating in experiences of fun and play), which may seem kind of meh, but not to me. My whole life I have wanted a buddy, a playmate. And I have amazing best friends, but they are not always here, they have their own lives and their own life plans. Kamel is my buddy. We want the other with us when we’re having fun, when we need to cuddle, when I hate the world (and even when we hate each other). As I’m writing this it just seems so “duh”, but it’s better than just the obvious. We play together and we’re really good at it. He makes me laugh until I pee, he sings a line and then waits for me to finish the other line, he gets my obsessive need for candy at movies, we play.
When we discussed our choices Kamel had thought about picking mine, but obviously thought his was better until I explained my logic.
“Creative Intimacy is what made me fall in love with you from the beginning, that’s deep down in our roots,” I said, “But … I think… Recreational Intimacy is… it’s why I want to spend the rest of my life with you. You’re my buddy.”
That totally got him. And I left the session feeling kind of euphoric and lovely. I discovered something pretty about our relationship, and I wasn’t even in the mood.