This phrase was made famous to express the belief that individual problems are symptoms of larger social problems.
The sexual revolution in the 1960s and 1970s made it more acceptable to be sexually active outside marriage.
Women are being encouraged, again, to explore their sexuality and express this in ways that was not allowed before.
It is important to remember that individual men and women enter into relationships not just with their own background & baggage, but also with the weight of generations of cultural and familial expectations.
“Although many communities admire independent single women, most of us are told from childhood that our lives will be incomplete until we find a man. The hardest thing about being single, some women say, is not loneliness but the negative stereotypes we must confront from others, and to the extent we have internalized such stereotypes in ourselves”
“When we are happy and strong on our own, we are better able to choose freely and carefully the men we do become close to. Creating a safe and equal relationship with a man can then become a challenge we seek and enjoy out of mutual attraction, admiration, and love.”
“ Intimacy is a precious state of relationship in which we feel safe enough to expose our whole selves and know that we will still be loved. The great challenge with intimacy is that, in order to achieve it, we must risk the possibility of rejection” (pg 160).
Intimacy requires honesty.
This requires having the courage to share difficult feelings, needs, or problems, even if we are afraid they will scare our partner away.
Intimacy also requires feeling safe with our partners.
Our conception of intimacy and what we want from an intimate partner may change over time as we grow into both ourselves and our relationships.