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A unique analysis of current thinking on intimacy


Paul Verhaeghe

An intimate love relationship makes people happy, but why is it so hard to find let alone maintain? In this book Paul Verhaeghe offers a different take on intimacy. According to him, intimacy is based first of all on a relationship with yourself and only secondly on relationships with others. Our relationship with our bodies lays the foundation not only for intimacy but also for our mental and physical health. Nowadays, unfortunately, that relationship is characterized by embarrassment: a result of the conviction that we are never beautiful or healthy enough.

This book is not about sex.
Psychologie Magazine

Using many practical examples, Verhaeghe explores current issues and questions around intimacy: how do, and did, we conceive of the divide between mind and body? Are you a body or do you have a body? Isn’t this distinction outdated? How do we see our bodies now that the internet has taken the place of the church? What role does education play in the relationship with your body? What is the impact of traumatic experiences? Can we ever become one with ourselves? And how can we build a lasting intimate relationship with somebody else?

Verhaeghe’s voice is a valuable addition, varied and averse to simplification. He digs deeper than most psychologists writing for the general pulic.

In ‘Intimacy’ Verhaeghe shows that our era is urgently in need of a new form of self-care, in which we become more one with ourselves. He rejects the classic divide between body and mind, helping us see ourselves and the world in a new way.

The most beautiful passages from ‘Intimacy’ are Verhaeghe’s descriptions of the technologies that slowly but surely distance us from our bodies.
NRC Next