The more familiar two people become, the more the language they speak together departs from that of the ordinary, dictionary-defined discourse. Familiarity creates a new language, an in-house language of intimacy that carries reference to the story the two lovers are weaving together and that cannot be readily understood by others.
∆ Alain de Botton, On Love
“I suggest that our ability to tolerate our separateness—and the fundamental insecurity it engenders—is a precondition for maintaining interest and desire in a relationship. Instead of always striving for closeness, I argue that couples may be better off cultivating their separate selves. If cultivating separateness sounds harsh, let’s think of it instead as nurturing a sense of selfhood. The French psychologist Jacques Salomé talks about the need to develop a personal intimacy with one’s own self as a counterbalance to the couple. There is beauty in an image that highlights a connection to oneself, rather than a distance from one’s partner. In our mutual intimacy we make love, we have children, and we share physical space and interests. Indeed, we blend the essential parts of our lives. But “essential” does not mean “all.” Personal intimacy demarcates a private zone, one that requires tolerance and respect. It is a space—physical, emotional, and intellectual—that belongs only to me. Not everything needs to be revealed. Everyone should cultivate a secret garden."
The longer I live, the more deeply I learn that love — whether we call it friendship or family or romance — is the work of mirroring and magnifying each other’s light.
∆ James Baldwin, Nothing Personal