Manual Privacy and Intimacy

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When couples start with different cultural backgrounds, their his-way, her-way expectations of intimacy, of what is private and what can be.
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Sharing these with a loved one builds an intimate relationship. For most of us, our bodies, similarly, are open for touching and sharing only with those whom we consider our "intimates. Many aspects of what we think of as private and what as public, what as intimate and what as appropriate for public viewing, turn out to be culturally determined. One culture's private is another's public.

Alyssa, a photographer and writer, is currently traveling for multiple months through Asia. Right now she's writing from Vietnam. Thanks Alyssa for your permission to let me share your thought-provoking observations on boundaries with my blog readers here at PsychologyToday. As if nothing is truly private, nothing must be hidden or disguised. Women sit on designated corners, right near the curb, sloshing cold water around in a giant bowl, washing dishes for other women on the block who are selling various street food. The dish washer then dries the dishes, and pours the excess water over her feet to cool down.

Children are everywhere here. Every other young Vietnamese woman I see seems to be pregnant, and nearly full term.

Privacy and Intimacy: Apart and a Part - Avrum Geurin Weiss,

They all seem equally invested. They all take turns jumping up to keep the babies from walking into the road, or from touching their baby feet on the hot pavement. The adults all reprimand one child for hitting another, they all comfort those who are crying. Family here feels more fluid. The boundaries less tight, the lines less clear. The boundaries around homes are blurred as well. In Hanoi, I asked to use a bathroom in a small storefront, and the shop owner pointed upstairs.

I climbed over various items piled on the sides of the stairs, to the second floor, where a toddler was sleeping on a bed next to a whirring fan. And this was it. Studio photographs of children, buddha statues, a sleeping kid on a mattress on the floor. I wanted to apologize to the shopkeeper for invading her space, for overstepping my bounds. Visiting a shop or restaurant that seems quite Western, and then asking to use the toilet, or wanting to try on clothes, and stepping, somehow, beyond the facade of a storefront, and into a home.

Beyond the backpacks and purses, scarves and shirts for sale, and to hanging pots and pans, bird cages, and a husband whistling upstairs. The women here touch constantly. A shop keeper this afternoon hit my butt a few times while trying to convince me to buy a jacket. When our tailor led me to her changing room—a hallway between her shop and her kitchen—she proceeded to undress and dress me, without talking me through it at all.

She was gentle and efficient, helping me try on the dress much quicker than I would have by myself. Women walk down the street here holding hands, men sling their arms around other men. But men and women rarely touch each other in public. Being here is at once fully immersive, and strangely isolating.

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I know less what to expect from the Vietnamese. I find myself wanting to put my whole self in, offer as much kindness and affection as I receive, and I find myself wanting to distance. To define, for myself, what must be done in private. The more differences, the more vital it becomes for couples to learn strong collaborative communication skills.

If they can talk over their differences in a mutually respectful way and then create from his-way and her-way a mutually acceptable our-way, they'll be fine. Heitler's website based on her book for couples, poweroftwomarriage. I imagine that boundaries could be compromised on in a relationship, but with something so primitive, primal, and cultural, anyone who does compromise them is bound to feel out-of-phase and possibly resentful.

For sure, marital harmony is stressed by more factors the more two people come from different backgrounds. Marriage is difficult for any two people as they are never full clones of each other.

Understanding privacy and intimacy

The more similarities, though, the easier it is to be yoked together as a couple. At the same time, for couples who are good at finding mutually-respectful win-win solutions to their differences, culturally varied backgrounds can enhance relationships. For me, it's a question of where a couple is in their relationship newly falling in love, dating, engaged, married, married with childre , and also of where each person is in relationship to their prior cultural histories eager to exit or loving their original cultural identity.

For instance, if a Catholic person has already renounced their religious up-bringing, marrying someone of a different faith may work out fine. If folks of two strongly-loved religious heritages fall in love, that's going to be a harder row to hoe if they decide to marry. In these cases sometimes it's easier to agree to love each other and yet to move on to separate lives. Geographic differences are the toughest.

So my simple answer to your tough question is yes. In business, these predictive analyses of data do not conclude causality but establish correlation that can help companies strategize toward a certain direction. Big data helps, but we must be able to understand what they mean.


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For a partially old-fashioned but a pragmatic believer like me, I say that perhaps the biggest and most important data is found in the Bible. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him, all things were made; without Him, nothing was made that has been made.

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Regardless of belief and generation, I believe we can strike a balance in our quest to evaluate the past, understand the present and somehow predict the future. For privacy policies in business or intimacy essentials in relationships to produce a sense of trust, applying the generational distinction of Sundar, for most millenials, they use a process called data analytics; for some old-timers, they pursue a practice called Bible Study.

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