Becoming Intimate

In the above extract F. Scott Fitzgerald illustrates the subtle interpersonal dynamics that are often intertwined in lifestyles associated with addictive processes. Part I of this book introduced the switch from viewing addiction in terms of human particles to viewing addiction as a social event. Part II moves in closer to the core of addictive relationships and examines the processes associated with forming, maintaining, and ending social connections in addictive systems. In particular, Part II explores the nature of intimacy as a special form of social connectedness. Addictions understood within a social world operate most strongly in the zone of intense sociality, namely at those points of contact between people where they experience their strongest and most intimate involvements. In doing so it identifies intimacy as the primary site for addictive processes, the site at which the destructiveness of addictive relationships is most active2: the place where the action happens. However, before proceeding into this zone, a conceptual framework is required in order to talk sensibly about the relationship between addiction and intimacy. This chapter establishes a simple set of concepts that can be used to understand how addictive relationships and intimacies interact.


Intimate Relationship Inanimate Object Sexual Intimacy Addictive Process Teddy Bear 
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© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

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