There is an incredible diversity among human lives, infinite variations among people with respect to how they can experience a sense of closeness. This realization alone offers us a great opportunity. It means that at this very moment we have vast resources of intimacy available to us. Intimacy is all around us. Today, so many of us are oppressed by a feeling of something missing in our lives, intensely suffering from a lack of intimacy. This is particularly true when we go through the inevitable periods in our life when we're not involved in a romantic relationship or when the passion wanes from a relationship. There's a widespread notion in our culture that deep intimacy is best achieved within the context of a passionate romantic relationship—that Special Someone who we set apart from all others. This can be a profoundly limiting viewpoint, cutting us off from other potential sources of intimacy, and the cause of much misery and unhappiness when that Special Someone isn't there. But we have within our power the means to avoid this; we need only courageously expand our concept of intimacy to include all the other forms that surround us on a daily basis. By broadening our definition of intimacy, we open ourselves to discovering many new and equally satisfying ways of connecting with others.

— Dalai Lama

from The Art of Happiness