If you had to choose the type of relationship you would have with the person you were to spend the rest of your life with, what kind would it be? A true friendship? Or an unforgettable romantic partner? As Junior reveals, there’s a powerful difference between the two—one that might push you to rethink everything.

Real intimacy is an outer body experience. You feel high on whatever you’re doing and you just can’t stop. It’s endless. It’s very soft but at the same time it moves you, like waves. It’s not static, but keeps going, evolving. It’s happy. It’s an organic connection to another person.

I think of pillow talk as something you do with someone you’re intimate with. It’s the conversation you have at night before bed or in the morning. If you had sex, you talk about the experience or sexual things, but it doesn’t have to be about sex. It can be about other life issues: your relationship, your finances.

It’s soft conversation, which means it’s the kind of talking where there is no right or wrong answer, which is important because you are able to see the person on a different level where there is no judgment. In that moment, you’re just listening to them share and vice versa. It’s not about listening to respond or adding what you think—there’s nothing to prove.

Real intimacy is an outer body experience. You feel high on whatever you’re doing and you just can’t stop. It’s endless…It’s not static, but keeps going, evolving…It’s an organic connection to another person.

When I think about how my relationship with my family has affected my own views on love and intimacy, I realize it’s necessary for me to be open-minded. Because of what I’ve experienced, it’s made it difficult for me to know how much to trust a person. As a result, there are always ups and downs because I find myself intentionally looking for problems, even when there’s no need to.

Since my relationship with my family was very aggressive and not always very positive, in relationships, when that happens, it makes me feel like I have to run, escape. I don’t want to be in a place where I don’t feel like I have choices or I feel trapped; I want feel comfortable, and to be with someone who understands that they have choices, but they still choose me. That’s where I’m trying to work toward. But, most of the time, I feel like I’ve either always been on the run, or I’m on the verge of running.

The only thing I feel that will ultimately make me stop running is a true friendship within a romantic relationship. If I had to pick the best relationship where I want to spend the rest of my life with someone, it’s ultimately someone I can call my best friend.

In that relationship, my partner can speak to me as my best friend, not my boyfriend. What would be even better is if we could both reach a point where I don’t have to tell him when I need that, but him know when to be my best friend and when to be my lover.

Why would I want that? Well, to me, a lover doesn’t touch the deepest feelings or go past the surface. Because of your romantic relationship, you touch on some things but not others. Whereas a best friend makes you feel relieved, like you’re out of jail. There’s nothing left to hold on to because you can fully trust that they won’t judge you or steer you wrong.

But in a romantic relationship, you hold on to the details because you feel like the person might use them against you. A best friend can be judgment-free in ways that your lover can’t. I believe that if a person only sees you as a lover, they can only really see one side of you. Whereas your best friend knows everything about you, and they still choose to stick around.

Another important part of my experience with intimacy has to do with sex, and how it makes me feel.  The first time I had sex, I was 20 years old. It made me feel stupid and like I didn’t have any control. It made me feel reckless and messed with my mind. I felt greedy and wanted more.

I want a partner who will speak to me as my best friend, not my boyfriend.

But not greedy for the right reasons but simply to feel it again. One of the things I didn’t like the most about it was that it made me feel blinded and irrational. I felt like I couldn’t control my emotions, which created even more of a lack of self control.

Usually, I’m a control freak and have a strong sense of what I like and don’t. But in that moment, there was no, “I don’t like this or don’t do that.” I just let it be; I rolled with it. That was very frightening. I didn’t care about safety, the future. I just cared about the moment and what was in front me at the time. The pleasure and feeling made me feel that.

It was so powerful in part because it was so new to me, which was like a shock to my system. It was something I’d never felt before, so I didn’t know how to react, it was paralyzing. It was like feeling hot and cold at the same time; my heart was racing as I tried to catch my breath, but everything was happening at the same time.

When it comes to love, sex, and intimacy, I think they all feel a lot like that because they require you to lose a part of yourself, to trust another person with your body and so much more. For a person who is used to being so self-reliant and independent, that can feel like the scariest thing in the world. But every day I’m working hard to learn that it is okay to trust and have someone else support you on an emotional and physical level. I’m not there yet, but one day I will be.

If I had to pick the best relationship where I want to spend the rest of my life with someone, it’s ultimately someone I can call my best friend.