What is Intellectual Intimacy, and Does it Actually Exist?

What's intellectual intimacy

How should one define intellectual intimacy? Intimacy can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Universally, however, when most people hear the word, they immediately think of physical or sexual intimacy. But there are more types of intimacy than that.

Intellectual intimacy may be a new term for you. What is intellectual intimacy? Psychologists definite intellectual intimacy as two people who really come together to share ideas and thoughts; they are comfortable in doing so, even when they differ in their opinions. Truly, intellectual intimacy is connecting brain to brain, in a sense.

How do you know if intellectual intimacy exists in your relationship? Here are a few intellectual intimacy examples:

  • You talk about your hopes and dreams together, and you encourage each other to pursue those paths in life. Perhaps you have some of the same hopes and dreams, which you can work on together, but you also have separate interests.
  • You ask each other opinions on things. Most importantly, even though your opinions may differ on anything from politics to parenting to finances, you feel free to talk about your ideas without fear. You feel safe to say what you really feel. The intimacy goes to the next level when you are both able to negotiate and come together as one.
  • You know each other’s fears, past difficult experiences, and things that are most hard to deal with. As you navigate through life together, you help your significant other deal with these emotions and relieve or protect in any way possible.
  • You can tell if your partner is or isn’t saying everything they are feeling or thinking. You prod for more information and try to make them feel comfortable in sharing everything.
  • You can talk about just about anything, at most any time. Late night talks are normal for you. You don’t just “talk” but you really share. There is plenty of back and forth rather than just one person dominating the conversation.

Perhaps you and your significant other haven’t reached intellectual intimacy yet, but take heart. It’s an active thing that can be worked on constantly. The goal is to really come together and really know each other in ways you never realized. Even if it takes a lifetime, it’s worth the journey.