Intimacy for most of us means sexual and romantic actions towards your partner.
However, intimacy can have different definitions and can also involve friends and family members. The most common notion of intimacy is with marriage and relationships. For some, being intimate also means that they are vulnerable but for some, intimacy is when you truly love someone and trusts them with all your heart.
So, what is intimacy for you and what role does it play in a relationship?
Intimacy – definition
What is the definition of intimacy for most of us?
Intimacy, by definition, means being really close to the point that you are already vulnerable to another person. It is where you entrust your whole self and allow another person to see who you really are.
So, what is intimacy in a relationship?
It’s when you and your partner share the feeling of deep understanding – that is when you’re in a relationship. It also indicates a strong sexual bond with the love you share with each other. It’s more than just being partners or spouses, it’s more than just having sex.
With intimacy, both of you are connected by a deeper love and understanding. This makes a relationship or marriage strong. What is intimacy to you and your relationship now? Can you say that you have a strong intimate relationship with your partner?
Why people fear intimacy
Intimacy is a beautiful feeling, an ideal ingredient if we want to make sure that we have a long lasting relationship. But as beautiful as it may seem – intimacy is also scary for some people.
Fact is, not all people are willing to get intimate and are still guarded by past experiences. For them, being intimate even with their partners will mean that they will let their guard down and can easily be hurt and be used all over again.
Just like trust issues, intimacy is hard for some people. That’s why for them, it’s a bit hard to earn not just their trust, but their willingness to be intimate as well.
Types of intimacy in relationship
What is intimacy in marriage or when you are in a relationship? Did you know that there are different categories of intimacy between partners? What is intimacy for you and your partner?
1. Intimacy in activities or what is also known as experiential intimacy
This is where two people bond together and create an intimate relationship with activities that they do together. This can be in the form of sports, work, or even leisure activities.
What is intimacy if you don’t spend quality time together? This doesn’t only make activities enjoyable but it also strengthens your bond as a married couple or as partners.
2. Emotional intimacy
This is the most common type of intimacy that we know.
Emotional intimacy occurs when you are comfortable being yourself with your partner and you are able to express yourself knowing that you have a deep connection with this person.
As they say, your partner or spouse should also be your confidant – your best friend.
3. Intellectual intimacy
What is intimacy if you aren’t confident discussing your life, your future plans, and everything that you want to talk to with your partner?
This intimacy between partners exist when you’re connected not just emotionally, physically, but also intellectually. It’s beautiful to find yourself in tune with your partner’s dreams, plans, and how you view your future together.
If you and your partner or spouse are already in this stage, then you’re very lucky.
4. Sexual intimacy
This may be the first thought that would come to our minds when we hear the word intimacy, but you’re definitely not wrong.
Intimacy in couples is very vital if you want the relationship to work out. It’s how you and your partner engage in sensual and sexual activities. It’s a healthy part of any relationship.
How intimacy shapes your relationship
What is intimacy to a relationship, may it be for married couples, for family, and for friends? What does being intimate with another individual give you and the relationship? The obvious answer is a strong relationship.
As we are allowed to give ourselves wholeheartedly to another person, it opens a window for mutual respect, love, and understanding. With this, intimacy bonds people together into a deeper understanding.
If we are able to take care of this, it can guarantee a long-lasting bond between you and the people you care for. This is the reason why intimacy is one of the mot teasured aspects of marriage and relationships.
Elements of keeping the intimacy alive
If you are currently in a relationship or is married, you’d know what is true intimacy and you’d know that it can sometimes be challenging. There can be fators that can contribute to lack of intimacy.
So, how do you make sure that you and your partner will continue to have a strong bond of intimacy?
- Take it slow, especially when you are just at the beginning of a relationship. Intimacy is never rushed, so allow each other to build it slowly.
- Build intimacy with the easy stuff first like trying to initiate conversations about your life and dreams and so on. Again, be patient and don’t rush.
- Respect your spouse or partner. There can be times where your spouse doesn’t feel like being intimate or you might feel that she or he is drifting away – respect the reason and work on it.
- Lastly, be sensitive to each other’s feelings. If you are in tune with your feelings, chances are, it’ll be easier for you to be sensitive towards your partner’s feelings as well. It’s a give and take process.
Each one of us may have a little difference in opinion as to what is intimacy.
But, even if we may have different views, what matters is that we are able to understand its importance not just to us but for the people that we love and as long as we are able to practice respect and selfless love, then true intimacy is always there.