“Our souls crave intimacy”—Erwin Raphael McManus
The true definition of intimacy cannot be described in words properly. It’s a psychological state where both the partners feel very close, attached to each other and share a sense of belonging. Intimacy is all about feeling alive, content, ecstatic and at the same time vulnerable. It is a state of relationship that can’t be achieved overnight, it takes time to grow gradually, where two people get closely attached with each other.
When we think of intimacy, automatically we tend to equate it with sex or physical closeness. Though intimacy encompasses all these, it is actually far more than just being sexually intimate. It has bigger purpose where mutual understanding and co-dependency are essentially required.
Though, we can’t ignore the importance of physical intimacy in a healthy relationship, emotional intimacy is the prerequisite of having any kind of physical intimacy with your partner. Comprising emotional, sexual, mental or intellectual togetherness, intimacy has a broader aspect. When it comes to having a successful marital or conjugal relationship, emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual, intimacy should work amicably.
Emotional intimacy: Strengthen the bond between the couple
Emotional intimacy is the precondition to develop that mind bubbling physical connection, which is our very first thought about being close to someone. It is a state of elation where a couple connect with each other at emotional level free from any worldly complexities.
You feel close to one another by sharing your desires, feelings, dreams, aspirations, secrets and by the process you become vulnerable to one another, thus, chemistry builds up between the couple. Emotional intimacy nurtures you and makes you more enliven. To have emotional intimacy, you don’t need to spend hours together, just spending 10 minutes quality time together or helping each other in household chores can also improve emotional intimacy. It instills trust, understanding, acceptance and makes you feel more connected to each other. From affection, love, romance, sex to spirituality; emotional intimacy comprises every feeling that is pivotal for keeping your marriage or relationship strong. With growing age, when sexual fondness and desires fade away, only emotional intimacy remains and connects the couple at the deepest level.
Physical intimacy: Basic requirement to thrive a relationship
It is the potent and common way of showing love that brings you closer to your partner. It is not only about sex or making out; physical intimacy is more than just having sex. This makes you believe that you have importance and special place in your heart for your partner. Your submission, dedication, belongingness, desperation for each other-everything is reflected when you become physically intimate with your partner. Apart from sexual chemistry, a simple back rub, a romantic body message, holding hands, cosy hugs or a sweet kiss is also considered as forms of physical intimacy. From overcoming insecurities, mitigating differences to feel the warmth of love, physical intimacy has a great role to play in relationship. Without physical intimacy, a marriage or relationship can’t flourish and sustain properly.
Intellectual intimacy: Liberty of expressing opinions for better communication
Intellectual intimacy allows both of you to share your thoughts, ideas freely no matter your opinions differ from each other. When two persons connect intellectually, they feel safe and comfortable to share their views on any matter, without fear of consequences. From politics, child rearing, family expense to international matters, they can express their views and argue freely. It is all about feeling safe while expressing views without the fear of being judged by your partner and it makes communication easy and strengthen your marriage or love relationship.
In short, intimacy is the pivotal pillar of healthy relationships, be it marital or love relationship. Intimacy helps both the partners to realize how important they are for each other. No matter how much shortcomings or limitations we have, we always wish to be accepted and loved by our partners. In order to keep aside all of your differences towards a healthy a relationship, having intimacy, both physically and emotionally are mandatory. When in a relationship, intimacy is something, which we crave, so without this euphoric feeling sustaining a long-term relationship is quite impossible.