Intimacy is needed in every relationship. The closeness between persons in intimate relationships is referred to as intimacy.
It’s what happens over time when you connect with someone, develop to care for one other and become more at ease with each other.
It might be either physical or emotional proximity or a combination of both.
First and foremost, closeness is not the same as sex. You’ve undoubtedly heard the term intimacy used in relation to sex and romance.
For example, the word “being intimate” is occasionally used to refer to sexual behavior. But intimacy is not another word for sex.
Sex with a partner can create intimacy, but it is far from the only indicator of intimacy. It is possible to have sex without intimacy as well as intimacy without sex. And it shouldn’t be reserved exclusively for sexual or romantic partners.
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Sex and romance may come to mind first, but intimacy plays a role in other types of relationships too! You’re probably saying the party was a small group of close friends instead of a huge crowd with lots of strangers.
You may also be referring to the quality of the time you spent together. Perhaps you and your friends have opened up about personal details and joined in common interests.
Your relationships with family, friends, and other trusted individuals all include elements of intimacy. In the end it means different things to different people.
You may feel close to a date while watching a movie together, while your date is looking forward to taking a walk after the movie to feel closer to you.
This is because intimacy means different things to different people. Your specific idea of intimacy can be influenced by your interests, communication style, or favorite ways to get to know someone.
Different types of intimacy in every relationship
To understand what intimacy means to you, consider the types of intimacy.
Intimacy falls into several categories, including:
Emotional intimacy is what allows you to tell your loved one’s personal things that you may not necessarily share with strangers.
Intellectual intimacy involves knowing how another person’s mind works and sharing the map with your own mind as well.
Physical intimacy is about contact and closeness between bodies.
In a romantic relationship, it could include holding hands, cuddling, kissing, and having sex. Your relationship doesn’t have to be sexual or romantic to have physical intimacy.
Build experiential intimacy by spending quality time with someone and getting closer to common interests and activities.
Spirituality means different things to different people, so spiritual intimacy can also vary.
In general, spirituality is about belief in something beyond the physical realm of existence.
Key factors within any intimate relationship
All intimacy comes down to a few key factors, including:
To share personal parts of yourself, such as your most embarrassing secrets or your deepest fears, you need to be able to trust them.
Showing another person that you are trustworthy can help them feel closer to you too.
You know you’ve established some intimacy when you feel like a person accepts you for who you really are.
Honesty and intimacy feed off each other. Often you can’t have one without the other.
You feel comfortable telling your partner exactly how you feel partly because you have become so close to each other.
Sharing your deepest, truest self with another person can put you in a rather vulnerable position.
That’s why you tend to raise your guard when you meet someone new. You still don’t know if they will support you as you are.
Forgiveness and understanding can only exist with compassion between people.
Compassion is a natural component of caring for each other’s well-being.
Taking care of each other is one thing, but it also creates intimacy by showing that you care.
There is a reason why good communication is so often called the key to a healthy relationship.
When you make an effort to listen to someone and tell them how you really feel, you can build a deep understanding of each other.
And the more you understand yourself, the closer you get.