What is intimacy in a relationship? Almost all people, when they hear the word “intimacy” mean physical or sexual closeness between partners in a relationship. Psychologists say that intimacy can be different, and it is one of the musts for a happy connection.
Is intimacy important in a relationship? Sure! This is when, against the background of mutual sympathy and a surge of hormones, people got a joint experience (business, worries, entertainment, and other actions performed together), as a result of which complete trust in each other is formed in a couple. That is, you still like the person, but there are no more fears and risks, you completely trust your partner, convinced of their adequacy and reliability. What intimacy means to a man? Often, for a man, this is, firstly: the desire to get close to a girl and get to know her better, and secondly, the ability to feel one’s boundaries, to distinguish and respect the boundaries of a partner
As for building intimacy in a relationship, here’s how it goes. Mutual sympathy (emotional comfort) is replaced by the stage of falling in love and over time, against the background of experience, respect, and total trust, it turns into love (intimacy). What are the 5 stages of intimacy? There are 5 types of intimacy between partners in a relationship: emotional, physical, intellectual, spiritual, and experiential intimacy. We will talk about each of them in more detail in our article.
Let’s look at 5 types of intimacy in a relationship. After reading, you will be able to determine what intimacy you are missing in your relationship. So, focus on these types of closeness to create a strong bond with your partner.
1. Emotional intimacy
This is the unity of the mind and feelings of two people. The point is to share your experiences and feelings. You also are expected to recognize your partner for who they are, to recognize the importance of any of their feelings and emotions, and put this above all else.
There are some of the most obvious signs of no intimacy in a relationship:
- Unwillingness to discuss any important issues with the spouse.
- Lack of desire to spend time together.
- Unwillingness to help and support.
Why is emotional intimacy so important for the couple?
At first glance, there are a huge number of couples who have never had an emotional intimacy, and at first glance, this does not prevent them from looking quite happy. However, if you look deeper, it almost always becomes noticeable that the husband and wife in such couples live, as it were, in parallel, each with their own life.
Why is intimacy important in a relationship? The lack of emotional closeness in the family leads to the fact that the spouses eventually move away from each other more and more – they devote time to different interests and hobbies, spend evenings in different companies, and meet at home only to have dinner and spend the night together. The inability to discuss emerging problems and omissions in relationships leads to the fact that the wife begins to share problems with her friends, and the husband is either just as frank with friends, beat and keeps everything to himself, which can threaten an inevitable breakdown.
Intimacy problems in a relationship: the lack of emotional intimacy is fraught with the fact that, without feeling the warmth and response from the second half, each of the spouses will subconsciously begin to look for another loved one on the side. Often this factor is decisive for adultery. By the way, do you know who cheats more? Read here now. To avoid this, it is necessary to do everything possible to maintain or create emotional closeness in a couple.
2. Physical intimacy
Signs of intimacy in a relationship: one of the signs is when the partners begin to understand each other’s feelings. This level of intimacy may include sex, but also hugs and touches. Physical intimacy between a man and a woman is a positive reaction to a partner that results from the trust, calmness, security, and a sense of relaxation. It is expressed in the form of sexual desire, the absence of anxiety and fears, and the belief in the good intentions of a person who is moving towards rapprochement.
How to increase physical intimacy in a relationship? Hug more often, kiss, and bring pleasure to each other. Add variety to your sex life, and let each of the partners feel welcome.
3. Intelligent proximity
This is an important form of intimacy for many couples and just friends. What does intimacy mean in a relationship? When you share with your partner your thoughts, and opinions on those issues that are most important to you. You talk about your beliefs, principles, and worldview. In addition, you can simply discuss interesting philosophical and life issues together, and even just movies and music. This is an intellectual connection.
What are the signs of intimacy in a relationship? Intellectual intimacy is that type of intimacy in which you feel that your every point of view and every belief you have is accepted. Each person in a relationship has the freedom to think for themselves and feel their opinion is valued, rather than feeling pressured to agree. You feel closer to someone who cares about you regardless of your differences in beliefs and respects your voice.
When the intimacy stops in a relationship? You can understand if you still have an intellectual connection with a partner by answering the questions below. So, a little quiz:
- Would you like to ask your partner for advice on which movie (book) to watch (read)?
- Would you like to watch your favorite movie with a partner, or would you rather be alone or with a friend?
- You have a choice: to go on a yacht for a long trip only with a partner, or on a large cruise ship with a lot of people. Would you prefer a yacht?
- You’re coming back from an amazing training session. You would like to share your information. Would you run to tell your partner about it first?
4. Spiritual intimacy
Many believe that it is from this type of intimacy that all others develop. It means being together, and feeling each other on a certain level. If you are religious – pray together, if not – meditate, thank life that you are together, and promise to try for the sake of your relationship. In other words, spiritual closeness is the closeness of the soul, something that connects partners on a subconscious level.
Spiritual intimacy is the highest and most difficult to explain the level of intimacy. Intimacy in spirit is, firstly, accepting your partner as they are, and their character traits as part of a single whole, and not trying to change them. What are the effects of lack of intimacy in a relationship? Partners move away from each other and become strangers, as a result of which quarrels and misunderstandings appear in a couple.
5. Experiential intimacy
The level of intimacy at which you feel absolute comfort and joy in joint activities. When you feel good together, no matter what you do, basically it means active entertainment, new impressions, and experience.
Shared life experiences lead you to fond memories, and funny jokes just for two that can strengthen your bond. When you do something together or start striving for a common goal, this gives you a sense of empirical closeness.
What are some examples of intimacy in a relationship?
- The couple trains and runs a marathon together. This allows them to support and push each other toward a common goal.
- Partners prepare dinner together. One prepares the main course and the other prepares the dessert, thus they perform teamwork.
How to Maintain Intimacy in a Relationship?
As you understand, the closeness between partners is important, so you should learn how to create and keep it alive. Let it not be all kinds of it at once, but at least some of them. How to improve intimacy in a relationship?
- Listen to each other. Everyone can speak, but a few can listen. Try talking in a new way: one is talking, and the other is listening. Stop yourself when you want to interrupt a partner with a remark or addition. Ask your beloved to act the same. At first, it looks strange, but it heals the relationship very well.
- Spend more time with your partner. Do you spend every evening together, but are so busy with small things that you hardly talk? It is not correct. Tell them something nice, hug once again – all this will help your beloved feel like a welcome person for you, and not just a roommate.
- Doing favorite activities together. It is another option on how to fix intimacy issues in a relationship. Find something you both like and do it together. Sports, cooking, travel, creativity – it can be any activity, the main thing is to spend quality time together. The first rule is to pay attention to your significant other and have fun together. All this will help you get closer to each other.
- Learn to express your wants and needs. It’s important to know how to do it right. You must hear and understand your partner, and they must hear you in return. Then you will find harmony and a common language. This should be done without pretensions, but tactfully and gently. Intimacy in a relationship is formed on the skill to listen to each other and understand a partner without words.
In addition to all above-mentioned tips, please remember to share important things. Talk to your partner about topics that interest you, these are not only everyday routine but also your fantasies, dreams, plans for the future, and experiences. You should be able to share everything that worries or interests you, in which case you will be close to each other.
We hope that after reading this article, your perception of intimacy in a relationship would change. Eventually, it has an important role in all its meanings. Do not worry if so far not all types of intimacy are present in your relationship, you must realize that closeness with a partner is what a healthy relationship is built on. Moreover, this intimacy between partners can be strengthened over time. Use all the recommendations from our article to do it successfully.