What is intimacy?
Intimacy is closeness between people in personal relationships.
It’s what builds over time as you connect with someone, grow to care about each other, and feel more and more comfortable during your time together.
It can include physical or emotional closeness, or even a mix of the two.
You’ve probably heard of intimacy in the context of sex and romance.For example, people sometimes use the term “being intimate” to mean sexual activity.But intimacy isn’t another word for sex.
Sex with a partner can build intimacy, but it’s far from the only indicator of intimacy.It’s possible to have sex without intimacy as well as intimacy without sex.
Different types of intimacy
Intimacy falls into several different categories, including:
Emotional intimacy is what allows you to tell your loved ones personal things that you might not necessarily share with strangers. This is what it means to have emotional intimacy.
Intellectual intimacy involves getting to know how another person’s mind works and sharing the map to your mind too.
It builds as you exchange ideas and have meaningful conversations.
Physical intimacy is about touch and closeness between bodies. In a romantic relationship, it might include holding hands, cuddling, kissing, and sex.Your relationship doesn’t have to be sexual or romantic to have physical intimacy.
A warm, tight hug is an example of physical intimacy with a friend.
You build experiential intimacy by spending quality time with someone and growing closer over common interests and activities.
Spirituality means different things to different people, so spiritual intimacy can vary too.Generally speaking, spirituality is about belief in something beyond the physical realm of existence.
Factors within any intimate relationship
All intimacy comes down to a few key factors, including:
In order to share personal parts of yourself — like your most embarrassing secrets or your deepest fears — you have to be able to trust them.
Showing another person that you’re 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 truly are.
When you first meet someone, you might worry that they’ll hear your “guilty pleasure” music playlist and think you’re weird.
But as intimacy grows, you can rock out to your favorite boy bands and trust that no matter how weird you get, you’ll still be accepted and cared for.
Honesty and intimacy feed one other. You often can’t have one without the other.
You feel comfortable telling your partner exactly how you feel in part because you’ve become so close to each other.
And in the same vein, every time you open up, you can grow a little bit closer. You’ll know your partner is willing to listen the next time you want to share something personal.
Sharing your deepest, truest self with another person can put you in a pretty vulnerable position.
That’s why you tend to have your guard up when you meet someone new. You don’t yet know if they’ll support you as you are.
So, intimacy means feeling safe enough to take the risk of putting yourself out there, knowing the other person cares enough not to let you down.
Feeling cared about is a lovely feeling, isn’t it?
Forgiveness and understanding can only exist with compassion between people. Compassion is a natural component of caring about one another’s well-being.
Caring about each other is one thing, but you also build intimacy by showing that you care.
Affection can be physical, like a kiss between lovers or a hug between a parent and child, but it doesn’t have to be.
Sometimes affection is in the unspoken ways you show up for each other, like when your friend spends their day off helping you move simply because they care.
There’s a reason why good communication is so often named as 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 for each other.
And the more you understand each other, the closer you become.
How to nurture intimacy in any relationship
It’s normal for relationships to feel stagnant over time as life gets in the way and you settle into a routine that’s not as adventurous as when you first met.
Here are some ideas for sparking or reigniting intimacy in any relationship.
Make it a point to show your appreciation
Take time to tell the other person what you appreciate about them. Show your gratitude, which can take the form of gifts, favors, or a simple “thank you.”
Make an effort to learn about each other
Once you’ve known someone for a long time, it can feel like the “mystery” is gone.
But people and relationships grow and change over time. There’s always more to learn.
Swap stories, ask questions, and play games like “20 Questions” to keep gathering new information.
The key to this is listening so you can build a real understanding of what the other person cares about and why.
Set aside time for each other
If you’re not paying attention, it’s easy for time to fly by without sharing quality time.
So make it a priority!
Plan a weekly date night, a monthly board game night, or a nightly moment to check in one-on-one before bedtime, away from the kids or other responsibilities.
Unplug and focus on each other
Spending time together without electronics can give you a chance to give each other some undivided attention.
Show physical affection
If you have a sexual relationship, then mixing things up with new toys, outfits, and fantasies can keep things from getting dull.
But you can also build intimacy by making it a point to show physical affection without sex.
With warm gestures and cuddles, you can remember that joining your bodies together is about more than just “getting off.”
Do Something together
Restore a piece of furniture, learn a new skill like baking, or teach your old dog some new tricks.
Whatever the project, working toward a goal with a loved one can cultivate bonding time, make invaluable memories, and give you something new to look forward to together.
Talk about what intimacy means to you
Building intimacy doesn’t have to be a guessing game.
An easy way to figure out how to build intimacy is to just talk about it!
Tell your loved one how you’d like to spend time together and what activities help you feel closer. Listen when they tell you the same.
Watch this video to know more tips
About the Author
Ms Tahira Rubab is an internationally authorized and certified Clinical psychologist. she is known as Clinical psychologist, sex therapist, motivational speaker, capacity building Trainer, and tv analyst.Feel free to contact and book appointment 03114482787.