Intimacy is one of the best things in a relationship. It is the closeness between people in a personal relationship. Usually, intimacy is built over time. As you connect with someone, you may grow to care about each other and may start to feel more, and more comfortable, during your time with such person. Your closeness with them can be either physical or emotional. In most cases, it may include both. Here is everything you should know about intimacy in every relationship.
Is Intimacy Synonymous with Sex?
Most people link intimacy to sex and romance, but this is really not the case. You need to understand that intimacy is not synonymous with sex. For instance, people often use the term “being intimate” to mean sexual activity. However, intimacy isn’t another word for sex. Although sex with a partner can build intimacy, it is far from being an indicator. This is because it is very possible to have sex, without intimacy, as well as be intimate without sex.
Should Intimacy Be Reserved Only for Sexual or Romantic Partners?
Although sex and romance may come to mind first, intimacy plays a role in other kinds of relationships too. Actually, intimacy ultimately means different things to different people. For instance, a friend might decide to organize a mini party, and call it an “intimate gathering.” What then do you say about this? This could be the person’s way of saying that the party was a small group of close buddies, as opposed to a huge crowd, with unknown people. Talking about intimacy, you might also refer to the quality of time spent together with close friends. In fact, your relationships with family, friends, and other trusted persons, are all regarded as forms of intimacy.
What Are the Different Types of Intimacy?
Your idea of intimacy may be influenced by your interests and communication style. You just have to understand that intimacy means different things to different people. If you really want to figure out what intimacy means to you, you should consider the following types of intimacy. There are different categories intimacy falls into, and they include:
Emotional intimacy is the commonest type of intimacy, that allows you to communicate to your loved ones, personal things that you might not necessarily share with strangers. Although people find it hard to trust other people, there are people we can trust. You can think of it as letting your guard down. But as you gradually learn to trust someone, you feel safe enough to let your walls down.
Do you always look forward to relaxing and chilling with your partner, when you get back from work? Or how you can tell a close friend anything, without being judged? This is what it means to have emotional intimacy.
As the name rightly suggests, physical intimacy is all about touch, and closeness between bodies. In romantic relationships, physical intimacy includes cuddling, holding hands, kissing, and sex. It is important to note that your relationship doesn’t have to be sexual or romantic, to have a physical relationship. For instance, a warm, tight hug is an example of physical intimacy with friends.
This type of intimacy involves getting to know how a person’s mind works, as well as sharing the map to your mind. Intellectual intimacy builds or grows as you exchange ideas and engage in meaningful conversations, with people. Do you remember those moments when you had deep philosophical discussions, that made you realized your classmate wasn’t just a classmate, but a friend? How about those random late-night conversations with your partner, that made you fall in love all over again, with them? These were the moments that brought you closer because you shared a bond, known as intellectual intimacy.
Just as spirituality means different things to different people, spiritual intimacy varies as well. Spirituality is a belief in something beyond the physical realm of existence, a belief that can be in a higher power, in human souls. Spiritual intimacy involves sharing a common value like kindness. It means being on the same wavelength, about organized religion. In most cases, spiritual intimacy makes you feel like, you are meant to be in a person’s life.