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Intimacy In Relationships: 5 Types And How To Make It Better

The word ‘intimacy’ is derived from the Latin word ‘intimus’, which means ‘inner’ or ‘innermost’. In most romance languages, the word intimate refers to a person’s innermost qualities. Therefore, intimacy is a feeling of closeness and connection when it comes to interpersonal relationships.

Intimacy in relationships allows people to bond with each other on many levels. Therefore, it is a necessary component of healthy relationships. It is an essential element that plays an important role in relationships with friends, family members, and acquaintances.

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Types of Intimacy in Relationships

Most people, upon hearing the word, usually immediately assume it is all about physical intimacy. However, other forms of intimacy are just as important, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. Let’s take a look at some different forms of intimacy.

1. Physical Intimacy

physical intimacy

While a hug or holding a hand are both examples of physical intimacy, this type is most commonly used in reference to s3x. And yes, s3x is important in a relationship, but you can also demonstrate physical intimacy through kissing, holding hands, cuddling, and skin-to-skin touching.

Because while these small physical shows of affection may seem mundane, they can help you and your partner cultivate a feeling of closeness.

2. Intellectual Intimacy

intellectual intimacy

Intellectual intimacy is all about sharing ideas, opinions, questions, and other thoughts with another person. And even though you might not agree on everything, you still enjoy challenging each other and are able and willing to consider the other person’s perspective.

Examples of this type of intimacy in relationships include talking about a book you have read or a movie you have seen and comparing your reactions.

3. Emotional Intimacy

emotional intimacy

Emotional intimacy can be one of the most critical factors in a relationship. It is characterized by the ability to share your deepest, most personal feelings with another person. When people experience this type of intimacy, they feel safe and secure enough to share and know that they will be understood, affirmed, and cared for.

Examples of emotional intimacy in relationships include having conversations about what you both want in the future or talking about things that you are worried about. It could also be a discussion about a stressful event at work and receiving comfort.

SEE: 25+ Signs He Wants You Badly s3xually 

4. Spiritual Intimacy

spiritual intimacy

While this can refer to religious ideas and beliefs, it can also mean something more profound, like sharing actual beliefs and values. Your values and beliefs can align with religion or even health and wellness. Regardless, it is important to share these critical aspects of your life with your partner.

Examples of spiritual intimacy include participating in religious practices or discussing spiritual topics.

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5. Experiential Intimacy

experiential intimacy

Couples don’t have to be joined at the hip. However, sharing experiences is important in healthy relationships. This further adds elements of nostalgia for long-term partners, since this is not how relationships often begin.

Spending time together, pursuing activities together, and participating in hobbies together are just a few ways that people can deepen this type of intimacy in relationships.

6. Intimacy and s3x

intimacy and s3x

It is important to share a whole range of emotions with a partner, otherwise, some people begin to feel lonely and isolated, regardless of how good their s3xual experiences may be.

For many couples, ‘making love’ involves a sense of intimacy and emotional closeness. An intimate s3xual relationship involves trust and being vulnerable to each other. Closeness during s3x is also linked to other forms of intimacy, including emotional and spiritual intimacy. Intercourse is only part of s3xual intimacy, which involves foreplay and other forms of physical intimacy.

Explore ways to share love and affection without s3x, and remember that s3x includes many forms of physical contact. Often, the more a couple is intimate with each other in ways other than s3x, the more fulfilling their s3x life becomes.

ALSO READ: 21 Questions For A New Relationship

Impacts of Intimacy On Relationships

Intimacy is essential in a relationship because it forms the basis for connection and communication. It ensures that both parties are understood and allows them to be themselves. This ensures that each person gets the care and comfort that they need.

Other significant effects include:

1. Greater relationship satisfaction

Couples with greater intimacy in their relationships tend to be more satisfied with each other.

2. Improve mental health

Having close, intimate relationships is also pivotal for mental health. These connections provide social support that is imperative for well-being. It can also ward off feelings of loneliness and help people better manage the stress they experience.

3. Better physical health

People in intimate relationships tend to have better physical well-being. One study found that being in a happy relationship influenced health to the same extent as diet and exercise and lowered the risk of chronic illness and death.

4. Increased s3xual desire

Research has found that in long-term romantic relationships, couples that experience more emotional intimacy also experience higher levels of s3xual desire and s3xual activity.

SEE: 10+ Things To Do If Your Girlfriend Wets The Bed

Obstacles to Intimacy in Relationships

Some problems that can impair intimacy in relationships include:

1. Fear of intimacy

Sometimes, people experience a fear of intimacy, often caused by past experiences or traumas. These make it difficult to form meaningful connections with other people.

2. Communication problems

It can be challenging to feel close when you struggle to articulate your feelings and needs. Talking to your partner and listening to what they say is essential for building and maintaining intimacy.

3. Stress

Life stress caused by work, illness, finances, children, and other issues can also chip away at a couple’s intimacy.

4. Conflict

It is difficult to feel intimacy when you are always arguing with the other person. Feelings of resentment, anger, and lack of trust can make it more challenging to feel connected and close to that person.

Every relationship has its ups and downs, but sometimes these obstacles can make intimacy difficult. Also, a previously strong sense of intimacy might gradually fade without proper nourishment.

READ: Dating In Lagos On a Sapa Budget: 10 Cheap Ways To Make It Work

How to Build Intimacy in Relationships

No matter how long a couple has been together, it’s always important to build intimacy levels. Here are some easy, practical ways to strengthen your levels of intimacy in your relationship:

1. Improve Physical Intimacy

When it comes to s3x, a part of intimacy is feeling safe enough with your partner to share your likes and dislikes. Make sure that you are asking for the same information from your partner. This way, you can facilitate a safe environment where you both feel comfortable sharing your deepest thoughts and desires.

Remember that increasing your physical intimacy isn’t always about having more s3x. If you’re too tired for s3x or talking, just try cuddling on the couch.

2. Increase Intellectual Intimacy

To improve intellectual intimacy in relationships, you can send each other articles so that you have something fun and new to talk about. This can also give you a much-needed mental break if you have kids or are a caregiver to another loved one.

3. Boost Emotional Intimacy

Studies have shown that self-disclosure can build feelings of intimacy in marriages, which will make your bond stronger. A big part of intimacy is sharing your thoughts and feelings honestly and listening to your partner when they do the same.

So, to cultivate emotional intimacy, take the time to listen to your partner and share with them each day. Also, make notes of special moments or things that remind you of your partner so that you can let them know you’re thinking about them.

Put down the electronics, even if it’s just during a meal or while you and your spouse watch a show together. Indeed, make sure to do this if your partner is talking to you about their day or an experience.

4. Deep Spiritual Intimacy

Improving spiritual intimacy in relationships can also be a chance for you and your partner to talk about what role you want spirituality to play in your lives if you have a family. Discuss your values and beliefs and the role that you think these will play in your life, relationship, and family.

Remember, though, that spiritual intimacy doesn’t necessarily involve religion. It often comes down to your shared values and ability to bond over experiences you find awe-inspiring, whether that involves a religious practice, meditation, or love of nature.

5. Strengthen Experiential Intimacy

If you’re looking to deepen your experiential intimacy, this is an excellent time to book a trip or try out a fun new date spot or activity in your city. Attempt to learn something new about your partner.

Plan a trip to a place neither of you has been. It’s fun to experience new things for the first time. It will also give you a sense of shared history and experience. Even something as simple as a weekly date night can be a great way to foster increased experiential intimacy in your relationship.

SEE: 10+ Habits Of Toxic Friends

Wrapping Up Intimacy In Relationships

Intimacy in relationships is achieved when we become close to someone else and are reassured that we are loved and accepted for who we are. Children usually develop intimacy with their parents and peers. As adults, we seek intimacy in close relationships with other adults, friends, family, and with a partner.

Intimacy is built up over time, and it requires patience and effort from both partners to create and maintain. Discovering intimacy with someone you love can be one of the most rewarding aspects of a relationship.

Apart from emotional and s3xual intimacy, you can also be intimate intellectually, recreationally, financially, spiritually, or even creatively, for example, when renovating your home. It could also be by working as a team during times of crisis.

Jimmy Anisulowo
Jimmy Anisulowo
A couple of unexpected turns in life found Jimmy with a metaphorical pen in hand, churning out content and living in his head so much that he knighted himself the Pen Dragon. He is also an avid reader, gamer, drummer, full-blown metalhead, and all-round fun gi