Intimacy is the bonding and closeness between two persons be it in an existing or a new relationship. It denotes mutual openness, sharing, and vulnerability. Intimacy is important for a stronger personal life and which in turn affects our social life. Intimacy takes time to build and grow. It includes emotional and physical closeness. Usually, intimacy is used in the context of romance and sex. However, it is much more than sex. Intimacy without sex and sex without intimacy, both are possible. At the same time many feel sex is the only way to build intimacy, which is wrong.
Also, intimacy isn’t just for couples. An ‘intimate gathering’ of friends would mean a small group of close friends. An intimate time might also refer to the quality of the time spent together where you bonded over something common or opened about personal details.
You can be intimate with friends, family, and other individuals you trust. Intimacy is treated differently by different people. Your definition of intimacy might be influenced by the way you prefer to get to know someone, your communication style, and interests.
Types of Intimacy
Intimacy is of several types. Emotional intimacy is when you share personal things with someone, something you don’t do with strangers. When you trust someone, you let your guards down around that person. You want to spend time with someone and share things without being judged.
Intellectual intimacy connects the minds of two people. It is created when you have a meaningful exchange of ideas and conversations. Sometimes, a deep philosophical conversation with your friend helps you or you just stay up and talk all night to a friend because you feel a spark of connection. These moments are special because of intellectual intimacy.
Then there is the most common of all, physical intimacy, the touch and closeness of bodies. It includes cuddling, holding hands, kissing, and even sex. Even a sweet warm hug is a part of intimacy.
Experiential intimacy grows when you spend quality time with a person and grow closer together over the activities and common interest. There is no experience like bonding over the love of a game, a movie or a series.
Different people take spiritual intimacy in different ways. Spirituality, in general, is about believing in something that is beyond the understanding of physical existence. Spirituality can be a belief in the greater purpose, human souls, or higher powers. Spiritual intimacy is a broad term where two people can share common thoughts, values or even generousness towards others.
Intimacy can make you feel loved, but some people fear intimacy due to many reasons. Some people feel intimacy might create distance with their partner. Some fear rejection due to their imperfections and flaws. Some fear to lose their control and independence if they become intimate with someone. And some are scared of intimacy because of past abuse.
Getting to know someone takes time. Building trust takes its own sweet time. Hence, you need to have patience. Begin with what you find easy. If you find it easier to talk about the future instead of the past, then do just that. If your past might create issues, confess it in front of your partner or else write it down somewhere as an adult confession and share with them. Once the trust builds, it will get easier for you to talk about other things as well.
For building intimacy, it is vital that you be open about what you need. If you don’t like partying much or mingling too much with the crowd, say so. Be frank about your preferences and needs. It will prevent misunderstandings between you and your partner. Always remember, both of you don’t need to always agree with each other. Even the most intimate couples have their differences and individuality.
Intimacy might sound complicated, but it is a simple thing really. It takes its own time to establish and grow into something stronger. Make your own ways now to build intimacy with your partner and let them feel your affection towards them.