For many people, when they think of intimacy between a romantically involved couple, the first thing that comes to mind is sex. Sexual intimacy is certainly an important aspect of any successful romantic relationship, but it’s only one of several types of intimacy that contribute to your feelings of satisfaction from your relationship. For the purposes of this post, I’m using the word intimacy to describe the feeling of closeness or connectedness between two people and the sources of those feelings.
To achieve a healthy and successful long-term relationship it is important to have an understanding of the different types of intimacy as well as an idea of how important each may be to you and your partner as individuals. Click To Tweet
Most of us have struggled with love, often allowing ourselves to get emotionally involved in a connection that over time is found to have no promise for a future. Your time and energy is important and should be noteworthy to the one you are making that lasting union with. Recognizing your own definition of what being intimate means and while also understanding which types of intimacy you need from your relationship is the first step to unlocking the door to finding a life mate.
6 Types of Intimacy
Factoring into realizing a winning relationship bond are six types of intimacy that go beyond mere sex: experiential intimacy, intellectual intimacy, spiritual intimacy, physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, and sexual intimacy.
Experiential intimacy is the intimacy of melding life events and activities. This is put into action when you share involvement in moments. These instances can be sensual, as in dancing with another, or just a simple action such as sitting side-by-side reading a book or creating art.
The art of achieving experiential intimacy does not suggest that you must enjoy all the activities that your partner likes to do. It means making time to share your partner’s experiences to learn what brings enjoyment to your loved one. With given and take, you share each other’s favorite activities allowing for a special intimacy to enrich the relationship.
Intellectual intimacy is all about communication. You should feel at ease enough with your partner to be able to talk about life. It is important to find time to interact on an intellectual level to discover thoughts, desires, and goals.
This does not mean that you must both agree on what you are discussing. Having intellectual intimacy means that you feel comfortable enough to open up with each other to express yourself in a manner that will be respected. Once you attain this type of closeness you will see the growth of a more intimate relationship.
Being spiritually close with a partner means achieving a bond in worship that is mutual. This can mean different things to different couples – from praying and attending religious services together, to simply appreciating the spirituality of nature. It is about taking the time to practice being spiritual with each other.
Where one couple might find their spiritual intimacy in church or temple, another may experience this closeness camping under the stars and heavens. The spiritual bond is what will give the partnership strength to grow a relationship even through tough times.
Physical intimacy means much more than simply lovemaking. Enjoying physical behaviors as a couple goes beyond just sexual activity. The simple gestures of hand-holding or being playful in the pool provide much-needed intimacy for a relationship to be healthy.
The art of achieving physical intimacy includes sharing and accepting shared thoughts and emotions that come with carnal activity. This intimacy is strongly linked to bonding emotionally as a couple.
Emotional intimacy is about creating a connection that allows for you to open-up vulnerabilities in which you can communicate freely with your partner. This takes work and trust as you and your partner grow and build a relationship. It is all about getting into a comfort zone where you feel total confidence and respect with a partner to share feelings with each other.
This may be the most difficult of intimacies as it requires each to love unconditionally in acting and reacting from the heart. Many are afraid of emotional intimacy for fear of being rejected, as well as fear of being dominated.
Without a strong emotional connection, a true physical intimacy may be more difficult to achieve. To attain emotional intimacy, it is important to have empathy for your partner and to understand and respect the other’s expressions.
Sexual intimacy is not purely the act of getting intimate through sex. Just sex is merely a want and desire for two to get physical. This can happen when consenting adults agree to have a bit of fun but with no romantic relationship attachments – as with a friends with benefits situation.
Sexual intimacy involves having trust for your partner, as sex opens you up to present vulnerabilities with bodies becoming intertwined into each other’s personal spaces. The art of this intimacy is not so much the sexual aspect but more of the physical union involving the deepest of connections that two beings can have together.
Recipe for a Successful Relationship
These are just some main types of intimacy to consider as intimacy can be attained in many ways. Not every couple will see a need to use all the different ways to get intimate, as everyone has their own unique desires that will make up the recipe for a successful duo. Some may find enough gratification from including sexual intimacy with emotional and intellectual, with just a touch of physical. Other couples may see success mixing physical and emotional intimacy with spiritual more important than the sexual intimacy.
The types of intimacies that will work the best, and the degree of how to use each one, to encourage your own successful relationship will be those for you to determine. It is vital to identify your own behavioral patterns to make an informed decision when striving to accomplish a satisfying long-term romantic connection with another.
A love life assessment will assist in helping you to realize a lasting union. RelationshipDNA strives to help individuals realize relationship satisfaction by measuring the psychological drivers behind how a person behaves, interacts and makes decisions when involved romantically.
Everyone has their own individual definitions of needs and wants to attain a successful relationship. As much as these factors may seem unique, they strive for the same result in the quest of finding lasting love. Even if you have already loved and lost, or have lost a bit of confidence with age, you are not alone in this journey.