Importance of Intimacy in Relationships & How to Build It

ByAgkidzone Staff
Updated: May 11, 2024


Researchers say, “Have you ever developed a feeling of closeness towards that special person? Well, congrats!! It’s called intimacy”. Intimacy is important in an alliance. It helps one’s physical and psychological health to grow. Now, intimacy in a relationship is not always about sex.

Researchers also say, “Intimacy comes with multiple amazing facts. They are of many types”. Well, intimacy is also essential in relationships like family, friends, and other allies. “Intimus” is a Latin word. This is the sole source of the word intimacy. It means ‘innermost’ or ‘inner’. Patricia Thomas, the French Writer says, “This word refers to one’s innermost calibers in romance languages”. People bond with each other with intimacy. So, it’s necessary for a healthy relationship.

Types Of Intimacy

Many a well-known psychologists say, “Manily, intimacy can be classified into four types. They are-

  • Emotional Intimacy
  • Physical Intimacy
  • Experiential Intimacy
  • Intellectual or Cognitive Intimacy

However, there are no hard and fast rules. These four types of intimacy can be changed from one stage to another. Piers further says, “These changes can have both positive and negative impacts”. Our society is subjected to changes. So, people’s expectations are changing, and so do intimacy.


Emotional Intimacy

Emotional intimacy requires trust. You have developed trust in your partner. You develop emotional intimacy then. Emotional intimacy allows two individuals to share their personal and intimate details. Your partner and you then mingle without fear. Many psychologists say, “Women, more than men terminate a relationship due to the lack of intimacy”.

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Physical Intimacy

Physical Intimacy comes after one develops emotional intimacy gradually. Physical intimacy includes touching, being inside one’s personal space, and sensual proximity. However, it is not always about being romantic or sexual. Touching is required in a sexual alliance. But, Patricia says, “Non-sexual touch is also beneficial. It helps reduce stress. It relaxes the body and mind”. Besides, research has shown that it is beneficial for both those who provide it and those who receive it.

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Experiential Intimacy

Sydney Piers elaborates, “Experiential intimacy is developed through shared activities”. When two or more people do the same thing together, they establish experiential intimacy. For example, you and your friends travel together. You all have the same interest. Congrats! It’s called experiential intimacy. You all have built relationships depending on a common activity. However, you do not share your feelings and thoughts.

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Intellectual Or Cognitive Intimacy

Do you and your friends often exchange thoughts and ideas? If yes, you develop intellectual or cognitive intimacy. You guys have similar thoughts and opinions. You share respectful debates. It is all about cognitive or intellectual intimacy. Cognitive intimacy allows people to share intellectual concepts and observations. It’s mutually beneficial for both. There should be no fear of condemnation or ridicule.

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Healthy Intimacy

We are humans. We always feel the strong urge to connect with others. However, developing a healthy intimacy takes effort and time. We have to learn to communicate effectively. It's the first step. “In a relationship, you need the acceptance of your partner. You both should feel safe”. You both have to show honesty, compassion, understanding, and trust. Moreover, affection is the sole foundation of healthy intimacy.

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Intimacy And Sexual Inclination

A study was published in 2018. It said, “Both men and women who developed a long-term romantic relationship, have higher sexual desire and sexual intimacy”. It also shows that intimacy is prevalent in sexual desire. Couples long for increased physical intimacy in the early morning, evening, and late afternoon. Quite amazing, isn’t it?

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Spiritual Intimacy

Some people believe in spiritual intimacy. Piers says, “Spiritual intimacy is quite powerful. It can allow intimate attachments with others”. Some studies also show that spiritual intimacy has higher powers. They help the well-being of the couples. However, researchers also say, “Spiritual is not about imposing one’s beliefs upon others. It can damage a relationship”.

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Technology And Intimacy

Technology has changed our lives nowadays. Now, if an online relationship is intimate, it can be stable. It can be conventional and meaningful as well. A study on dating apps in 2020 was published. It showed a new and unexpected type of intimacy. The study shows a group of women. They used the app. They develop a meaningful intimacy with each other. This was built depending on the thoughts and conversations they shared on the app.

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Fear Of Intimacy
Some people have a fear of intimacy. They fear to form a close relationship with others. Even, they do not attach to someone physically or emotionally. Actually, these people fear rejection. Researchers say, “These people may have a tough childhood. Therefore, the memory prevents them from bonding with someone in adulthood”. Fear of intimacy is solely connected to depression. It can be seen mostly in women.
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Intimacy Is A Pain Relief

Intimacy has magical healing powers. When two people are intimate with each other, oxytocin hormone is released. This hormone is an excellent pain relief for humans. It can ease chronic pain. After intimacy, you feel more energetic and stronger.

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Challenges For Intimacy

Certain obstacles can make intimacy difficult. Such as-

  • Stress due to finances, depression, illness, and workload can be some dominant issues and challenges for intimacy.
  • Conflict produced by anger and trust issues can make two people’s intimacy quite difficult.
  • If you two have communication issues, you can’t feel close to your partner.
  • Childhood traumas, bad experiences, etc, can be quite challenging for getting intimate with someone.
How To Improve Intimacy
  • One strong way to improve your intimacy is to strengthen spiritual intimacy. Share your thoughts, beliefs, and values with your partner to bond spiritually.
  • Share intellectual thoughts to boost the cognitive intimacy. Talk about new things. Go on dates. Travel together.
  • To strengthen emotional intimacy, listen to your partner carefully.
  • Before getting physical, ask your partner. Listen to his or her likes and dislikes. Make the person comfortable before physical intimacy.
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