When the word intimacy comes up, most people automatically think of a physical or sexual relationship.
However, when we look at what the word intimacy means, we can see that multiple types of relationships fall into that category. The most overlooked type is the emotional connection.
At the core, the word simple means being close, personal association, or belonging to.
With that being said, here are 6 areas of intimacy that can help improve your relationships:
First, we all know about the physical intimacy. This type of intimacy includes, but not limited to, sex, kissing, handholding, cuddling, massages. This type of intimacy is common in a relationship. Often thought of as the most valuable. However, once people share this type of intimacy, the other areas that need to be nurtured can get thrown to the side and forgotten about.
I am not claiming that we don’t need to nurture this area of a relationship, but we also need to be sure that we stay connected in other ways.
To bluntly put it, just because you “score” in the bed, doesn’t mean there isn’t still work that needs to be done in other areas of your relationship to ensure you stay connected in all areas.
The second type of intimacy is emotional intimacy. This type of intimacy can make or break a relationship. This intimacy is where you can be vulnerable, let your guard down, and still feel safe. Share all your fears, wounds and failures without judgement.
One way to nurture this type of intimacy is to be aware and pay attention when someone is talking to you. Be present in the moment. Lay your phone down and listen. Listen to hear what they are saying, don’t just listen to respond. Learn more about why they react to certain triggers. Ask questions about how their childhood. Last, appreciate them often. Know what light them up and do more of those things.
Spend quality time together and have deep and engaging conversations. Don’t talk about the weather or the kids. Discover the conversations that sets souls on fire. That is the connection point you are searching for.
Third type of intimacy is experiential intimacy. Say what?? This type of intimacy is experiences you do together. Whether that is a new adventure or shared hobbies, the goal is to do them together.
You can nurture this type if intimacy by planning exciting dates for each other. Play a sport together. Create a bucket list of things you both want to do and do them together. Having group date nights is fun. Just make sure those aren’t the only type of dates you have. You need time with just the two of you in order to stay connected. And to keep growing closer.
Allowing your partner to watch you grow and expand outside of your comfort zone is sexy!
Intellectual Intimacy is another type of intimacy that can deepen your relationship. Intellectual intimacy is simply sharing and respecting each other’s beliefs and worldviews. You can have different opinions and still be respectfully to each other. Remember, everyone is unique. That is one of the quality that makes us special.
Ways you can nurture this area of intimacy is watch some documentaries together and then discuss what you watch. Get past the surface level chit chat and get to the deep heartfelt conversations about things going on in each other’s life or in the world. Accept that you do not have to agree on everything to continue loving each other.
I recognize this can be a hard area to nurture. Especially if you grew up in a house where you were shamed for sharing an opinion, or never encouraged to think for yourself. Or worse, punished for your thoughts.
The easiest way to navigate this area is by setting boundaries. Agree that you may not see eye to eye on everything, but you value their opinion and choose to talk it over calmly. However, if things escalate, note that you will remove yourself from the conversation.
Here is one you haven’t thought of Spiritual Intimacy. OK, I know you are thinking.. girl; you are going crazy now. Spiritual intimacy is holding space for their beliefs on Faith and encouraging them to explore and expand their knowledge, including but not limited to God, Universe, or the Source.
Not always easy, but definitely worth the effort. Asking questions and learning more about what they believe and think can change your entire relationship. It takes the guesswork out of it. Sometimes you are saying the same thing, just speaking a language neither one of you understands.
Last but definitely not least, it self intimacy. Self intimacy is becoming aware of your own feelings, learning how to care for yourself, establishing boundaries, loving and valuing yourself. Breaking free from all past conditions put on you and discovering who you are. I believe this is the foundation upon which all other layers of intimacy are built upon.
A few ways you can begin to nurture your own self intimacy is through daily self-care, Observe and name your emotions. Express your emotions and quit stuffing them down. You are allowed to feel all the feelings. Journal out all of your thoughts, not just the good ones. Writing down the negative thoughts not only gets them out of your head, but allows room for good thoughts to brew. Learn how to do breathing exercises to help calm your nervous system. And don’t forget to eat nourishing foods and get up and move.
Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. That is why it is important to learn how to slow down and listen to your body. Then adjust as needed.
When you do not have a solid foundation, everything else that is built upon that crumbles, and that is the same with intimacy at any level.
If you do not have strong values or a strong self worth, you will search for your worth in other areas of intimacy.
Sadly, that usually becomes the physical intimacy. I believe that if we want women to step into their power; we have to give them the skills to learn how to have an intimate relationship beyond physical intimacy.
Showing women that as private as physical intimacy can be, there are other areas that are just as important, if not more.
We cannot build a strong and sturdy relationship with just physical intimacy.
If we want people to quit having sex at a young age, teach them about the other areas of intimacy. Encourage people to have a deep intimate relationship with themself first.
When you know what you need, you can then ask for it, instead of jumping from one poor relationship to another.