Intimacy in Relationships: Is This About Sex?
When we talk about Intimacy in Relationships in the public domain, people think we are going to talk about sex! Now, I have no trouble talking about sex. Do you? (I raised three sons I had to get over any issues I had long ago!)
Maybe it’s caused by a coy media, or perhaps the influence of ultra-conservative religious groups. But, it’s sad that such a precious element of relationships has lost some of its meaning.
(Just as an aside, I learned that in a christian marriage, our sexual relationship is a gift from God and thus, a blessing. So, let’s put aside those myths about a disapproving God! I am assuming the same applies with other religions as well.) But, let’s get back on topic!
When we’re talking about healthy relationships, and seeking more happiness in our couple life, intimacy in the relationship is an absolute MUST.
In my mind though, intimacy covers soooo much more than sex. While sexual intimacy has a very important part to play in our relationships, so too does emotional intimacy. Sadly though, it’s the emotional intimacy that doesn’t get talked about so much.
Of course, that’s why it gets addressed here at Relationship Mojo!
How Much Thought Do You Give to Intimacy?
- What does intimacy mean to you?
- How deep do your feelings on intimacy stretch?
- Is there something about that word that leaves you uncomfortable, dissatisfied, or even puzzled?
- How would you rate the level of intimacy in your relationship?
What’s the Difference between Sexual and Emotional Intimacy?
The differences are as varied as people are. But like our personality traits, our intimacy preferences are critical to meeting our needs and developing and maintaining a healthy relationship. Ignore those preferences at your peril! Or, resign yourself to a shallow and potentially hollow relationship.
For some people, it is sexual intimacy that is the key. It unlocks them, opens them up to tenderness, and allows them to feel connected enough to safely be emotionally vulnerable. From vulnerability comes the confidence to be excruciatingly honest with your partner, and thus deepen your connection.
It’s like these people need to make love to feel loved. They are not consciously reluctant to be open and real with their partner. But through sexual intimacy, they feel free to strip off their mask /protection mechanism and allow a loved partner to see the real “me”.
For others, it is emotional intimacy that is crucial. That comes from things like depth conversations or their lover’s focused attention, or even sharing the load of a task together. Those gifts from a lover will create an emotional connection that sets the scene for their particular version of sexual vulnerability. That mix creates a potent and deeper connection in the relationship.
For them, they need to feel loved and special, for lovemaking to be more than just a physical act. The preceding emotional connection is their pathway to a whole different level of couple connection.
Let’s get a little more definitive!
Some definitions from various online dictionary sources
- Feeling or atmosphere of closeness and openness towards someone else, not necessarily involving sexuality
- Close familiarity or friendship
- A cosy and private or relaxed atmosphere
- Sexual intercourse
- Closeness of observation or knowledge of a subject
As we explore Intimacy in Relationships on Relationship Mojo you will see another term appear. Into-Me-See. That’s a rare and precious jewel found only in the most nurtured and aware relationships. It is a prize for dedication, compassion and generous unconditional love.
Are you prepared to work to find that jewel?
Links to Popular Articles on Intimacy in Relationships can be found below.
Well there will be very soon…