Romance Awareness Month: The Importance of Intimacy
In order to be successful, both romance and intimacy must be a priority for both partners in a relationship, which takes work. Deep intimacy is the backbone for long lasting and healthy relationships. While we often immediately think of sex when intimacy is brought up, emotional intimacy is equally important to keeping a lasting relationship. Dr. Wyatt Fisher, a licensed psychologist in Colorado describes emotional intimacy as “A sense of closeness developed with another person over time, usually it involves a feeling of safety and having your inner thoughts and feelings known and accepted.” (citation). So what are some examples of both physical and emotional intimacy and how do they help build the foundation for lasting relationships?
Emotional Intimacy requires high levels of transparency & openness
This leaves each individual vulnerable and can feel uncomfortable to start. Couples that are able to leave everything on the table and fully open themselves with confidence in their partners feel a sense of connectivity and peace within themselves and with each other(citation). Emotional intimacy is best achieved when high levels of communication are present between the couples. While it can be difficult for some people to fully open themselves up, it’s good to remember that emotional intimacy is an experience and set of feelings that is developed over time.
Physical Intimacy goes beyond sexual activity
Moving too rapidly through sexual intercourse is actually one of the major complaints that women have about their physical intimate relationships (citation). While physical intimacy covers everything from hand-holding to intercourse, learning your partner’s comfortability, wants and desires can help you understand any sexual barriers, blocks or turn-offs that exist for them. Understanding what activities your partner is looking for to fulfill their complete need for physical intimacy will lead to not only a closer connection and higher levels of trust, but will also lead to a more fulfilling sex life as well. This could include caressing each others body’s, longer time spent on foreplay/non-coital sexual activity, or something simple like showering/bathing together. When expectations are set known and understood, it allows for the relationship to grow beyond what was thought imaginable.
Emotional and Physical Intimacy are both needed for a relationship to thrive and each of us experience intimacy differently
The vulnerability needed for a relationship to grow to its full potential can be uncomfortable and disorienting if you or your partner doesn’t have much practice. Allowing enough time to pass with both of you working towards this higher level of connection will alleviate feelings of anxiety or apprehension. Communication is key to building the foundation of trust needed for the highest levels of intimacy to be achieved (citation). As trust builds over time, leaving yourself vulnerable to your partner will feel comforting and the true potential of the relationship will begin to be realized.
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