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The Changes of Intimacy

Updated on October 1, 2011

What is Intimacy?

When the word "intimacy" is meantioned, what comes to mind? Love, desire, relationships, adoration, time, history. However, one of these words has nothing to do with intimacy. The word is desire. Believe it or not, desire actually decreases when intimacy enters a relationship. Intimacy is feeling comfortable and being open with your partner. This normally occurs in long term relationships and marriages. This is why couples who spend a long time together, years typically, loose desire for their spouse. They just enjoy being around their partner instead.

Intimacy 300-years-ago

Relationships through history have changed, and so has intimacy. It used to mean knowing your partner and spending time with them. You two could cope well with each other and got along well. There was a spoken or unspoken agreement in the relationship. They knew who was in control of what. The man controlled the finances while the woman ruled the house. They had their different roles and understood what was necessary.

They also had no idea as to what intimacy was. Attempt asking a happy elderly couple that have been together for over 30 years is. They will not understand yet they commit many actions that go into intimacy. They pleasure their partner without the aid of sexual stimulation. They give each other flowers, write notes, and do the little things their partners will appreciate.

Intimacy Now

Ask a youth or even someone in their earlier thirties, what is intimacy? They will give you words like soft touches, caring movements, loving kisses, adoration, sex, sexual actions, etc. Note that all of these include physical and emotional, combined. They focus on the physical aspect, not the actual meaning of the word. Society now mixes intimacy with desire.

Spending Time Together

How couples spend their time together changes how the relationship will turn out in the end. If they touch each other constantly and cuddle every night, they will most likely loose their desire interest and gain more intimacy. This can hurt relationships as a lot of people like sex and hate to see it disappear, especially when in a closed relationship. They become sexually frustrated and wonder why they desire other people. It is become they are so close to their partner. Honestly the situation is a little ironic. They worked so hard to become close to their lover and adore their husband or wife, yet when too close they no longer desire them.

The goal is to spice up the relationship. If the couple gathers to dinner every night at the same time, change it up. One of the partners should join a group or visit a few friends every once in a while. They will be out of the house. Once they are gone, the other partner will miss them. They will see an empty place, a lonely chair. Then they will wonder, what is my love doing? When the partner comes home, they will be greated with more desire than when they left. They shouldn't even tell their partner where they were going in the first place. This adds mystery and wonder, which adds to the desire.

However, before leaving for the night it is wise to tell your partner you are not going to a strip club and/or will not cheat on them. Otherwise there could be some negative emotions and harm the relationship.


The way people communicate in relationships has also changed. We are now focused on verbal or written communication. "What are you trying to say?" "Just give it to me strait." Almost everyone in America has a computer or cell phone. We are constantly calling and texting others. When away from our electronic devices we wonder, "did I receive a text", "how will they respond", "they need to respond quicker".

We have not always focused so much on words for communication. Once a touch could show how much someone liked you. If they enjoyed your company or if they desired to be closer to you. A touch of the shoulder, offering their hand. A dance was considered valuable. You could touch your partner almost every second, and you could have slight conversation with only the dance partner. Also instead of receiving many texts in one day or a phone call, they would have to wait weeks for a letter or walk for hours to visit a friend. Also conversations were not as upfront as they are now. Only certain topics were accepted and most were focused on society, rumors, and fashion. If you desired information, it often took quite some time to receive about someone. Because of this, relationships also took a while to bloom and grow.


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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love this hub and agree totally; very nice job of explaining what true intimacy entails.

    • K Kiss profile image

      K Kiss 6 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

      When the word intimacy is mentioned I think of the closeness of both the mind and body. I can't expect to be intimate with my lover if only the mind is intertwined with his and not the body and vice-versa. The existence of both is necessary.

      The question is not about how people used to perceive intimacy in the days gone past or how people perceive it now. Seen objectively, the answer should always be the same as I personally believe in the notion of there being "one right answer" as Dworkin supported. Subjectively even a simple apple has different diversions! lol.

      It is an interesting hub written on a very important core of a relationship.


    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 6 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Watching your progress as life unflods for you. Courage, it's a short life and a long road.

    • Esam1989 profile image

      Esam1989 6 years ago from United Arab Emirates

      Definitely, an interesting topic to talk about Lburmaster. Nowadays, most people refer intimacy to a form of some physical relationship as you have mentioned. I always wonder if there are still some people, who still engage in some pure innocent love. Desire is something that people shouldn’t mix with intimacy, which is meant to be a pure attraction between two individuals. Also, I believe that what you mentioned about keeping desire by creating some distance between the couple once in a while is completely beneficial for the whole relationship. Of course, if there were couples who enjoy the company of each other 24hours and still have the same desire to each other when they first started then its good for them to keep things as it is. However, for most couples this is not the case, and usually after years of being together one of the partners or it may be even both will get bored and wanting to have some refresh. Therefore, my advice is to always keep a little of distance every period of time and do not stick into routines. Whether you are sharing a sexual time or any other activity, couples should always try new things. Be creative, do things that you have never done before together. This will add some extra refreshment to the relationship and takes it out from its boring routine. Once again, thanks so much Lburmaster for this interesting topic! Keep it up ;)