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The quality of intimacy

Updated on February 23, 2009

When we talk about intimacy we can subdivide this in physical and mental intimacy. Physical intimacy concerns contacts, caresses and sex, whereas mental intimacy is the feeling of emotional solidarity. With mental intimacy you let someone take a look into your soul and share your feelings and emotions.

Although mental and physical intimacy are possible without each other, for a good relationship both aspects are necessary. You can feel yourself very connected with someone having physical contact only or you can make love with someone with whom you have no special connection but for a long-term relation both are important.

How to show intimacy


Intimacy can be shown in a lot of manners: cuddle together; just sitting on the couch together watching TV; sitting together at the fireplace ; play games together; give each other a massage; make love together; enjoy a beautiful view together; cook and clean together; go out together; together walking hand in hand or embracing each other; sport or share a hobby together; rise for each other; comfort each other if something nasty has happened; really listen to and be interested in the other one; even brawl together can be intimate; enjoying sex together is an ultimate form of intimacy.

Maybe you have noticed  that the word together frequently shows up in this list but that is not astonishing because intimacy is generally something that you do together.


Although turbulent wild sex can give a strong feeling of solidarity, it is just one of the many ways in which people can share intimacy. And it is also no wonder that men and women generally have a different preference regarding intimacy. For most women mental and emotional intimacy is more important and men feel themselves more linked with the physical intimacy like sex and undertake things together. The degree of intimacy is frequently a good reflection of the quality of a relationship.

On the opposite side it is possible that a lack of intimacy puts a couple in a vicious circle of emotional interactions. The lack of intimacy increases stress within the relationship which decreases intimacy further. When this vicious circle cannot be broken people float further away from each other.


Problems with intimacy


In an intimate relationship someone can feel very safe and entirely lose him or her self in the other. But nevertheless frequently the intimacy diminishes because of the pressure of everyday life; of children, household, work. Stress. Often you hear about this.

When you come home after a busy day sometimes you just don’t want to have to talk or listen or have romantic needs. This is not a good thing if this happens all the time because intimacy is not only important for your relationship, it also ensures that we feel more fortunately. When there is a lack of intimacy the stress just increases.

The capacity for intimacy has also to do with the past. When one grew up in a family in which everyone was distant with each other, this often repeats itself in their own relationship. Also bad experiences in a former relationship can leave their marks. It is Very important that you can accept each other. To have the feeling of solidarity you must be certain that the other one accepts you as you are. When you continue to annoy yourself about clothes lying around or the volume of the television and other such small matters on daily basis, then it will be very difficult to still be intimate. When you feel yourself safely and accepted, it is easier express feelings.

People can suffer when there is a lack of intimacy. It is one of the first needs in life; just like food and drinks. Lack of intimacy is not the only factor that can kill your relationship but it’s absolutely a factor to determine our quality of living. A good intimate relationship strengthens you in times of need and makes it possible to share feelings and go on. All this ensures a larger chance on survival in time.The more intimacy there is in the relationship, the more satisfaction there is.

Many people today experience a lack to intimacy with their partner by the busy existence of today’s life. Couples grow more and more apart until one wonders what still binds them together. A large number of relationships are broken for this reason nowadays.

To reach an intimate relationship, partners must be clear to each other on what their need of intimacy is. Really talking with each other and listening to each other and showing interest in the other, is the biggest form of intimacy which only increases the intimacy itself.

Accept and learn from each others differences, because these can also make you complete as well. It is easier to satisfy the needs of the other when you know what the needs are.Therefore you should talk in a possitive sense. Try to indicate what you would like, without causing feelings of guilt.

Agree on having the TV or computer of for a while or just rest together, having coffee after a long days work. Just before the family life starts again.There still can be enough moments to enjoy each other.


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    • profile image

      castmakers 6 years ago

      Intersting and fund hub!

    • profile image

      Nat 7 years ago

      Great article !!!

      But in our marriage there is no intimacy or sex. Been married 43 years and the last 25 or so have been sexless.

      I prefer it that way, wife on the the other hand likes some intimacy.

      I just don't like kissing or even touching any more. Holding hands gives me the creeps.

    • profile image

      ABDULGANIYU OPE 9 years ago

      Yes, I love your wriite up very much. You said we should be intimating; I love your advise for the lovers it is lovely, because without love we can not live on this earth and morealso, hate infected the heart and love lose it. Love is represented by rose flower not because of its beauty but because of its distructive thorns,said by a poet for many had embark on this journey but only few reach their destination.  

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 9 years ago from South Africa

      Great hub and thanks for the wise words. Much to think about, and much to do!

    • Lazur profile image

      Lazur 9 years ago from Netherlands

      Thank you qlcoach for your nice comment. I will read your modules later, when I'm not intimate here.

      G-Ma The last picture?I'm not suggesting anything.. I think* innocent smile*

      Live might be a good teacher, but not always the most friendly. But that is what makes us learn:)

      You're right, most of it comes from childhood and we take it with us all our lives. I know what you mean by not wanting to be alone:)

      I hope I'm on the right track now, one I will not walk on my own I hope:)

      God bless you G-Ma and a big hug for you too:)

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      HEE HEE LOL :O)  loved the last pic  ?  humm just what are you suggesting there???  Wise lady that you are and a very good hub...truly you have learned about all this through your experiences..which is a good teacher....

      And a lot of it does come from when you were a child and what you felt from your parents...not to blame them but to realize it has an effect on you...I am feeling some of them as of now...At my age...what a wonder?

      I can tell you being alone is not for me...and I am so happy I have my mom to care for now and a loving family..but somehow still need the assurance of a partner..just to share the daily stuff and talk to...

      You seem to me to be on the right track and who wouldn't like to be around you? I know someone...for sure :O)  who be good and God Bless You  sweetie...G-Ma :o) hugs

    • qlcoach profile image

      Gary Eby 9 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

      This is a very wise, uplifting, and life affirming Hub! Thank you for sharing it. We need more discussion about the meaning of intimacy rather than just sex or romantic love. Hope you will check out my new emotional recovery modules too. Have a wonderful weekend. Sincerely; Gary Eby, author and therapist.