Relationships

What Is True Intimacy and How Do We Experience It?

A couple lovingly holding each other which leads to true intimacy.
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The meaning of true intimacy isn’t sex and bodies rubbing. That comes after honest sharing. True intimacy is eye to eye -soul to soul; feeling, seeing and knowing each other on the deepest level.

Often-times, people begin relationships backwards – sex first, then intimacy. Getting to know the person first usually results in more exploration and the desire to commit. The media sometimes gives only the romantic version of relationships; emphasizing the physical aspects of what it means to be close to someone. Couples that know how to explore other boundaries of satisfaction may have a better chance of staying together.

Research done by Dr. Anik Debrot and Dr. Amy Mulse, emphasizes the importance of emotional connections experienced with both partners. “Affection and the quality of the connection with a partner are a crucial part of the positive effects of sex in romantic relationships.”

After conducting four different studies on comparing the positive and negative effects of affection, each experiment had the same results. Partners reported high levels of relationship satisfaction when they expressed their intimacy for each other-using random acts of love (cooking for each other, surprise dates, or even cleaning up the house). When there was a lack of intimacy, it caused relationship distress (most common reasons couples seek therapy). How do you regain intimacy in your relationship?

Steps to Experiencing True Intimacy:

  1. Talk openly and start slow
  2. Keep it interesting
  3. Ask for what you need

Talking Openly

Communication is a key piece of healthy relationships. Healthy couples build a structure of language to help each other on a daily basis. Example: It’s vital to communicate about maintaining the house, or who’s responsible for dinner on Monday nights. Set time aside to discuss feelings and emotions that are important to you. This will help you remain connected to your partner and grow together, over time.

Keeping It Interesting

To keep things interesting-satisfy number two, of the Six Human Needs – Uncertainty. Create some variety and excitement in your relationship. I always suggest you step out of your comfort zone and attempt new things. That may include going to the theater, taking an extended day trip, or packing a romantic picnic.

Ask For What You Need

Your partner can’t read your mind (even though we wish they could). It’s your job to communicate how you feel emotionally and what you need from your partner at any given time. If you need help, it’s your responsibility to ask for it. This is a part of both talking openly and being comfortable with communicating with your partner and keeping things interesting.

If you find that asking is causing problems for you and your partner, don’t give up. This could just be due to the way you are communicating it to your partner. Remember that everyone has a different type of personality and likes to communicate in certain ways. It may take some work but by trying different ways of saying the same thing you will eventually figure out what works for you.

More Tips to Experience True Intimacy:

  • Bide your time and practice discipline.
  • Wait for sex if you’re just starting a relationship
  • Get to know your potential mate before you take the next step.

It may sound old fashioned, but it still hurts when someone feels misused. No one wins.

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