Intimacy; a soul-sustaining experience we crave. It is about both knowing and sharing. A mutual giving and receiving of self. It occurs within the precious conditions of awareness and vulnerability. When most people think of intimacy, they think Naked. That is only a fraction of what intimacy is or can be. If you are already feeling downtrodden about your relationship, wait to worry! You may learn something about closeness and connection that can help you improve your relationships.
9 Kinds of Intimacy for You to Explore
Keep in mind, it is important to focus on cultivating intimacy within yourself first. Beyond that, many forms of intimacy can occur in any relationship if we allow it (friends, family, etc.). And, if your relationships have just a few types of intimacy, you’re ok! I am going to teach you about 9 kinds of intimacy – betcha didn’t know there were so many 😉
#1 Personal Intimacy
A willingness and ability to know yourself and be with yourself. You are made up of so many intricacies; thoughts, emotions, beliefs, physicalities, interests, needs and wants. The more familiar and accepting you are of each facet, the more you will become intimate with yourself. Rejection of yourself leads to anxiety, depression, codependency and failed relationships. To connect with yourself, it helps to be quiet and curious long enough to acknowledge what is true about you. I don’t mean just sit on your sofa and think, lol. You could be hiking, surfing or meditating while discovering who you are! Also, Some may consider this a form of connecting with a higher power/universal energy/God.
#2 Physical Intimacy
Nurturing physical intimacy is nonsexual touch. This type of contact can be shared with a partner but also your friends, family, and children. For instance, a loving hug, a supportive hand on the back, a pain relieving kiss on the forehead.
This type of physical intimacy can be soothing and healing. In my experience, clients who struggle to receive this type of intimacy have experienced a trauma that is blocking their ability.
#3 Emotional Intimacy
Closeness created through sharing feelings, and desires. It’s important to know what you are feeling in order to communicate adequately. The five most common feelings are
- afraid and
All other emotions are a shade or aspect of the original five. Each emotion has a purpose. Click To Tweet Sometimes the way we feel isn’t rational. But, that doesn’t make our feelings wrong or bad. In fact, emotional irrationality usually comes from a back log of unexpressed or invalidated emotions.
#4 Intellectual Intimacy
Intellectual Intimacy involves a mutual exchange of thoughts, ideas, and beliefs. This can include a wide range of topics and does not mean you have to agree. In fact, this form of intimacy is created through a nonjudgmental and curious approach while speaking with your conversational partner. It is unfortunate that topics such as politics and religion are off the table in most family and social settings. This is because we prefer agreement (codependency or control) over intimacy.
#5 Spiritual Intimacy
Spiritual Intimacy is sharing beliefs or observed spiritual practices. This can be as simple as meditating or discussing spiritual issues as a couple. Ultimately your life experiences, within the foundation of your expressed faith, will create and deepen your spiritual intimacy. Trust me; you don’t need to agree here to make your relationships work! What is needed is open expression and acceptance of each other’s viewpoints.
#6 Recreational Intimacy
Recreational Intimacy is being active together. Find those things that you like to do and do them with your spouse.
- Taking a walk together,
- make dinner,
- go to a museum,
- hike a mountain …
- do something with those who you love that allows you actively spend time together.
#7 Financial Intimacy
It’s the sharing of your economic circumstances. Financial intimacy comes with developing a plan for your finances, and, being able to have open and honest communication with your spouse regarding money matters. It doesn’t mean you have to co-mingle funds or that you can’t have your own money. Financial intimacy is about transparency and collaboration.
#8 Romantic Physical Intimacy
It’s a sexual touch. From a flirtatious kiss to making love, we are fulfilling our design as sexual beings. The design of the human body is breathtaking and the more familiar you are with both you and your partner’s bodies, the more fulfilling sexual intimacy can be. Touch can communicate acceptance, playfulness, passion and love, a closeness that only the two of you have based on your shared experiences.
#9 Conflict Intimacy
It’s disagreeing or “fighting” without hurting each other or damaging the relationship. You can have a passionate disagreement without degrading or judging one another. It’s more than ok to have friction in a relationship.
- Friction or tension generate progress – in the literal or figurative.
- A proper amount of tension and friction make your car move, hold your ponytail in place and make sex feel good.
- Don’t be afraid to fight, be fearful of fighting unfairly.
If you notice you are not fulfilled in one or more of these areas, begin by checking if you are aware, connected and at ease with yourself. If not, you can explore what is blocking you. Exploration can be done through writing, talking, reading, meditating, you name it! If you need more help creating intimacy in your life, let me know. I’m an expert at exploring the unknown self. On a side note, are we connected on Insta? I’d love to cultivate this particular type of social intimacy with you. It would mean the world to me….
“The need for love and intimacy is a fundamental human need, as primal as the need for food, water and air.” ~Dean Ornish