COUPLES: Intimacy

The word intimacy is bandied about quite a lot these days so I wanted to take the opportunity to bring it back to basics and have a look at what it is and what it means to different people. According to Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love, intimacy is the emotional component of love that encompasses the sense of being bonded. It also includes feelings of warmth, sharing and closeness. Awww…

Do you need intimacy before sex or does sex create intimacy? There is no right answer but sometimes I hear women saying that they want more intimacy when they really mean more passion (romantic feelings, physical attraction and sexual desire). There isn’t a formula for creating intimacy but there are some useful suggestions and guidance available.

-Think of your relationship as a friendship for a moment: how would you treat a friend? What activities do you do with them that you don’t with your partner? Is all of your time alone with your partner purely ‘relaxing time’? If so, it is time to get active and do something new.

-Choose what you want to share with one another: shift from talk about external factors such as, “did you buy the milk today?” to a more external take on your experience “this is what went through my head today”. The assumption that the other person knows what we are thinking and feeling is easy to stumble into but I bet you have a rich internal world that deserves some air time. Same goes for your partner too!

-Play together: have some fun and if there is little joy or fun in your life then go and find it. There are possibilities to create intimacy but they won’t come to you. With a little effort, we can be nicely nudged in a way that may morph intimacy into passion.

Ultimately, intimacy can come in many guises – what may be intimacy to you may be something different to someone else. Don’t discount the moments – that is some of the best stuff in life, whether with your sexual partner, friend, client or acquaintance. Love it!

Lauren xo