What is intimacy, is it really that important, and how can we fix intimacy issues in our relationships? Intimacy generally refers to the closeness between people in a personal relationship. Typically building over time as you feel a deeper sense of connection, grow to care more about each other, and feel more comfortable together, you can be physically and/or emotionally close to someone.
Some people believe that building a deeper connection with their partner can strengthen their relationship. However, what can you do if you’re having trouble feeling that intimacy? What if your partner avoids intimate moments or if you feel like you’re growing apart? Is it possible to reignite that intimacy once it’s faded? We’ve compiled some frequently asked questions about intimacy and resources for seeking help.
Why is intimacy so important?
Intimacy isn’t just good for our relationships – it affects our physical and emotional well-being, too. Research released in 2017 revealed that having intimacy in our lives (feeling accepted, cared for, and understood) strongly influences our overall physical and emotional well-being. Intimacy is an important component of many romantic relationships, and its absence can put a strain on the relationship. However, whether a relationship can survive without intimacy depends on several factors, including the individuals involved, their preferences, and the nature of the relationship itself.
- Here are some considerations:
Types of Intimacy: Intimacy is not limited to physical intimacy (such as sexual activity) but also includes emotional intimacy, intellectual intimacy, and more. Some people prioritize different types of intimacy over others, so it’s possible for a relationship to survive if one type of intimacy is lacking but others are strong.
Individual Preferences: People have different levels of need for intimacy. Some individuals may be content with less physical intimacy or prioritize other forms of connection. Understanding and respecting each other’s preferences is crucial.
Communication: Open and honest communication is key. If there is a lack of physical intimacy in a relationship, it’s important to discuss this with your partner and try to understand the reasons behind it. There may be underlying issues, such as physical or psychological factors, that need to be addressed.
Relationship Goals: The nature of the relationship matters. For some people, long-term companionship, emotional support, and other factors may be more important than physical intimacy. In such cases, the relationship can survive without a strong focus on physical intimacy.
Adaptation and Compromise: Relationships often require compromise and adaptation. If one partner has a lower desire for physical intimacy, and the other has a higher desire, finding a middle ground that both can be comfortable with is essential.
Professional Help: If the lack of intimacy is causing significant distress in the relationship and communication alone is not resolving the issue, seeking the help of a therapist or counsellor who specializes in relationships can be beneficial.
It’s important to recognize that every relationship is unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether a relationship can survive without physical intimacy. Some relationships can thrive with less physical contact, while others may not. The key is that both partners should agree, communicate openly, and work together to meet each other’s needs and maintain a healthy, satisfying relationship.