Did you know that intimacy is more than sexuality? In fact, it has been shown that intimacy is a significant factor in relationships! Too often intimacy gets tossed aside in relationships because it requires people to be emotionally nurturing to maintain a healthy relationship. Intimacy is a continual process, in which couples actively explore their similarities and differences in their ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving and they strive to move beyond themselves and instead join together.
Why is intimacy so hard to maintain in relationship?
Intimacy is a bonding experience with another person and requires extreme amounts of TRUST. Think about it. Close your eyes and imagine the person that makes you feel safe and secure. Are you able to share your secrets with this person and feel unjudged? Is this person empathic and able to put themselves in your shoes to develop a deeper understanding of you? Does this person understand you and truly accept you for who you are? Are you able to make sound decisions with this person and avoid unnecessary conflict because you all are able to communicate effectively?
Research has shown that there are 8 elements of intimacy, which includes:
When you think about that special person that popped up in your mind earlier, how well are you all able resolve an issue despite differences in opinions? Is affection still present in the relationship? Does kissing on the lips and hand holding still occur? Commitment!!! There should not be any strays waiting on the sidelines trying to dismantle your position! All sexual needs should be able to be effectively communicated and mutually agreed upon. If sexual needs cannot be fulfilled, intimacy requires that both parties are able to communication openly and unjudged about any challenges that may be influenced unfulfilled sexual needs.
How comfortable are you in the relationship? Intimacy requires that both individuals are comfortable and have healthy levels of self-esteem. No one should using derogatory language or making the other feel ashamed of themselves. Intimacy requires you to uplift one another; after all, it’s a shared, bonding relationship. Com-pa-ta-bility!!! Listen, if you all aren’t compatible then there’s nothing else that I can tell you. Being compatible with someone is like being in sync with them. One does not operate without the other. They are the glove to your baseball, the motor to your vehicle, and so forth! This simply means that you all are able and willing to work together and it’s done without force.
Too often you hear couples complain about in-laws or children interrupting their relationship. Is either individual able to have a relationship without the unsolicited opinions of their parents. Does your wife not make the cornbread the way the “family” does and your mother volunteers her opinions during family dinners? Are you all able to effectively manage your relationship autonomously without the input of others? This leads to expression, in which there is enough safety and security in the relationship that both individuals are able to talk about their beliefs, thoughts, emotions, etc.
When it comes to intimacy, relationships are contingent upon how well it is incorporated into the relationship.