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17 May, 2021
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Intimacy – By Shahela Sheikh

What Is Intimacy? – Written By Shahela Sheikh

There is a misinterpreted notion that intimacy is explicitly sexual relation, but did you know we have 5 different types of intimacy? Intimacy is defined as close familiarity or friendship.

5 Different Types Of Intimacy:

1. Physical Intimacy – While the most common type of physical intimacy is sexual intercourse, however, it’s not the only one. When we talk about physical intimacy we are looking into the different touch sensations. Often couples get so locked into the rhetorical fallacy that for people to build intimacy, you must participate in some form of sexual activity. Physical Intimacy can exist when holding hands, cuddling, and even a date night, dancing.

2. Emotional Intimacy – The emotional aspect is the most difficult as many of us fear being vulnerable. Emotional intimacy is highly built on trust and deep communication. It requires that you and your partner make active and conscious choices to speak, confide, and trust one another. This is a very important component that comprises a relationship as it’s often where a relationship starts off.

As you and your partner look to actively build intimacy in your relationships, remember to:

  • Be Respectful and Trustworthy
  • Be Supportive
  • Be Genuinely Curious
  • Stay Informed On Your Partner’s Interests

3. Intellectual Intimacy – When we look at intellectual intimacy we look into thoughts, ideas, hopes, wishes, fears and desires. Many define it as ‘getting each other’.

When entering intellectual discussions and topics, it is vital that couples learn to listen, accept and challenge points of views, as this is what defines intellectual intimacy.

4. Experiential Intimacy – It refers to spending your time, experience money and growth on personal development and self-awareness. It is not only about travel, but about sharing common goals, hopes and endeavours together.

5. Spiritual Intimacy – Spirituality is highly personal, and while it may revolve around a religious theology, it might also be centred around growth habits or meditative practices. It is about inviting your partner to share these ideas and practices promoting a sense of spiritual growth.

Remember for intimacy to be achieved, it must be reciprocated from both ends. Developing these 5 areas of intimacy could help flourish your relationship.



Shahela Sheikh – Psychologist

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