Photo credit Crystal Shaw – Unsplash

What does healthy intimacy look like?

Most people think sex when I mention the word intimacy, they assume I am speaking about sexual intimacy. Although sexual intimacy is one of the types of intimacy it is not the only type.

I have often heard the saying “sex is the glue that holds marriages/relationships together”, I believe this to be a limited perspective, don’t get me wrong in lover relationships I feel that sex is beautiful, important and a point of growth and meeting that is exquisite. However, I believe it is intimacy which supports relationships to flourish, and it is not only found between the sheets.

What does an intimate relationship look like?

Intimate relationships are relationships that have resilient emotional bonds. One aspect of this is there is a commitment to repairing connection when there has been a tear in the connection.

Intimacy requires emotional awareness and action.

It can look like this: A conversation after a hurtful fight…

Person 1: “Hi… I can feel the tear in our connection after the fight we had yesterday. I said some hurtful things, I was angry and scared. I am sorry. Would you be open to talking about it again and trying to find a solution?”

Person 2: “I am still feeling tender and bruised and not quite ready to speak about it yet. Can we talk about it this evening?” (And then actually having the conversation)

Dad lifting and hugging son and they are both laughing

Photo credit Joseph Gonzales- Unsplash

You can see, that could have been a conversation between, partners, lovers, business partners, children and parents… the list goes on.

Intimacy means we are accountable for our own feelings

It can look like…

“Right now, I am feeling frustrated with this situation!”


“You are making me frustrated”

It takes time and commitment to cultivate connections which deepen into intimacy.

It is so worth the effort.

Intimacy is cultivated through developing our own capacity to know what we are feeling, identify our needs and to be able to share and communicate that clearly. It evolves through care and a willingness to see another’s point of view. Intimate relationships require accountability, vulnerability and care.

two women laughing and expressing joy

Photo credit Sharon McCutch – Unsplash

Not everyone is ready for this type of relating, because it asks a person to constantly embrace the changing movements within a relationship, a heart which is open and willing to feel and a willingness to be seen.
The gifts of an intimate relationship are beauty, care, authenticity, acceptance, joy, pain, learning, safety, growth and love, to mention just a few. We feel more alive when have intimacy in our lives.
Are you ready?