Why Is Intimacy So Important for Couples?
What are we referring to when we talk about intimacy in a relationship? The first thing that comes to mind is probably sex. And while this is one of the most important aspects of intimacy between two partners, it’s definitely not the only part.
The etymology of intimacy comes from intimus, which means something like “the innermost part.” This brings us to think of intimacy as the key that we give to someone in order to access our inner world. It occurs when we feel so comfortable with the person next to us that we feel comfortable exposing ourselves… in the broadest sense of the word.
Building intimacy within a couple
- No judgement: Each partner must remain open to what the other person shares. It’s important to remember that we are all a product of our circumstances, our upbringing and our experiences.
- Empathy: You don’t always have to share your partner’s point of view, or react to circumstance in the same way. However, you should still validate how your partner feels and try to put yourself in his or her shoes.
- Honesty: Be willing to talk, to ask questions, and to demonstrate your feelings more assertively. And be sure to be as sincere as possible. This produces trust, another basic ingredient of healthy relationships.
- Vulnerability: Vulnerability is nothing more than showing ourselves just as we are, without masks or walls. If this occurs in your relationship, you have reason to celebrate. Often, over time, people tend to put on armor that can be difficult to remove and doesn’t allow others to truly get to know you.
Intimacy is good because it fills us with confidence, complicity, and points in common with our partner. It feels good to feel connected to someone else and to feel that that person understands you. In fact, it contributes to positive self-esteem.
If there is intimacy in a relationship, couples can face any situation that comes their way. And these situations will strengthen their bond even more and make them more resilient.
Why do couples lose their intimacy?
With the passing of time, it’s normal to stop feeling the same excitement and novelty as you did in the beginning. It’s absurd to think that things in a relationship will feel brand new forever. Often, routine causes relationships to become monotonous.
What you can do is try to surprise your partner every once in a while. Make plans to break away from your routine. Allow yourselves to get carried away by spontaneity and not so much by schedules and obligations.
In this day and age, we tend to live very busy lives. Our society is more and more complex and stressful each day. When we get home, all we feel like doing is sitting in front of the TV without talking. However, it’s important to spend some time connecting each day, even if it’s just a half hour.
Have a cup of coffee together, eat dinner without the TV, put away your cell phones… Doing this will help reactivate the connection between you.
As harsh as it sounds, children can often put a couple’s relationship to the test. They absorb a great deal of our time and energy. If you manage to find a few minutes to sit down with your partner, you’ll likely end up talking about your kids. This can even lead to arguments about differences of opinion regarding their upbringing.
It may sound complicated, but you need to take time out and talk about other things besides your children for a while.
If you’re going through financial difficulties, health problems or stressful situations like a move or a new job, this can take its toll on your relationship. Get out of the environment that’s causing conflict – go on a getaway, even if it’s just for a few hours. Find some way to disconnect from your problems and connect with one another.
Maximizing intimacy with your partner
Healthy communication means being able to communicate with one another in a non-violent, non-aggressive way. It means being able to express ourselves through our emotions without manipulating one another. It means actively listening to what your partner has to say.
Unfortunately, we spend most of our time thinking about what we want to say or making judgements, rather than actually listening. But if you want a healthy relationship, you need to listen actively and stop making judgements.
You can’t give anything to your partner that you don’t give to yourself first. It’s important to take time to reflect and really get to know yourself. Go for a walk on your own, do things you enjoy, etc.
Have a personal life
Have individual experiences, go out with your friends without your partner, travel… You don’t have to do absolutely everything together, nor should you. Enriching your life as individuals won’t only make you feel better, it will give you and your partner more to talk about.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Rivera, D., Cruz, C., & Muñoz, C. (2011). Satisfacción en las relaciones de pareja en la adultez emergente: el rol del apego, la intimidad y la depresión. Terapia psicológica, 29(1), 77-83. https://scielo.conicyt.cl/scielo.php?pid=S0718-48082011000100008&script=sci_arttext
- Isabel, P. A. G., & Sinuhé, E. C. (2006). Intimidad, comunicación y satisfacción marital. Archivos Hispanoamericanos de Sexología, 12(2). http://biblio.upmx.mx/Estudios/Documentos/matrimonio0116.asp
- Bazán, C. M. (2006). La construcción de la intimidad en las relaciones de pareja: el caso del Valle de Chalco. Psicología Iberoamericana, 14(2), 5-15. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/1339/133920321002.pdf