Intimacy is important in any romantic and long-term relationship. But not many couples understand the meaning of intimacy nor its importance for a happy relationship. Intimacy is the closeness and togetherness between the two partners. Some synonyms of intimacy are affection, warmth, confidentiality, attachment and of course sex. Intimacy is about how familiar you are with your other half, mentally and physically. It is important to have physical and emotional intimacy in a relationship to ensure a long and loving relationship.
So, if we ask the question –physical or emotional intimacy which is more important? To understand the answer, we must first understand what each of these terms means.
Emotional intimacy – Emotional intimacy is the emotional bond between two people who want to be accepted and loved while sharing a sense of trust, comfort, and closeness with each other. This can exist without physical intimacy. This is a link that deepens and grows when two people love each other. A mature and healthy romantic relationship cannot exist without emotional intimacy. The couple needs to feel safe, trust each other and have the strength to reveal their needs and vulnerability with each other, while knowing that their partner will stand by them. A relationship will find it difficult to survive when it lacks emotional intimacy. This is what helps couples survive in the toughest situations.
The conversation is key to developing emotional intimacy. Sharing feelings, emotions and thoughts isn’t easy to do, including difficult situations in the past. If there is emotional intimacy, then a person will care enough about their partner to overcome fear and trust in them.
The following are important for emotional intimacy:
Exposure – When a partner shares his/her fears, moments of doubt, pain, and sadness, it means that a person trusts you. In turn, you will feel the need to hold them tight and comfort them.
Trust – Openness, and trust is needed in an emotionally intimate relationship.
Communication – Genuine conversations and discussions deepen emotional intimacy. Just routine questions and daily check-ins are not counted. Both partners must be present and facing each other while having a heart to heart.
Physical intimacy – Physical intimacy is a wide term and doesn’t just include sex. It can be simple acts like holding hands, kissing the cheek and a hug. Physical intimacy can require a certain degree of vulnerability and trust. It is impossible to have a good physical connection unless you pull down walls and let the other in the personal space.
Sexual intimacy is a connection, it is the yearning for your partner’s taste, smell, and touch. It also involves an urge for a sexual connection. However, some may say that emotional connection isn’t required to perform this action as humans are programmed to procreate. Humans enjoy the touch of another human and like the sensuality involved in it.
However, if the physical bond needs to be closer and long-lasting then trust and openness are crucial.
We can see that the emotional and physical connection in a relationship can exist independently of each other. However, if both are present, then the relationship is more fulfilling, loving and will last longer.
Relationships can work while lacking in physical or emotional intimacy while having a sustainable level of passion and love. Some can feel comfortable in being emotionally aloof while experiencing passion while the other may want a sexual connection. The level of emotional and physical intimacy and the mix depends from person to person.
Both physical or emotional intimacy in a relationship is important for the couple to be happy. One cannot choose between physical or emotional intimacy to make sure that the relationship lasts. You will need both for a successful relationship.