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Intimacy as a Foundational Component of a Strong Relationship

Intimacy as a Foundational Component of a Strong Relationship
Dr. Constance Odom, MD Picture of Dr. Constance Odom, MD

Medically reviewed by

Written by our editorial team.

Last Edited 6 min read

Humans beings have a basic need for affection and love. Both the physiological and psychological components of our being crave closeness, touch, and relationship. These elements develop into what is known as intimacy. It's a close unique bond between individuals that is comforting, familiar, and safe. Relationships have a hard time surviving without this component, and it must be worked on every day. Strong relationships are built over time, with continual experiences of trust, physical closeness, and communication. Your relationship may have one partner that is more intimate than the other, resulting in an imbalance that affects both of you. Intimacy is what makes it possible to be emotionally close, which in turn affects your physical closeness.

The Balance of Physical and Emotional Intimacy

There are different ways to encourage intimacy, but the end result should be a balance between physical and emotional intimacy. You can’t have one without the other and still enjoy a close, connected relationship. You can’t spend time on physical connections without establishing emotional intimacy, as a lack of emotional intimacy can lead to frustration, anger, trust issues, and confusion for couples. It is also difficult to only pursue an emotionally intimate relationship without acknowledging or meeting the physical needs that develop. Relationships have give and take for both individual and collective needs, so trying to keep the two separate leads to tension and anxiety between a couple.

The Problems With an Imbalance

Every couple has to work on building intimacy, and for some, it may come easily. Two people that are very open and transparent in their communication can develop an emotional bond a lot sooner than someone who avoids sharing their feelings or who has put up protective emotional walls. Even if an individual isn’t incredibly receptive to emotional intimacy, the human body has strong desires for physical closeness. Men’s and women's sexual health stems from this urge for physical touches, such as hugging, kissing, cuddling, or hand-holding. Some may put all the initial attention in a relationship on physical attraction and sexual encounters, but these actions can start to develop emotional closeness. The body releases the hormone oxytocin during sex or other intimate experiences, creating a deeper feeling of bond and connection between two individuals. When only one person acts on the bond, the results of an imbalance intimacy follow.

Couples that aren’t allowing their emotional connection to get deeper will find their relationship stalling. For the partner that has no problem sharing their desires or communicating openly with their partner, a lack of reciprocation can lead to feelings of rejection, frustration, anger, and loss. It is normal for passion to go up and down during a relationship, but emotional intimacy helps you ride out this rollercoaster. It leads to a safe place where a couple can discuss the embarrassing or uncomfortable circumstances of their relationship or sex life. The longer a disconnect is allowed to exist between emotional and physical intimacy, the more your relationship is in danger of falling apart. When sex or a physical connection becomes a chore, neither partner is able to receive full pleasure and satisfaction.

The Way Back to Harmony

Unless you take action to restore intimacy, your relationship will become challenging and hard. Neither of you will feel secure and you may question if there is anything there holding your relationship together. You can fight to restore intimacy back into your relationship or to create it, but both of you need to take an active role in the process. Think of intimacy as something that needs to be sowed into the relationship and carefully cultivated. The early days may be fragile, but with attention, it can grow strong roots and withstand troubles that come into the relationship. Here are some ways to develop intimacy, both emotionally and physically.

  1. Make an effort to learn unique things about your partner, asking questions, and actively listening.
  2. Show your appreciation for things your partner does, whether big or small.
  3. Find ways each week to spend quality time with your partner.
  4. Increase the amount of affection (kissing, cuddling, hugging) you show your partner.
  5. Move away from the television for dinner and spend time at the table talking and focusing on one other.

How to Capitalize on Intimacy


If you have worked on establishing emotional closeness, you should notice a difference in your sex life. With the use of Scream Cream and a renewed focus on your partner, you can find that physical intimacy can be pleasurable and exciting. When your physical relationship is thriving, you can see an impact on your emotional closeness. These two areas go hand-in-hand, so working on one can definitely have a positive impact on the other.  


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This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your physician about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Nu Image Medical may not offer the medications or services mentioned in this article.