Updated: Nov 5, 2021
When we see the word intimacy and most of us our thoughts go straight to sexual intimacy and this isn't the cause, the word has lost its true meaning.
Which is in actuality it means: "close familiarity or friendship; closeness"
On my own journey, I found I craved intimacy, within all of my relationships and as I felt unsatisfied with this area of my life, whenever I was with someone sexually I craved intimacy and thought I could get that through having sex, when in actuality that wasn't what I wanted, I wanted closeness, understanding, comfort, truth, grounding.
Upon an interesting self examination, when I discovered this about myself, that I love, hugs, cuddles and physical closeness, although physical touch is not my love language, I do like and want those things in my life, but it isn't what brings me the most joy in my relationships.
Recently I shared this self observation with a friend and we agreed to spend time together, so that I could get all the cuddles I felt I missed out on previously, without any sexual expectations being on the table. They too felt they needed intimacy, so this made it a great energy exchange, that would be balanced.
It was one of the most grounding and simplest things I have experienced, to be listened to, understood, appreciated and hugged, with no agenda, other than for us to be both seen understood and show up as we truly are. It shifted something inside of myself.
As a person on a journey, I felt called to share this self reflection as it may support you, as you navigate this within your own life.
What is Intimacy?
It is as defined by the oxford dictionary Which is in actuality it means: "close familiarity or friendship; closeness"
Intimacy is closeness between people in personal relationships. It's what builds over time as you connect with someone, grow to care about each other, and feel more and more comfortable during your time together. It can include physical or emotional closeness, mental, spiritual and sexual, only one of those, or all of those.
Four Types of Intimacy:
Emotional/Mental, Spiritual, Physical and Sexual.
Intimacy can come in so many forms, as noted how you may have initially interpreted the word, when you first came across this blog post, there are five types of intimacy.
Emotional intimacy: Involves candid, authentic sharing of thoughts and feelings. Examples of emotional intimacy, is being able to tell each other your deepest fears, dreams, disappointments, and most complicated emotions, as well as feeling seen and understood when you do.
Spiritual Intimacy: Is the process of opening your self to a spiritual practice and sharing that with others.
Physical Intimacy: is touching. It is an act or reaction, such as an expression of feelings, between people. Examples of physical intimacy include being inside someone's personal space, holding hands, hugging, kissing.
Sexual Intimacy: is sensual proximity or touching. Sexual intimacy, is very similar to physical intimacy, but at the core of it is intentions, what is the intention of touching.
It is an act or reaction, such as an expression of feelings, between people. Examples of physical intimacy include being inside someone's personal space, holding hands, hugging, kissing, caressing and sexual activity
Can Intimacy Be Platonic?
In simple now that we know what intimacy actually means, it can.
You can have intimacy in any relationship is a feeling of being close, and emotionally connected and supported. It means being able to share a whole range of thoughts, feelings and experiences that we have as human beings.
How Can I Build Intimacy With Myself?
As noted in my journey, I would encourage you to self examine. Take time to get to know what it is that makes you happy, that you may feel you are missing out on, or would like more of in your life. Unfortunately no one person can give you the answer to what you need, want or desire, but I will say that taking the time out to get to know yourself, will bring all the rewards and clarity you are seeking.
Get a journal, notebook, or use you phone and make notes around what comes up with you as you explore this part of yourself and your wellness.
How Can I Build Intimacy With Others?
It starts within, getting to know who you are and what makes you happy, intimacy is the act of being vulnerable and feeling safe to do so. This can bring up alot of inner feelings for you and the other person you choose to share yourself with. Once you feel comfortable with this person, then begin by showing up as yourself, each time you are around them, intimacy is to bring your whole self to relationships, meetings, connections and ask for what you want, share parts of yourself, limit expectations from them and have clear boundaries that you uphold and maintain.
Intimacy is a journey, that can be built with yourself and others, even if you already have healthy intimate relationships, they to can be deepened and grown. And if your just starting to address this in your life, the hardest part is acknowledgment, so you are already on the path that you seek.
Take your time, please remember that life doesn't have destinations, but it will forever be a journey, that we are all on.