Intimacy: What does it mean to you?
Have you and/or your partner thought about what intimacy means to you? Is it an extra cuddle, sharing of personal moments, or words of affirmation? It can truly be any and all the things that bring you and your partner closer together.
Scholars have heavily theorized the psychology of intimacy, leaving us with many definitions of the term. Intimacy can be defined as a “situation involving two people which permits validation of all components of personal worth.”(1) More recently, its definition has evolved to mean “interaction and relational process that is closely associated with positive aspects of individual well-being, close relationships, personality, and social context.”(2) Intimacy is defined differently for every person or couple but includes basic elements of trust, communication, and cohesiveness.(3)
Trust is one of the most important components for intimacy. Both partners need to feel safe and comfortable enough to disclose their needs without the fear of judgement or repercussion. Trust is defined as the “reliability, fairness, and faith” one has in his or her partner, and without a certain level of trust, the likelihood of intimate interactions is lessened.(3) Communicating your desires can often be difficult; however, a healthy relationship requires both partners to not only share but also actively listen to their partner’s needs. Cohesiveness refers to the time couples share together and the intimacy that arises from those experiences.(3)
For each person or couple, intimacy looks quite different and encompasses a wide range of actions and emotions. Let’s explore some different types of intimacy:
Emotional intimacy is our ability to share our feelings with our partner, whether they are positive or negative. Small gestures like words of affirmation and pep talks are acts of intimacy.
Intellectual intimacy is about sharing your ideas, creativity, and interests with your partner. Particularly discussions around books, movies, and/or theories.
Social and recreational intimacy is the act of enjoying and sharing extracurricular experiences with a partner. These activities include but are not limited to eating meals together, visiting family and friends, or attending sporting events.
Lastly, physical intimacy includes the act of telling your partner your desires and needs as well as simple gestures like holding hands, hugging, or kissing. For more information about intimacy, check out this amazing TedTalk by Niveen Rizkalla titled Getting Intimate with Intimacy.
It is important to know and communicate your needs and desires so that intimacy is maintained. Daysy can help you communicate your fertility intentions to your partner. Joint decision-making is a product of effective communication, which is also a component of intimacy. Let Daysy help you make and maintain the most intimate decisions.
Here are some ways you can maintain intimacy in your relationship with the help of Daysy:
- Discuss your reproductive intentions with your partner and how Daysy fits into that plan
- Take time to discuss your fertility status each morning
- Visit the Daysy website to explore our resources and learn more about fertility health
- Make time for an extra cuddle!
1)Sullivan, H.S. (1953). The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry. New York: Norton.
3)Prager, K. J. (1995). The Psychology of Intimacy. New York: The Guilford Press.
Author: Liya Haile