6 keys to healthy intimacy in a relationship

A key part of a healthy relationships is being close to your partner. Studies say, people in close relationships have a 50% higher chance of living longer. Plus, some other researches show over and over that people do best when they feel close to someone they care about.



So, what exactly intimacy is? It's often defined by feeling "understood, accepted, and cared for."

"When we hear about "intimacy," most people think of sex. But there're at least 3 more forms of intimacy that are just as important, especially in romantic relationships," says Jennifer Pearson, a relationship expert.


Physical closeness includes more than just sexual contact. It also includes things like hugs, holding hands, cuddling, and touching skin to skin. These everyday acts of kindness that seem to be showing love help a lot with feeling close.


This type of intimacy is about sharing the deepest feelings. But how exactly? Being emotional close to someone is feeling safe enough to show your weaknesses, knowing you'll be understood, supported, and cared for. Still feeling insecure in your relationship? Wondering how to catch your spouse cheating? Try this tool for free!


Involves the exchange of ideas, opinions, and thoughts, even if disagreements exist. Engaging in discussions that challenge each other's perspectives, such as talking about a shared book, exemplifies intellectual intimacy.


Shared experiences contribute significantly to relationship health, creating memories that deepen the bond. Participating in activities and pursuing hobbies together strengthens this form of intimacy.


While every relationship experiences its highs and lows, certain obstacles can impede intimacy, or it might gradually diminish without proper attention.

  • CONFLICT—Frequent arguments, coupled with feelings of resentment and mistrust, pose significant barriers to intimacy.
  • STRESS – Life stresses, like work and money problems, can make it harder for both partners to be close over time.
  • COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS – An important part of intimacy is being able to talk about your feelings and wants. However, communication problems make this harder to do.
  • FEAR OF INTIMACYPast traumas or experiences might instill a fear of intimacy, impeding the formation of meaningful connections.

As Jennifer Pearson, a family psychologist, notices: "Being close to each other can help build trust and happiness, but it's not the only thing that can tell you about longevity or health. To get a more complete picture of what makes relationships strong and last, you should firstly understand how each person's needs and differences affect relationships."


Building intimacy is about creating a space where your partner can feel understood, accepted, and cared for. Like any other skill, getting better at something takes practice and learning. So, read on and try your best!


Accurately reflecting on what you've learned is just as important as showing interest through body language, words, and questions. Regular summaries are part of reflective listening to make sure you understand correctly and show that you have a deeper knowledge. This includes not only what the story is about, but also how it makes you feel. Not sure how you feel about your partner? Curious how to find out if someone has dating profiles? Here’s a free solution!


Understanding and thinking how someone else feels is a higher level of empathy than sympathy. Recognize how they feel, and if you're not sure, ask them to explain. Real empathy makes support and relationship stronger.


Affirm their thoughts and feelings, even if you don't agree with them. This will help build trust. If you want to give help, be clear about how you can do it. Understanding and clarity make the base even stronger.


It's easier to say what you think when the other person knows they are being heard. Avoid negative opinions when you talk to people. If you want someone to change their behavior, be clear about what you want and focus on what you agree on.


Giving and taking between two people is more than 50% of a balanced friendship. Both people give from their strengths, which helps others grow and deals with differences. Commitment recognizes the constant work, patience, and forgiveness that are needed for a relationship to work.

All of these techniques help you get through times when your emotions are strong. On their own, they keep improving the way relationships work, which builds skills and sets the stage for long-term success.

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