The Art Of Intimacy: Physical & Emotional IntimacyThe Art Of Intimacy: Physical & Emotional Intimacy

Physical and emotional intimacy is an important factor in relationships. It defines your closeness to a person.

It is important to understand that intimacy doesn’t necessarily mean being physical. There are mainly two types of commonly known intimacy these are:

  • Physical intimacy
  • Emotional intimacy

Difference Between Physical And Emotional Intimacy

It is common for couples to be intimate in the relationship, however, the intimacy can also be platonic, for example – hugging your friends is an act of physical intimacy, and sharing your personal feelings with friends shows that you are emotionally intimate with them. Let’s learn more about them separately.

  1. Physical Intimacy

Intimacy is important in a relationship because it allows couples to fulfil their desires. It is also responsible for retaining the spark in a relationship. Physical intimacy is similar to showing physical affection. It includes holding hands, cuddling, hugging, etc.

However, some people may have a fear of intimacy therefore, it is always good to ask for consent and ensure that both of you are both comfortable together.

  1. Emotional intimacy

Emotional intimacy in relationships is the connection you have with your partner. Having a strong emotional connection helps to increase your bond. The emotional closeness you have with someone defines how comfortable you are with them and how well you know them.

Maintaining intimacy allows you to feel secure and happy in the relationship. Emotional intimacy strengthens your emotional bond. Having a strong bond allows you to be open and honest with your partner which promotes healthy communication and helps to reduce conflicts. Additionally, it also helps to build trust and increases relationship satisfaction.

There are some other kinds of intimacy:

  • Intellectual intimacy

    It consists of sharing interests, thoughts, ideas, opinions, and intellectual conversations. These kinds of relationships are built due to mutual interests and thoughts and thus they have a strong connection.

    Intellectual intimate relationships allow you to expand your knowledge through intellectual discussions which provide personal growth. 

    An example of this could be a couple that majors in science discussing different theories and gaining insight and knowledge from one another through discussions or debates.

    Suggested reads: Common Relationship Problems That Arise: How To Resolve Them

    • Spiritual Intimacy

    Spiritual intimacy in relationships is based on having similar spiritual beliefs and thoughts. Spiritually intimate partners often meditate or pray together and have shared spiritual goals. For example – A couple who believe in the same religion and pray together can be considered a spiritually intimate couple.

    Read more: 12 Different Types of Intimacy To Experience With Your Partner

    How To Build Intimacy?

    To build intimacy, you are required to put in time and effort. Moreover, another step to building intimacy is to establish strong communication. Communicating with each other helps build trust and trust is an important factor in intimacy. When you build trust, you come closer to each other and this provides a sense of security.

    Moreover, working on spending quality time together allows you to strengthen your bond with your partner. Moreover, be sure to provide your partner with support and don’t forget to appreciate them. 

    Furthermore, you can plan surprises and make efforts to make them feel special and ensure to provide them with emotional and physical affection.

    Additionally, you can also practice different exercises and activities for intimacy. These things will help you connect both emotionally and physically and thus help you experience being intimate.

    Read about: Keys To Building Trust In Relationships

    Signs Of Intimacy Issues

    The fear of intimacy is the fear of getting close to someone be it emotionally or physically. People who face intimacy issues often find it difficult to maintain long-term relationships. Fear of intimacy is often caused due to past experiences or because they are uncomfortable. In such a case, it is important to communicate with your partner to make them feel comfortable and always ask for their consent.

    While it may be a touchy subject for some, you can look out for these signs that people with intimacy issues may portray.

    • They Want Perfection

    One common sign of people with intimacy issues is that they often want to be perfect. This is because they often have low self-esteem and think that they don’t deserve the love they are receiving.

    To work on this, you must ensure to provide reassurance and help build your partner’s confidence. Nevertheless, it will take time, so it is important to remember that working on intimacy issues requires patience.

    • They Have Difficulty Communicating Their Needs

    Often people who fear intimacy have a difficult time communicating what they need for different reasons. While some people fear being vulnerable, others may not trust people easily due to past traumas. Other reasons include fear of rejection and having low self-esteem.

    If you want to help someone who has difficulty communicating their needs, you can do so by listening to them without any judgment, validating their feelings, and being empathetic. It takes time to build trust, hence it is important to slowly build trust and communicate.

    • They Have Low Self-Esteem

    People with a fear of intimacy often have extremely low self-esteem. Some are very critical about themselves while others may constantly ask for validation. Another indication of having low self-esteem is that they often apologize for trivial things, even if it may not be their fault.

    • They Avoid Physical Contact

    Avoiding physical contact may be a sign of fear of physical intimacy. This is often caused due to past traumas but there can be more underlying factors. 

    Signs include easily being startled when touched and getting stiff when any physical contact is initiated. Some may have extreme fear which causes them to experience panic or anxiety attacks. In such cases, it is better to seek professional help.

    You may read this blog on Resolving intimacy problems in a relationship.


    There are different types of intimacy such as emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual. Intimacy is more about the connection you have with a person, and it is not always necessary that you are only intimate with your romantic partner.

    To build intimacy you must have strong communication, putting in time and effort and spending quality time. It is important to remember that one shouldn’t force intimacy as it will deplete the trust in your relationship.

    Also, there are people who fear intimacy. They find it difficult to trust , this is often due to unresolved trauma, self-doubt, and many other reasons.

    By Shreya Bhatt

    I am Shreya Bhatt, a content writer and creator who enjoys answering audiences' curiosity with her blogs. I graduated in 2023 with a bachelors in mass communication. I have always taken an immense interest in writing, and creating content. My first workshop about SEO is what piqued my interest in content writing, and I have been pursuing it ever since. I love to write about diverse topics, and enjoy researching and gathering information about something that is new to me. Although I graduated in 2023, I have over a year's experience in content writing. Personally, I love to travel, listen to music, and follow an active lifestyle. As a child, I often looked at Google to answer all my questions, and today as an adult I look to answer questions of others.

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