15 Best Intimacy Quotes To Improve Any Relationship

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated April 11, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

The American Psychological Association defines intimacy as “an interpersonal state of extreme emotional closeness such that each party’s personal space can be entered by any of the other parties without causing discomfort to that person.”

This type of connection can vary depending on the nature of a relationship and the people involved. People can develop intimacy in romantic relationships, platonic relationships, or even with themselves through practices like self-compassion, meditation, or therapy.

Below, we’ll look at 15 quotes that explore intimacy and other emotions surrounding it.

Not sure you're comfortable discussing emotions?

Quotes about intimacy

  1. "It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy; it is disposition alone. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others." -Jane Austen 

  2. "The real heroes anyway aren't the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention." -John Green

  3. "True intimacy is a human constant. People of all types find it equally hard to achieve, and equally precious to hold. Age, education, and social status make little difference here; even genius does not presuppose the talent to reveal one's self completely and completely absorb one's self in another personality. Intimacy is to love what concentration is to work: a simultaneous drawing together to attention and release of energy." -Robert Grudin

  4. “My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return.” –Maya Angelou

  5. “If you age with somebody, you go through so many roles—you’re lovers, friends, enemies, colleagues, strangers; you’re brother and sister. That’s what intimacy is if you’re with your soulmate.” –Cate Blanchett

  6. "The trick... is to find the balance between the bright colors of humor and the serious issues of identity, self-loathing, and the possibility for intimacy and love when it seems no longer possible or, sadder yet, no longer necessary." -Wendy Wasserstein

  1. "Passion is the quickest to develop, and the quickest to fade. Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradually still." -Robert Sternberg

  2. "The married are those who have taken the terrible risk of intimacy and, having taken it, know life without intimacy to be impossible." -Carolyn Heilbrun

  3. "Intimacy requires courage because risk is inescapable. We cannot know at the outset how the relationship will affect us. Like a chemical mixture, if one of us is changed, both of us will be. Will we grow in self-actualization, or will it destroy us? The one thing we can be certain of is that if we let ourselves fully into the relationship for good or evil, we will not come out unaffected.” -Rollo May

  4. "This is intimacy: the trading of stories in the dark." -Elizabeth Gilbert

  5. “Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.” -Frida Kahlo

  6. "I feel like we're all here on this planet, and intimacy is important. I can't bear small talk. It's awful. I want to get beyond that thing of discussing how the weather is a bit better today than it was yesterday, and how this is a nice restaurant. I want to get to what are the problems, and what's really going on. Are you in love? Are you in a lot of pain? What's really going on in your life? I'm interested in that area, whether it's on stage or in real life." -Simon Amstell

  7. "And when one of them meets the other half, the actual half of himself, whether he be a lover of youth or a lover of another sort, the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy and one will not be out of the other's sight, as I may say, even for a moment…" -Plato

  8. "They spent their time doing nothing… they let intimacy fuse them." -Jean Genet

  9. “True love is not a hide and seek game: in true love, both lovers seek each other.” -Michael Bassey Johnson

  10. “Intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone - and finding that that's ok with them.” -Alain de Botton

  11. "Never are voices so beautiful as on a winter's evening, when dusk almost hides the body, and they seem to issue from nothingness with a note of intimacy seldom heard by day." -Virginia Woolf

Bonus quotes about intimate relationships

  • “The deepest moments of intimacy occur when you’re not talking.” -Patricia Love

  • “Those who have never known the deep intimacy and the intense companionship of happy mutual love have missed the best thing that life has to give; unconsciously, if not consciously, they feel this and the resulting disappointment inclines them towards envy, oppression, and cruelty.” -Bertrand Russell

  • “Intimate relationships cannot substitute for a life plan. But to have any meaning or viability at all, a life plan must include intimate relationships.” -Harriet Lerner

  • “The need for love and intimacy is a fundamental human need, as primal as the need for food, water, and air.” -Dean Ornish

  • “Intimacy is not purely physical. It’s the act of connecting with someone so deeply; you feel like you can see into their soul.” -Reshall Varsos

  • “To have someone understand your mind is a different kind of intimacy altogether.” -Farraz Kazi

  • “A loving touch can heal wounds and nurture intimacy.” -Unknown

  • “Physical intimacy isn’t and can never be an effective substitute for emotional intimacy.” -John Green

  • “If fear is the great enemy of intimacy, love is its true friend.” -Henri Nouwen

  • “Real intimacy is a sacred experience. It never exposes its secret trust and belonging to the voyeuristic eye of a neon culture. Real intimacy is of the soul, and the soul is reserved.” -John O’Donohue

  • “Intimacy transcends the physical. It is a feeling of closeness that isn’t about proximity but of belonging. It is a beautiful emotional space in which two become one.” -Steve Maraboli

  • “You can’t find intimacy—you can’t find home—when you’re always hiding behind masks. Intimacy requires a certain level of vulnerability. It requires a certain level of you exposing your fragmented, contradictory self to someone else. You running the risk of having your core self rejected and hurt and misunderstood.” -Junot Díaz

  • “Intimacy is “into-me-see.” I am going to talk to you, my beloved, and I am going to share with you my most prized possessions, which are no longer my dowry and the fruit of my womb but my hopes, my aspirations, my fears, my longings, my feelings—in other words, my inner life. And you, my beloved, will give me eye contact. No scrolling while I bare my soul. I need to feel your empathy and validation. My significance depends on it.” -Esther Perel

  • “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” -Ann Landers

  • “Intimacy is not something that just happens between two people; it is a way of being alive. At every moment, we are choosing either to reveal ourselves or to safeguard ourselves, to value ourselves or to diminish ourselves, to tell the truth or to hide. To dive into life or to avoid it. Intimacy is making the choice to be connected to, rather than isolated from, our deepest truth at that moment.” -Geneen Roth

  • “It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” -John Joseph Powell

  • “Intimacy is being seen and known as the person you truly are.” -Amy Bloom

  • “A gentle touch can convey more intimacy than a thousand words.” -Unknown

Achieving intimacy

Many people think that becoming truly close with someone else or even understanding yourself deeply takes a long time. However, growing close can happen at different speeds for different people.

For example, some may explain intimacy as striving to deeply understand a person and their experiences, feelings, and disposition. Others might see it as taking a genuine interest in someone without needing something in return, and others still might say it's an irreplaceable bond of understanding where two people can release their inner demons and not fear judgment.

Discussing intimacy with a therapist

If you'd like to further explore your understanding of intimacy or an intimate relationship you have, it may help to speak with a licensed therapist. If you don’t feel comfortable with traditional in-office therapy at this time, you might consider online therapy, which numerous peer-reviewed studies have demonstrated to be effective.

Not sure you're comfortable discussing emotions?

Not sure you're comfortable discussing emotions?

Go at your own pace with online therapy

With online therapy, you can communicate with a licensed therapist in a way that’s most comfortable for you, whether by audio, video, live chat, or a combination of these methods. You can also message your therapist at any time through in-app messaging, and they’ll respond as soon as they can. This may be useful if you have questions or concerns in between sessions, as you can write down your thoughts in the moment instead of waiting until your next therapy session to communicate them.

Below are some reviews of BetterHelp therapists from people who have gained insight from about their relationships during therapy.

Therapist reviews

“Amy is absolutely wonderful and a joy to talk to. I spent the last two months talking to her, working through specific issues from work to family and relationships and feel like I’ve had breakthroughs in every aspect whether during our sessions or after. This was my first time going to therapy and I am very lucky to have been paired with her. She is kind and patient, understood my needs without jumping to conclusions and I appreciated my time with her very much. Thank you!!”

“I really loved working with Ann. She gave me great advice and listened really well to my issues. I never felt like I was judged and she really helped me reevaluate my life as I was going through a rough relationship patch. I’m not out of the woods yet, but Ann has given me the tools to get better and has been a great support.”


If you can relate to any of the above quotes about intimacy, you might consider keeping them with you for further contemplation. Intimacy can be a complex topic, whether you're exploring self-intimacy or a long-term relationship, and revisiting a favorite quote may help you glean more from it. If you’d like to explore intimacy further, you may benefit from speaking with a licensed therapist, whether in person or online. With BetterHelp, you can be matched with a therapist who has experience helping people explore topics related to intimacy. Take the first step toward getting support with intimacy and reach out to BetterHelp today.
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