Striving For Authentic Intimacy In Your Relationships
Updated May 19, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Laura Angers
Not everyone has an easy time opening up to their significant other. Even if you love your partner very deeply, you may have issues with reaching a certain level of intimacy with them. Sometimes this is because of traumatic events in your past. Other times, it might be because you just haven't learned how to promote intimacy properly in your relationship.
If you want your relationship to thrive and continue to grow, then it is imperative to strive for authentic intimacy. You want to be able to feel comfortable around your partner and for them to know that you will always have their back. If you feel apprehensive around them, then you are only ever going to reach a certain level of comfort. You shouldn't worry if you are having problems with intimacy though, as this is something that you can work on over time.
Are Intimacy And Sex The Same Thing?
One of the first things that should be discussed is that intimacy and sex aren't necessarily the same thing. Many people equate the term intimacy with sex. Some use the phrase "being intimate" interchangeably with having sex. This has led to a lot of people assuming that intimacy is something that refers to sexual activity specifically.
This isn't the case, as you can be intimate without having sex. You can also have sexual intercourse without it being an intimate experience. The word intimacy simply refers to being close to someone. When you have an intimate relationship with someone, then you will feel a deep sense of closeness with them.
The intimacy between a married couple or two people who are in a serious relationship should be very good overall. You want to achieve a certain level of closeness to have a successful relationship. Relationships that succeed and last for a very long time will almost always possess authentic intimacy. This allows the two people to connect with one another on a level that is much deeper than pure attraction or simple admiration.
Sex can become a part of an intimate relationship. A healthy sex drive is something that can keep a relationship exciting, so you shouldn't ignore your sexual urges. It is simply important to understand that intimacy is about something deeper than just sex. Sex is a part of the puzzle, but it is not the whole thing.
What Is Authentic Intimacy?
Authentic intimacy is essentially a true feeling of closeness with your significant other. When you have an authentically intimate relationship with another human being, you're going to be very comfortable around them. You will feel like you can trust them with anything and that they will always love you for who you are. Couples with very intimate relationships will have no problem being vulnerable around one another, and this can truly be a beautiful thing.
Having someone in your life that you trust and love so deeply is a profound experience. You may love your significant other very much, but it is still possible to deepen your relationship through increased levels of intimacy. Some people are shy by nature and will have problems with being intimate in certain ways. This is okay, as everyone has to take things at his or her own pace and open up when he or she feels comfortable.
As an example, your partner may not be comfortable with being fully naked around you. This might stem from them being shy about certain aspects of their body. You should never try to force your partner to do anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. The best course of action to take is to be supportive and assure your partner that you love them exactly how they are.
Others have problems with opening up emotionally with their partners. Some people tend to put on a facade because they don't want their significant other to know that they are suffering emotionally in some way. People feel embarrassed about emotional issues and pain, so they may try to hide it rather than share it. In this situation, you should simply let your partner know that you are there for them.
They need to want to open up and let the relationship become more intimate. Your partner may be afraid of being judged, or they might simply feel inadequate in some way. Giving them plenty of emotional support and ensuring that they know you're always on their side is the best way to promote a breakthrough.
A relationship that has an intimacy that was built up through natural ways will prosper. You will learn to trust your significant other more and will grow to appreciate them in different ways as the years go by. Relationships are not a static thing, as they are always growing and evolving. Becoming ever closer to your partner is going to improve your love and give you the strength to weather any storm together.
Intimacy Needs To Be Real
It is very important that intimacy comes from a real place. You might be wondering how intimacy could be faked. This can happen when one person in the relationship desires a deeper connection, but the other simply isn't ready. They may try to go along with what their partner wants but will have trouble truly committing in their heart.
For intimacy to be real, two people need to be committed to growing together. If one person isn't ready to open up in a certain way, then their partner should respect those boundaries. It takes time to grow a truly close relationship, and if you're committed to each other, you will have plenty of time to work on things. You don't need to force intimacy when it doesn't feel natural.
Some couples have high levels of physical intimacy and feel very comfortable around each other. They might not have a problem using the bathroom around each other and may even bathe together. Other couples may never feel natural doing this, and that is okay. Your relationship is unique, and your partner's needs are unique. Always strive to make them comfortable and grow closer together in ways that are natural to you.
You may become so close to your partner that you are as comfortable with their body as you are your own. Even sharing deeply personal thoughts may wind up feeling completely natural. Just take things at your own pace and let the relationship evolve on its own. Simply be open to continuing to grow with your partner and great things will be possible.
Ways To Improve Your Intimacy Levels With Your Partner
Improving your intimacy with your partner should be done as naturally as possible. As mentioned earlier, intimacy needs to be as authentic as it can be. You want everyone to feel comfortable with what is happening and for your partner to feel safe. Even still, there are some simple tips that you can keep in mind that will help to increase your intimacy levels.
The best thing that you can do is to try to take time out of your day to spend with your partner. If you don't get enough alone time with them throughout the work week, then you should try to carve out a specific day where you can enjoy each other's company. You need to spend time around each other if you're going to grow your relationship. Even if you are a very busy person, it is important to make the time for the people that are the most important to you in life.
Try to experience new things together as well. Couples that have an adventurous streak usually thrive with this method. Doing fun activities together can help you to deepen your bond. Being able to enjoy new things together will automatically make you feel closer in many ways, so it is worth seeking out new experiences that appeal to you both.
If you're both homebodies, then it is still possible to experience new things together. You could try cooking meals together and trying out new recipes. Reading books together or playing games of some sort can be fun activities as well. Just put in the time and have fun together.
You should do your best to maintain a healthy sex life as well. As long as you and your partner are comfortable with sexual activity, it can be an important part of your life. Growing more intimate in a physical way can be much easier when you're comfortable with each other sexually. Try to speak with your partner about their desires and their needs to ensure that they are being met.
It might feel awkward to talk about sexual activity for some people at first, but it will feel more natural over time. Sex should be a part of your life that you look forward to and enjoy. If you work at it, then your sexual relationship can be better five years into a relationship than it was when you first started dating. It is all about communication and being open to your partner's ideas.
Seeking Help For Intimacy Issues
You may also find out that you are not as capable of opening up intimately as you would like. Sometimes traumatic events in your past can make opening up to your partner very difficult. If you have had a bad relationship experience in the past, then you may not be able to commit to an intimate relationship without some assistance fully. These problems shouldn't make you feel like you're strange or like you are alone, as many people suffer from these same issues.
It is possible to seek professional help and counseling when you have problems with intimacy. Whether you are having a tough time with becoming intimate in a physical way or if you have emotional intimacy problems, they can be fixed. If you feel like you need help, then you will be able to reach out to professionals to get assistance. You don't even need to leave your home to receive thorough counseling and help.
Signing up at https://www.betterhelp.com/start/ will allow you to get the assistance that you are looking for. They have dedicated counselors who are capable of giving you sound advice. You will be able to talk about your problems with intimacy and any other issues that are bothering you. Whether you have anxiety problems or if you are dealing with depression, the professional counselors and therapists will be able to provide you with relief.
Take the time to speak with them about how they can be of assistance to you. If you want to improve your relationship by striving for authentic intimacy, then it will prove to be beneficial. It is a safe and convenient way to work through many problems that you may be encountering. You'll always have the support that you need, and your partner will be there for you every step of the way as well.