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Understanding beyond Physical Intimacy

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

The word intimacy has now a days become synonyms with sex. Although, the fact of the matter is that intimacy can mean a lot of different things to different people. When talking about relationship, one should notice that it might not always need just sexual or physical intimacy. A relationship works best when both the partners are in sync with their ideas and understand each other perfectly.

Intimacy when it comes to other aspects of our lives can be pretty daunting, as it involves being vulnerable to our partner. A lot of men tend to fear intimacy because of the same. Being told to be strong and never show emotions, makes men think of intimacy as a sign of weakness, hence, lacking the essence of being intimate with their partners.

It is true that intimacy in a relationship can not be achieved overnight. Both the partners need to make efforts together towards it. However, we often see women complain about the lack of emotions shown by their partners in a relationship. What they are actually lacking is a partner who believes in showing intimacy by being available and vulnerable to their partners.

Making your partner a high priority should be one of the major goals in one’s life. But because of our stressful work environments and societal pressure, many men tend to make becoming successful in their work life a priority higher than their personal lives. The price of which is then paid by unsuccessful relationships.

In order to fulfill the gap in their relationship, men tend to think of intimacy as being comfortable with their partners when it comes to physical relationships. However, we all need intimacy in a broader aspect of our lives. Something that is generally forgotten by our generation.

To understand how men can become more present in their relationship and achieve intimacy with their partners, which goes beyond the physical realm, one needs to understand that intimacy is actually seeked in different ways. Some of which are:

Emotional Intimacy:

The very next thing that is pretty obvious in a relationship is to have emotional intimacy. Men tend to avoid being vulnerable with their partner, which more often than not is the reason behind your partner saying that they do not feel connected to you. Emotional intimacy tends to build trust and honesty in a relationship, lacking which your relationship can very easily become unstable.

Being vulnerable, talking about your fears and emotions, is one huge step in this regard. Open communication and a zeal to make your partner understand you in a way that no one else can get are the key points of an emotionally healthy relationship.

Every relationship goes through a phase of less or no physical intimacy. During those times it is important that both the partners can understand each other and do not stuck in a loop of thinking that no sexual initimacy means that their relationship is dwindling. A good understanding of each other can only be achieved through emotional intimacy.

We all crave to be seen, loved, heard and appreciated in a relationship. A partner who understands that apart from the physical touch, a relationship can also blossom when both the parties feel loved, will understand the need of emotional intimacy and makes sure to give it priority.

Intellectual Intimacy:

The next part of being connected with your partner requires intellectual intimacy. Connecting on an intellectual front will not only give you both more to talk about, it will also open up the avenue of learning from each other. Talking and discussing a variety of topics with your partner can help you understand their ideologies and the way their mind works.

Remember, these discussions do not need to become a debate. At the end of the day, you both are part of the same team. With intellectual intimacy you can make sure to evolve together as a couple and take a journey that is not only helpful to grow for both of you but will also make you both understand each other in a better way.

These discussions enriches the relationship and makes sure that it becomes stimulating and growing. An intellectual discussion about a variety of topics also shows that you not only love your partner but also respect them for their ideas and thinking. These discussions can be a way of becoming more and more close to your partner and letting each other in spaces that you didn’t know even existed.

Experiential Intimacy

This one talks about sharing experience and unlocking an intimacy that can only be gained after going through the same experience. You might have listened to a lot of experts talking about doing certain activities together to gain intimacy in a relationship. What they are actually referring towards is experiential intimacy.

When you and your partner go through an experience together, be it a fun one where you both went for a vacation together, an adrenaline rush through adventure together or even a silly experience of falling off the sofa in the middle of a conversation, it builds intimacy and trust. Making you both a power couple.

Getting to experience things together will also lead to having some inside jokes in your relationship and will also give you some sweet memories to delve upon. It builds a connection that you might have experienced only with your friends.

Going through an experience together, also helps in realizing how your partner might react to an unexpected situation that might happen in your coming future. However, while experiencing and making memories together make sure that your attention is focused on your partner and you are not losing the moment while concentrating on your phone. Disconnect with all the worldly things to connect with your partner and give them the attention that they deserve.

Spiritual Intimacy

This can be a tough one to achieve. Many couples who might have been together for a longer period of time still might not have achieved spiritual intimacy. We all come from different beliefs and systems and in this journey of life, we often try to seek comfort in a power that is beyond us and holds all the questions of existence.

Spiritual awakening is a journey in itself, something that not all of us have the strength to sustain. However, those who do take this journey launch themselves into a path that is ever evolving and helps grow one. Helping your partner in such a journey can be rewarding for both of you.

Helping your partner understand your beliefs and making efforts to understand theirs will bring a certain peace in your relationship and create a bond that over the time can become unbreakable. Connecting with your partner in a spiritual way will help you both to understand your love more. This not only enriches the relationship but also gives it wings and the freedom to fly high.

Fear of Intimacy

The traditional masculine script of the society defines men to show strength and power on each step of their life. It reduces them to an idealized version where men have or show no emotions and can never be vulnerable. More often than not this stereotype version of manliness enables men to become fearful of intimacy when gone beyond the level of physical spheres.

More often than not men desire intimacy that makes them understood and loved beyond the physical sphere. However, due to the way men are brought up and told to behave in a certain way leaves them fearful of being open and intimate with their partners. Past experiences also end up creating an atmosphere that they do not feel comfortable in sharing their feelings.

The major purpose behind the fear of intimacy is to protect one’s feelings. Intimacy enables vulnerability and an openness, which requires people to come out of their shell and share, be it about their emotions or even making memories together. This triggers a fear for those who have not been brought up in an open environment and told that vulnerability does not mean losing control or independence.


Intimacy is a realm that goes beyond being physically intimate with your partner. A true level of intimacy is reached when you and your partner can understand and appreciate each other. To achieve this, going beyond the fear of vulnerability is required, which of course needs effort.

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