What is the difference between sex and intimacy?
I want to have more intimacy in my relationship
Most people have a perfect fairy-ideal of what romantic love and intimacy is.
We may believe that love should be like the kind of romance we see portrayed in films, television, and novels and that it includes lots of passionate sec.
Humans have a general desire to belong and to love, which is usually satisfied within an intimate relationship. And many think that this means having sex.
But too often, people don’t know the difference between sex and intimacy.
And they think their romantic relationships are less if they don’t experience this kind of fairy-tale, passionate relationship. The ‘romantic love’ fantasy is really a substitute for intimacy – real, connected and vulnerable intimacy.
Intimacy is about seeing your partner for who he or she really is.
And this involves getting to really know your partner, and discovering who they are and how they change and evolve. It is about seeing you partner as someone who is human with faults and issues just like every person, no matter how wonderful he or she is.
It also involves being prepared to open up about yourself (be vulnerable) and share some of your thoughts, opinions, dreams, fears and “demons”. This takes courage because it means you have to take the risk to trust someone else. And the fear always is, “if they know that about me, they may not love me”. That’s why it takes courage.
Intimacy could be spelled like this “IN-TO-ME-SEE” – because that is the definition of Intimacy!
When you don’t share your REAL thoughts and feelings with another person, you are keeping them on the “other” side of the real you. You are revealing only the things that you think they will like about you. That’s what we do when we first meet someone, or are trying to “fit in” or be accepted.
But you can only have that “superficial” relationship with someone for a short time. You will always be cautious and “on guard” in case you accidentally say something that will reveal you as a fraud, or not a nice person. This can be really stressful!
So when we reveal ourselves to our partner and share the “deeper” stuff – and discover that we are still loved and cherished in spite of that “stuff” – then we have achieved true emotional intimacy.
It is an emotional state that is often reserved for just one person. Ideally, sex in a loving relationship should be the physical embodiment of intimacy. It should come from a place of love and connection.
Typically women yearn for the emotional intimacy in their relationship because then they feel safe. And when they feel safe, they can relax in to sharing meaningful sexual intimacy with the partner with whom they feel safe.
Typically, men are happy to enjoy sexual intimacy and once they are satisfied in this area, they are more open to being vulnerable and sharing more emotional intimacy.