Can a relationship survive without intimacy?
Intimacy is defined as a close, familiar or unique bond existing between humans and is categorised as physical or emotional. A strong relationship needs both forms of intimacy, with foundations built over time, thriving on a slow release of trust and self-disclosure in order to prosper.
If you know you can give your partner a knowing look from across the room, and that he or she will respond with that special wink or smile, then you've developed an intimacy in your relationship. Intimacy builds strong foundations for couples to survive through the toughest of times, an anchor for when the going gets tough: it’s the need to be as close as possible emotionally to the one person we've promised to spend the rest of our lives with.
Physical and emotional intimacy
Physical and emotional intimacy go hand in hand: you can’t create a physical intimacy without the emotional intimacy, nor can you have complete emotional intimacy without the physical aspect as well. For some couples, lacking intimacy in one form can bring trouble to their relationship.
It’s in a human being’s nature to require intimacy - this is why simple physical affections, such as hand-holding, cuddling, hugging and kissing is important to your relationship - alongside emotional understanding and capability.
What happens when one partner is more intimate?
It's very common for one type of intimacy to be more important to one partner than the other or one partner more comfortable with intimacy. In this instance, couples often find themselves thinking all is well until one partner finally speaks up and lets them know that the intimacy levels are not what they should be. Or, even more tragic, neither partner says anything and they find themselves ending the relationship without really knowing the true cause.
If you can't be intimate with your partner, whether physically or emotionally (or both), it will make having a lasting relationship with your partner difficult. The reason for this is quite simple: without the emotional and physical bond between mates, there's nothing to hold onto when things get rough and both partners find themselves feeling as though they haven’t an anchor to keep them safe in the rocky ocean of life.
Keeping intimacy important
Most couples have developed an intimacy by the time they actually commit to a long-term relationship - or marry - but most don't realize it's essential to your relationship to continue to build that intimacy.
Without intimacy, there isn’t the security in the relationship of knowing that the other person is there for you, or of knowing that they truly love you. Where intimacy is lacking, most partners don't intend to hurt their significant other, or are even unaware of the lack of intimacy which is why a lacking relationship, whether emotionally or physically, doesn’t have a promising success rate.
This lack of intimacy can cause support, understanding, loneliness and anger issues between a couple. However, a relationship can survive without intimacy, but it will become a real struggle for both partners as time goes on - neither partner will be happy or feel secure in the relationship. Without happiness and security, the basis of a relationship is complicated. Once intimacy is lost or if it never existed in the relationship, it takes a lot of determination and commitment to get intimacy back in the relationship - but it's not impossible if both couples are committed.
To form a strong, long-lasting bond, intimacy is required to fulfil a human’s basic need, it’s what human beings crave in order to create a safe, loving and happy relationship, and intimacy is a key ingredient.
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