What is Intimacy in a Relationship? Types & How to Build It

There are various types of relationships and they all have different levels of the intimate element in them. Today, we’ll discuss what is intimacy in a relationship; its types, and tips on how to build it.

What is Intimacy in a Relationship? 

According to the Oxford Dictionary, intimacy comprises your inner feelings and thoughts that impact your inner self at a personal level. It’s a common misconception that only romantic relationships have got an intimate element in them. In fact, the reality is that other types of relationships could also be intimate.

The word intimacy is from the Latin word “Intimus” and it means “innermost” or “inner.” According to the romantic language, the word intimate outlines the inner qualities of the person. Intimacy is such an element that allows a person to connect with each on different levels. However, it’s a significant element of establishing a healthy relationship.

Types of Intimacy in Relationship 

There are various types of intimacy in the relationship; some of its main types are as follows;

Physical Intimacy

Some of the main elements that fall under the category of physical intimacy are holding hands, cuddling, and engaging in sexual intercourse activity. Speaking of sexual intercourse in the relationship, it’s the most significant element in the relationship and it comprises skin-to-skin touching, cuddling, holding hands, and kissing. However, these small gestures of physical affection may seem boring, but they would help you to develop closeness and intimate connection with your partner.

The other element of being intimate is to feel comfortable and safe in such a way that you could easily share your feelings, likeness and dislikes with your partner. You should make sure that you’re going to ask for a similar type of information from your partner. It allows you to be in a safe environment where you feel comfortable while sharing your deepest feelings and emotions.

Emotional Intimacy

Emotional intimacy is the other significant element of the development and proliferation of the relationship. The emotional intimacy comprises developing closeness with the other person that allows you to express your deepest feelings and emotions relevant to show a caring attitude, affirmation, and understanding of the expectation.

If you’re working on developing emotional intimacy, then you should take all of your time to pay attention to your partner, listen carefully, and express your emotions every day. It’s better if you create a list of traits about your partner that you like and admire, and tell your partner that you’re thinking about them.

Many research studies have shown that self-disclosure helps you to develop intimate feelings in the relationship and strengthen your emotional bond.


It’s not good to have an argumentative discussion with your partner every day. But it can be interesting and fun if you involve in an intellectual discussion with your partner; especially if you belong to different fields of study. You should choose one topic for discussion, do some surfing on Google, and it would show you hundreds of relevant pages.

If both partners engage in discussion on a completely different topic out of the box every day, it would help them to break the monotony in the relationship. Most importantly, it would keep things fresh in the relationship.


It’s not necessary that couples and partners should share some type of thing, and their shared experiences are equally important in the development of a healthy relationship. Often shared experiences are the main reason for starting the relationship, and it would add a nostalgic element among partners in the long term.

If you want to strengthen your experiential intimacy, then it’s a great time to go on a trip, have some fun, and do some type of activity together. You should try to learn something new about your partner.


Spiritual intimacy means your beliefs, values, and religious ideas and you look for something more profound. It’s possible that your beliefs and values would align with your health, wellness, and religion. Therefore, it’s significant that you should share these things with your partner. It allows you an opportunity to discuss the role of spirituality in your and your partners’ life.

How to Build Intimacy in Relationship 

It doesn’t matter how old and long is your relationship; you should always have room for intimacy. Some of the main tips for making the relationship intimate are as follows;

  • You should cuddle with your partner if you’re tired of talking and sexual intercourse
  • Visit new places, go on a trip, and experiment with new fun things
  • Put away your phone and other electronic devices while having a meal, watching a show with your partner, or accompanying your partner. Make sure to pay heed to your partner if he/she is talking about their day or experiences
  • You should carefully listen to your partner, and make sure to be there for them emotionally. If you can’t focus, then you should tell them to put away their phone
  • Share interesting articles with each other for reading and discuss them later, it would help you to develop emotional intimacy and you would have something new to discuss. You can get a mental break especially if you have children.

Conclusion: What is Intimacy in a Relationship? Types & How to Build It

After an in-depth study of what is intimacy in a relationship; its types, and tips on to build it, we have realized that being intimate is significant for the development of the relationship. If you’re working on developing it in your relationship, then you should keep in mind the above-mentioned tips.