How to Nourish Intimacy in Your Life

Intimacy is a key component to feeling connected to others. As human beings, we all have an innate desire to feel like we matter, to feel that we belong, and feel like we are really seen.

When’s the last time you really allowed yourself to feel seen?

There are 5 types of intimacy that are important to nurture in our lives, to help us thrive and feel whole and balanced.

1. Emotional Intimacy 

Emotional intimacy involves sharing your innermost thoughts and feelings with someone.  Your capacity to be vulnerable is key to establishing emotional intimacy.  You can nourish this type of intimacy by opening up to someone you care about and trust.  Sharing with another human being the last thing that made you laugh so hard that it hurt or the thing that caused you to cry last is a great way to start up an emotionally intimate conversation.

2. Physical Intimacy

This level of intimacy involves physical touch like hugging, cuddling, holding hands, and kissing.  This type of intimacy can include sexual intimacy but can also include platonic forms of touch.  It can be deepened by communicating to your friend or partner on the types of physical affection you find nourishes you.

3. Intellectual Intimacy

Intellectual intimacy involves sharing ideas and thoughts about the things that you care about and matter to you.  You can strengthen your intellectual intimacy with someone by sharing with them your favorite music, poem, or book.  Organizing or joining a book club is also a great way to deepen this level of intimacy!

4. Spiritual Intimacy

This type of intimacy involves sharing awe-inspired moments with someone else.  Examples of ways to enhance your spiritual intimacy include taking a walk in nature with someone, engaging in prayer with a loved one, or joining a yoga or meditation class.

5. Experiential Intimacy 

Being able to share experiences with others is a great way to deepen your connection with another person.  Some fun activities you can share with others include trying a new restaurant with a friend, going on a movie date, and even taking a solo trip and meeting new friends along the way!In order to feel balanced and whole, it is important to cultivate each type of intimacy with the people in our lives.  Not every relationship will allow for each type of intimacy to exist. In fact, it is unrealistic to expect that a relationship with one person will include all of them.

Each person needs different levels of each type of intimacy.  If you notice yourself feeling a lack of connection in your life, it may be helpful to examine which types of intimacy the people around you provide and what is missing.

Warning: Taking the time to reflect on this will likely result in more connection in your life!

Melissa Di Fonzo

Clinical Therapist at Shift Collab
Melissa Di Fonzo is a therapist that helps people struggling with anxiety, depression, anger management, trauma, grief and loss, addictions, body image and self-esteem.

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