Intimacy is the basis for the formation of strong emotional attachments with other people. It is vitally important in the process of forming social bonds and networks. People have a powerful need to belong and to love and feel loved – it is intimacy that allows for this to occur. Intimacy can only grow through shared experiences with and knowledge of another person. It requires vulnerability, dialogue, reciprocity and transparency.
Too sustain an intimate relationship one needs to have a good level of emotional and interpersonal awareness. In the case of an intimate romantic relationship, partners need to be able to deal with a wide range of interactions – including occasional robust conflict. Care should, however, be taken to ensure that there is always a strong foundation of loyalty and trust. This is because we are most vulnerable to hurt from those that we are closest to and those that we have revealed our vulnerabilities to.
Intimacy does not just exist between lovers. It should form the basis of relationships with family members, friends and even sometimes colleagues and team members. Bear in mind that there should be a balance between sharing honestly and avoiding getting ‘too close’too soon.
Read about the importance and benefits of an intimate relationship and some excellent tips on how to build and strengthen an intimate relationship.