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Jay Shetty Warns Of The 'Lowest Form Of Intimacy' And How It's Impacting Your Relationship

Photo: Jay Shetty TikTok/wing-wing/bbernard - Shutterstock
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A lack of intimacy can really kill a relationship. But what counts as intimacy varies greatly from one couple to the next. One thing we can all agree on, however, is that the closeness and trust that come from intimacy are essential for a happy and healthy relationship.

But according to relationship expert Jay Shetty, there are levels to intimacy.

According to Shetty's 'pyramid of intimacy,' one common type of intimacy may be a relationship killer.

In a video shared on his TikTok channel, Shetty warned that couples who watch television together are engaging in the lowest form of intimacy that anyone could possibly ask for.

“If you and I watch TV together for 200 hours a year, we would potentially be no closer than we were before,” he explained — which is concerning, because it happens to be what most couples spend a lot of time doing together. “If we’re only watching TV together, I promise you, that relationship is not growing,” Shetty explained. 



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He believes that couples who primarily engage in this type of intimacy have no idea that the relationship is actually falling apart.

Not everyone agrees that watching TV together will ruin the intimacy in a relationship. 

There is something comforting about enjoying a good show with someone you care about. Contrary to what Shetty believes, a survey conducted by Propeller Insights and Xfinity found that 66% of couples thought connecting over good TV brought them closer together and strengthened their bond. Relationships generally fare better when a couple has some things in common, and entertainment might be one of those things.

Every person has unique needs and just because one relationship expert believes indulging in entertainment pushes partners away from each other, that's not the consensus among all love doctors.

As a matter of fact, Ron Rogge, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Rochester conducted a study in 2013 with the goal of seeing whether or not couples merely spending time together could reduce the divorce rate. That study found that after five weeks of couples watching pre-assigned movies together and discussing them afterward, early divorce rates were reduced by 50%. Even couples who attended relationship workshops fared worse than those who spent time watching television together and talking about what they had watched. So, perhaps the intentional communication after the shows and movies is key to making this form of intimacy work. 

Though Shetty didn’t share the other things on his hierarchy of intimacy, he did provide some additional ways to improve intimacy with a partner that can keep you closely bonded.

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For those looking to build more intimacy, Shetty gave five suggestions.

1. Open up about who you are.

By sharing more of yourself, you break down emotional barriers and deepen the connection between you and your partner.

2. Try new things.

Relationships often get stale over time. Mix it up a little bit by being spontaneous and trying new things. New experiences can not only help you to learn more about your mate but also give you new perspectives on the relationship.

3. Achieve something together.

Working on a goal together is a fulfilling way to create more intimacy with your partner. Whether it’s a project or a hobby, working together to reach the finish line can strengthen the bond between the two of you.

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4. Be a safe space.

If your spouse feels judged or defensive every time they tell you their deepest, darkest secrets, they are not likely to continue to open up to you. Put your emotions aside and make space for your partner to share with you.

5. Be grateful.

It’s easy to take the things that your partner does for you for granted. Once you get used to them, the novelty of their thoughtful actions can go unnoticed and make them feel unappreciated. Showing gratitude can go a long way in strengthening the intimate connection.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington. She covers lifestyle, relationship, and human-interest stories that readers can relate to and that bring social issues to the forefront for discussion.