If Your Relationship Has These 7 Components, You're Experiencing True Intimacy

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happy young couple sharing a tub of ice cream in their kitchen at home

By Ana Georgieva

Being a part of a couple does not always guarantee the feeling of intimacy. Intimacy is a complicated matter that most of us struggle to understand and even to experience.

However, it is a critical component of any healthy relationship, so it's worth getting yourself more comfortable with the topic.

If Your Relationship Has These 7 Components, You're Experiencing True Intimacy

1. Knowledge

First, intimate partners have extensive personal, often confidential, knowledge about each other. Favorite foods, color preferences, family issues and all the details of the other’s lifestyle are things we might be quite familiar with.

Knowing someone deeply is one of the important signs of intimacy.

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2. Interdependence

Depending on someone else is what scares many people from entering into a serious relationship. But it is also indicative for the degree of closeness in a couple.

Intimate partners take each other’s plans into consideration, they compromise schedules and preferences in order to reach a consensus. Having your life intertwined with that of someone else means affecting and influencing what the other person does and how (s)he feels.

3. Caring

It seems obvious that to be intimate with someone you have to care for her. But sometimes it is that particular element which fades away in long-term relationships and compromises the quality of intimacy in the couple.

We never actually overcome the need to be cared for. It is primal and it is the closest affect to love.

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4. Trust

Trust is not only about abstaining from adultery. In intimate couples trust is about being sure that the other would not ever hurt you intentionally. You can risk being vulnerable with your partner and retain the feeling of basic safety.

5. Responsiveness

Rowland Miller, an expert on intimate relationships from Sam Houston State University, writes:

"Intimacy increases when people believe that their partners understand, respect, and appreciate them, being attentively and effectively responsive to their needs and concerned for their welfare. Responsiveness is powerfully rewarding, and the perception that our partners recognize, understand, and support our needs and wishes is a core ingredient of our very best relationships."

Responsiveness is an important ingredient of our attachment style and is a major factor for a child’s emotional growth.

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6. Mutuality

As close ties develop in the course of love, people start to sense their personality is overlapping with that of their partner. The famous shift from ”I” to ”us” begins to take place and it is a sign of the connection growing stronger.

The inclusion of Other in your Self is one of the bravest gestures of intimacy. It means allowing to be changed by someone else and for the sake of someone else.

7. Commitment

In order for an intimate relationship to last, it takes the time and efforts of both partners to make it work in the long run.

The romantic idea of love which happens on its own once you have found Mr(s). Right is outdated and unsupported by both science and experience. It is investing your resources daily and not taking the other person for granted that will help your couple thrive.

You don’t have to obtain everything on the checklist for intimate happiness to be present. Love comes in different shapes and colors, of course, but it is helpful to keep in mind what it takes to sustain a long-term relationship.

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Ana Georgieva is a psychologist, body psychotherapist, researcher, and writer. She explores the intricate connections between the body and the mind, and the different ways in which these connections form our identity.

This article was originally published at I Heart Intelligence. Reprinted with permission from the author.