Relationships are complex and complicated creatures. Each one is completely unique and only the people within the relationship will ever truly know what that experience is like. However, relationship experts do know that there are a couple of common threads that weave throughout all happy, healthy relationships, and having intimacy is one of them.
Intimacy is key to a happy, healthy, and lasting partnership. After all, it’s the very reason most of us are even in a relationship, to begin with. From birth, one of our basic human needs is to be seen and loved by others. As adults, we enter relationships with other humans in order to have those needs met. Yet there are many things that can get in the way of intimacy, making the idea of emotional and physical closeness seem far away or even impossible to cultivate. Childhood traumas, old wounds, infidelity, sexual shaming, a lack of communication, and even embarrassment are all possible reasons that a couple may find it difficult to connect intimately with one another. But hear this: every relationship will experience varying degrees of intimacy depending on the stage and season of the partnership and there are many avenues available to help you discover and create intimacy.
Creating intimacy is a process that takes time, energy, and effort. It may be a good idea to attend couple’s counseling if there are underlying issues at play or you feel too disconnected from your partner to even begin the conversation. Aside from that, some key components to creating intimacy in relationship are 1) open and honest conversations where both partners are free to ask or express anything 2) enjoying one another’s company just for the sake of it 3) date nights and activities where you do new (and challenging) things together 4) building trust, and, of course, 5) having good sex.
A lot of people associate physical touch and sexual activity with intimacy. That is, we think if we’re having sex with our partner, we’re being intimate. But good sex can be allusive and simply having sex does not necessarily mean you are being intimate. There are many different kinds of sex and if one partner or the other is not feeling an intimate connection in the bedroom, sex might actually be making the problem worse (for example, pushing you farther apart or creating resentments). However, when there is true emotional intimacy in a relationship, generally physical intimacy will follow suit.
Although experiencing intimacy within your relationship may feel a long way off, the benefits are more than worth it. Beyond having the basic human needs for love and connection met, intimacy creates an environment where both partners will feel happier and more peaceful in the day-to-day. Likewise, when we experience difficult or stressful times (such as child-rearing, the loss of a loved one, or financial strain), intimacy goes a long way towards decreasing our stress levels because we feel connected and supported by another person. The benefits to our physical health include a boost to our immune system, lower blood pressure, and an overall reduction in stress. Experiencing intimacy makes us happy and relaxed which means sleep better, less muscle pain, and fewer headaches. Umm, yes, please!
With all of this in mind, it may feel that we should all be striving for greater intimacy in our relationships all of the time. But it’s not always that easy or straightforward and seeing a couple’s therapist is a great option should you feel the need to seek help. The Relationship Therapy Center in Fair Oaks and Roseville, Ca is here to help you create a happier, more connected relationship.
Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:
In addition to sex therapy, Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. We will discuss the importance of self-care and emotional support to help you grow closer in intimacy and to discover ways to find healthy paths to greater intimacy.
Sex therapy can be beneficial, with the right therapist. Our compassionate therapists are trained to walk you through the process and help you find healing and peace. Please contact our therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you and your loved ones heal, grow, and love well.