Sex can be intimate, and intimacy can be super sexy, but the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive and they shouldn’t be confused. True intimacy goes beyond getting physically naked and exposes you emotionally, often in vulnerable ways. But we do it because it allows someone to really see us, which allows them to love us in deeper ways. Here’s how to tell if you’ve got the intimacy thing going on in your relationship or if your closeness is staying a little closer to the surface and being expressed through sex alone.
- It’s committed. In an intimate relationship much of that intimacy is reserved for one person. It would take too much effort and energy to truly have that with many people at once. If you guys are seeing other people or one or both of you is prepared to jump ship at the next better opportunity, you’re probably not of the intimate variety.
- It’s emotional. We’re not talking about drama queen type emotional here, we’re talking about the kind where you almost cried when he was interrogating you about your favorite childhood movies and you felt vulnerable, even though you’re not sure why exactly. Intimacy exposes our raw nerves, ideally so that we’ll grow upwards and outwards. No one said this was going to be easy.
- The sex is… different. Sure, the positions and all that are pretty standard, but there’s a closeness that makes it good even when the physical effort is pretty minimal. Any two strangers off the street can have sex, but only intimacy can take that to a deeper level. It’s not just about the sensations in your nether regions anymore, it’s about connecting. You might cringe at the cheesy phrase “make love”, but there’s a reason why that exists to differentiate things.
- You communicate. An intimate relationship covers all the bases, even the super unsexy ones like running out of gas and needing to be rescued. The sexy relationship guy might call you AAA, but the intimate one will come get you, even if he’s super annoyed about it and lectures you all the way home.
- Sometimes you don’t have sex. A sex driven relationship is going to revolve around the sex, plain and simple. And yes, ideally you’ll be just as randy for the guy you’re in an intimate relationship with too, but it doesn’t always happen. Why? Because you bond through other things as well.
- It’s out in the open. A sexy relationship might get treated a little more like a hook-up, even if you guys are Facebook official. You just don’t necessarily need to a lot of stuff together, you prefer to meet up at bedtime. In an intimate relationship, there is some overlap whether you feel like hanging out or not, because you take responsibility for both people in the relationship.
- You’re honest. Intimacy doesn’t exist without honesty. If you’re keeping secrets from each other all over the place you’re not really letting him see you, nor you him. An intimate relationship exposes stuff we might rather keep under wraps but the other person stays anyway, because they trust and care about you at the core of your being.