Intimate defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary: pertaining to the inmost character of a thing; fundamental; essential or personal; closely acquainted or associated; very familiar.

Intimacy is the state or fact of being intimate; intimate association; familiarity.

Many people think of intimacy as physical closeness involving sexual activities. However, intimacy is much more than that.  You can be intimate with someone without having a sexual relationship with them.  Intimacy is how well you and your mate feel accepted, appreciated, understood and cared for.  Closeness with another individual comes over time.  When each person can be open and honest with who they are and show that real self to another that is when intimacy develops.  Intimacy develops over time and it can fluctuate even when we think we have true intimacy with someone. 

We all want intimacy and yet fear it.  It represents being vulnerable and that is scary for many of us.  We must risk letting our partner get to know us well – flaws and all.  There is always a chance that the other person will dislike or reject us if they “see” the real self and that keeps many of us from true intimacy.  Fear gets in the way.

Intimacy requires trust.  We must trust that the other person will not reject or shame us in anyway.  Trust can only develop in an atmosphere of mutual commitment and it is built over time.  Trust provides the safe climate needed for intimacy and without it couples may emotionally push away from each other and that can result in a sense of loneliness within the relationship.

Intimacy develops over time and involves a wide range of shared experiences…the good, the bad, and the ugly. You must build trust with each other and that means you must be a person of your word and commit to the process of creating intimacy.

Recommended reading: The Seven Levels of Intimacy by Matthew Kelly

You can build intimacy in your relationships one step at a time.  Romance and love can be yours if you take the time to build trust and communication – the foundation of true intimate relationships.  Act in an intimate manner and you can build intimacy.  The more intimacy you have, the more you can build.  Yes, you can build a positive relationship and enhance your intimacy.