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Osorhor Ogenevwegba Michael
Delta state polytechnic otefe oghara ( DESPO )
Graduate, Nigeria.
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I find that most of us have differing definitions of what “intimacy in relationships” means. (Even the dictionary has up to 5 different definitions of intimacy!) I also believe most of us show or receive love (aka our “love language” coined by Gary Chapman, PhD) in different ways and a huge contributor is how we were shown love in our childhoods and our past experiences.

Differing opinions on intimacy in relationships can cause issues when one person may show/expect love one way, while the other may be complete opposite.

(So no wonder couples experience disconnection from time to time when the level of understanding how to communicate and effectively express love to one another seems out of reach). In a sense, you are speaking different languages and in the process, your needs as well as your partner’s, are not being met. Sometimes we don’t recognize that our partner may not have the tools to express love the way we need it and we often dismiss their authentic attempts. We beat each other up emotionally because we feel rejected or unseen because we often assume our partners don’t care about us. This of course leads to lack of intimacy in our relationships, which is purely a symptom of misunderstanding each other’s love languages.

When couples come in, both parties often express their frustration with not “having enough intimacy” and explain how they feel the lack of intimacy has negatively impacted their relationship. Before we dive into the process, I think it’s important to first define each person’s definition of intimacy and explore each other’s expectations on love. How do you show it to your partner? How does your partner currently show you love? How would you feel more loved and supported? What is intimacy in relationship anyway and do you need it? How were you shown love and safety in your family as a child? How do you communicate what you need to your partner?

After we openly discuss the topic of intimacy, while defining simple words that we use on a regular basis, most couples start to realize that their definitions are completely different and it isn’t that their partner doesn’t care about them.it’s that they have been missing opportunities to connect with each other due to misunderstanding.

I often hear, “intimacy in relationships is sex and I need sex in order to feel connected to my partner emotionally,” or “intimacy in relationships is acknowledgement, I need to have this in order to feel connected to my partner physically and emotionally.” Sometimes I even hear, “intimacy to me is just being close to each other on the couch and watching movies.”
Whatever your definition of intimacy in relationships is or how you show/expect love, remember that it may differ from your partner. There is no “right or wrong” answer, as your needs are real and an important part of strengthening your connection within your relationship. However, openly discussing this topic may save you distress in the long run and may really help you and your partner build a helpful understanding of how meet each other’s needs effectively.

Source www.modernlovecounseling.com/intimacy-in-relationships/
Intimacy In Relationships : What Does It Even Mean? - Relationships/Romance

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