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What do you look for in an intimate relationship

True story: I once met a boy on a dating app. We fell for each other fast, obsessively texting for the better part of two months before I eventually flew to London to meet him. Except, not. You see, when I finally met my new digital boyfriend, we discovered we were not actually in love in real life. On the contrary: It felt like we were meeting for the first time…because, of course, we were. While this may be true—that the exact experience of intimacy is unique to each individual— Julie Spira , a cyber-dating expert and online matchmaker, believes there are four major components of true intimacy that are common to varying degrees across all relationships.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: The FEAR OF INTIMACY & 5 Ways to Overcome it

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: What is "intimacy avoidance"? (Glossary of Narcissistic Relationships)

Intimacy in relationships

There might be love. There might be commitment. There might be a solid friendship at its core. Worth it — but hard. Desire feeds physical intimacy which in turn feeds connection, nurturance and the protective guard around relationships. Intimate relationships in which desire has faded can take on the shape of housemates or colleagues. There can still be love and a deep emotional bond in these relationships, there might even still be sex, but without desire the way we see ourselves and feel about ourselves changes and will ultimately play out in the relationship.

Understanding the nature of desire is key to getting it back. The intensity of desire in relationships will ebb and flow. Slowly, the protective guard around your relationship might start to chip away.

The very thing that makes your relationship different to every other relationship in your life slowly stops. You can spend time with other people, laugh, cry, argue, share a meal and go on holidays with them — but sex is something that is only for the two of you, building and nurturing an intimacy and connection that is shared between the two of you and nobody else.

The fading of desire happens slowly. It comes with the vacuuming, the cleaning, stress, work, busy-ness, familiarity, predictability and just trying to make it through the day. Above all else, it comes with the assumption of responsibility for the needs of our partner over our own. We show up completely. From the work of Esther Perel, we know that desire in long-term relationships involves two needs that push against each other. On the one hand, we need security, safety, familiarity and predictability.

But we also need adventure, unpredictability, mystery and surprise. We need a sense of familiarity and predictability. We need to know what happens when we reach out and we need an idea of where the relationship is headed. But we also have a need for adventure and excitement.

As much as we need predictability, we also need mystery and surprise. As much as we need security and safety, we need adventure and risk. The problem is that we are asking for all of this from one person. We want a predictable, safe partner we can trust and we want an exciting, passionate lover.

We want to be in a relationship where we feel a sense of belonging, but we want to expand our own identity. We want to feel safe, but we want the excitement and growth that comes with teetering with our toes on the edges of unpredictability.

In love we feel the having, the closeness, the belonging. We want that from love. We want to have the person we love. We want to be physically close, as in no distance between us. We want to know the other, to be familiar and to feel the warmth of that.

We want to feel comforted by their physical nearness. But in desire, we want something else — something unpredictable and unfamiliar. We want the excitement that comes with the mystery, the uncertainty and the unpredictability of that. As explained by Perel, the qualities of a relationship that grow love — mutuality, protection, safety, predictability, protection, responsibility for the other — are the very things that will smother desire. Desire comes with a range of feelings that would make our everyday, socially appropriate selves gasp with the inappropriateness of it all — jealousy, possessiveness, naughtiness, power, selfishness.

Too often, the very things that turn on our sexuality and our desire between the sheets are the same things we will push against once the bed is made. We make the mistake of not asking for that which might nurture our desire because we confuse it with selfishness. So instead we act from a place of selflessness. The problem with this is that is can starve our desire. Desire by its very nature is selfish — but the very best kind of selfish — the capacity to stay in tune with the self, while being with another.

Neediness and desire cannot exist together. Nothing will kill desire quicker than neediness. Nobody will be turned on by somebody who is needy for them or who has an expectation of them as their caretaker. Over time we lose the connection with the part of ourselves that experiences desire. Through her research, Perel has found a number of ways to increase desire.

We know this one. Desire flourishes in absence. When we are apart, we shift away from the day to day responsibility we feel for and share with our partner and reconnect with that which is unfamiliar and exciting. Desire is cramped by the familiar. With distance we are able to feel mystery, longing and anticipation — the hallmarks of desire. We see others drawn to them and we see them exude a confidence that we may not typically see. However much we might love the person we see at home or on holidays or in the everyday, seeing them in an unfamiliar light as confident, knowledgeable, expert and sought after, inspires the unfamiliar which in turn feeds desire.

During these times, we are not close up. We watch from a comfortable distance and in this space, this person who is so familiar becomes mysterious, exciting, unpredictable.

In that moment, we are changed for a while and we are open to the excitement and mystery that is within touching distance. This is when love and desire share the space. To find the desire or to bring it back into a relationship we have to look to ourselves first, rather than making the issue one of what our partner can do to make us desire him or her more.

Ask yourself the question: When do you shut yourself off from desire? Is it when you feel exhausted? When you feel selfish for wanting? When receiving pleasure feels wrong? Similarly, ask when you turn your desire on. When do YOU turn your desire on. This is a different question to asking what turns you on.

One comes from the self, one comes from the other. Is it when you miss your partner? When you feel like you deserve to look after yourself? Who are you when you feel desire? Embrace that part of yourself. Desire is about a space you go into where you stop being the responsible, well-behaved human who looks after others and takes care of things. Desire happens when you can be completely available to, and connected with, yourself while you are with another.

Is it a spiritual space, a naughty space, a playful space or a place of complete surrender. Forget spontaneity. It takes effort. Bringing back passion into a relationship takes a deliberate effort.

What does work is deliberately creating opportunities and space to be with each other. Desire, sex and physical intimacy are worth the fight and should never be looked on as a bonus extra. They are the heartbeat of relationships and the lifeblood of connection and intimacy.

We deserve to experience desire in the fullest. We deserve it for ourselves and for our relationships. Talking to him about sex seems to dampen his ego and makes it hard for me to approach the situation. I have been trying to help but I also have my own bad days and get to be needy.

If I initiate to any degree hes immediately turned off. Great article. Or do these things make desire with your partner less powerful? Such a great article.

I think growing up in a very religious home desire and selfish sexual thinking have been discouraged my whole life. It is a tool that is deeply hidden and not used. This has been an issue in our marriage from the start.

I feel I go through the motions most of the time, and that is bad for both of us. We have a deep love for one another and are committed, but I want that desire in our marriage. Any tips on how to exercise that feeling when it has been unused for so long, and not feel guilty about it? Experiment gently with what that feeling would be like for you. Thank you for putting in the effort and sharing these amazingly valuable information Karen!

Thank you for writing this. I have been on this off and on rut now with my boyfriend, more so me having a push-pull routine.

Intimacy and Relationships

Victorian government portal for older people, with information about government and community services and programs. Type a minimum of three characters then press UP or DOWN on the keyboard to navigate the autocompleted search results. Intimacy in a relationship is a feeling of being close, and emotionally connected and supported. It means being able to share a whole range of thoughts, feelings and experiences that we have as human beings. It involves being open and talking through your thoughts and emotions, letting your guard down being vulnerable , and showing someone else how you feel and what your hopes and dreams are.

Before I married my wonderful husband, I dated a lot of men. For most of my 20s and even my early 30s I had a perfect fairy-ideal of what romantic love was, probably because I was an actress and loved drama back then.

Waking up to a "good morning" message is cute and all and so is a mid-day rendezvous. But there comes a point in some relationships when you want something more than just a thoughtful text and a good orgasm. Can your significant other tell that you're sad by the tone in your voice? Do you feel like you can be your truest self around them? These are signs of what experts refer to as an intimate relationship.

The 10 Key Elements That Define An Intimate Relationship, According To Experts

There might be love. There might be commitment. There might be a solid friendship at its core. Worth it — but hard. Desire feeds physical intimacy which in turn feeds connection, nurturance and the protective guard around relationships. Intimate relationships in which desire has faded can take on the shape of housemates or colleagues. There can still be love and a deep emotional bond in these relationships, there might even still be sex, but without desire the way we see ourselves and feel about ourselves changes and will ultimately play out in the relationship. Understanding the nature of desire is key to getting it back.

Intimate relationship

Common attributes that come to mind include intelligence, kindness, sense of humor, attractiveness, or reliability. We may think we are looking for a partner who complements us only in positive ways, but on an unconscious level, we are frequently drawn to people who complement us in negative ways as well. What this means is that we tend to pick partners who fit in with our existing emotional baggage. We are inclined to replay events and dynamics that hurt us in the past in our adult relationships. Were they too controlling?

All romantic relationships go through ups and downs and they all take work, commitment, and a willingness to adapt and change with your partner. Every relationship is unique, and people come together for many different reasons.

Click here to learn more. Intimacy involves feelings of emotional closeness and connectedness with another person. Intimate relationships are often characterized by attitudes of mutual trust, caring, and acceptance. A part of our sexuality might include intimacy: the ability to love, trust and care for others in both sexual and other types of relationships.

The What and How of True Intimacy

Intimacy is about loving trust and support; accepting and sharing in your partner's feelings, being there when they want to let their defences down and knowing that your partner will be there for you. Intimacy is words and actions, and sharing feelings and experiences - pain and sadness, as well as happiness and love, hard work and humour. Intimacy can be sexual though it's also a reassuring touch, really listening to your partner or allowing them to be vulnerable or to cry. You want to know that you matter deeply to someone else.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: 10 Relationship Red Flags of Abuse

An intimate relationship is an interpersonal relationship that involves physical or emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy involves feelings of liking or loving one or more people, and may result in physical intimacy. Intimacy involves the feeling of being in a close, personal association and belonging together. In human relationships, the meaning and level of intimacy varies within and between relationships. Intimate conversations become the basis for "confidences" secret knowledge that bind people together.

Relationships - creating intimacy

People often confuse it with sex. But people can be sexual without being intimate. One night stands, friends with benefits, or sex without love are examples of purely physical acts with no intimacy involved. Intimacy means deeply knowing another person and feeling deeply known. Intimacy, like fine wine takes time to deepen and mellow. It takes gentle handling and patience by all involved.

Intimate relationships are often characterized by attitudes of mutual trust, caring, We may be sexual with an intimate partner, a casual partner, an anonymous.

By Michael Arangua. From reality TV and film to dating sites and classic novels, we have been trained to believe in the idea of intimacy for centuries. But is what we have been told the truth?

Tips for Building a Healthy Relationship

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Are you creating *true* intimacy in your relationship—or faking it?

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Desire in Long Term Relationships: Keeping it and Finding it When It’s Gone.

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