He likes sugar, I like spice: Syncing Intimacy in our Relationships

After 10 years of marriage, Chevy decides to finally get a divorce. The reason was, a lack of emotional support from her husband, and her expectations were never met. Their two kids were the only thread that kept them together for so long. We have Saurab who broke up with his childhood sweetheart because he couldn’t keep up with her ambitious career perspective. So what is happening here exactly? Did they fall out of love? Might be. Or they might be in love but do not have the connection called ‘intimacy’.

What is intimacy?

Intimacy is a feeling of being close or connected to someone. It is derived from the Latin word ‘intimus’, meaning innermost. When we hear the word intimate, for most of us the very first thing that strikes is being physically involved with another person. Is intimacy only limited to this? Being intimate with someone can be as simple as intensely discussing on whether Ross and Rachel were on a break (F.R.I.E.N.D.S. reference) or doing our favourite activity together.

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We want different things!

We tend to feel intimate with someone when we are assured that we will be accepted the way we are, being able to share our thoughts and emotions and letting our guard down. This relationship can bloom between family, friends, partners or anyone out there. The most common form of showing that we care for someone is through our actions. When she likes to hold hands in public, but he doesn’t, maybe because his palms tend to get sweaty. The problem can start here. Often in these relationships, amidst love, people feel a lack of intimacy because of desiring different things. The barriers to this can be communication, conflict, abuse or violent issues, and lemons of life (pressure at work, financial issues etc).

Family and intimacy

The saas-bahu drama is a good example of the lack of intimacy in a family environment. Family intimacy can play a very essential role in most of our lives because this is where we experience transition phases of life. A good and stable relationship with family members can help one to maintain good relations in society and have mental support and a safety net to fall back upon.

How to sync intimacy?

Rome was not built in a day. The same is the case for building intimacy in relationships. One needs to dedicate some time to it. Instead of viewing it in terms of sex or physical affection, we must try to understand its dynamics and explore different ways of building intimacy.

  • First and foremost is to establish intimacy with ourselves. It is a way to understand our thought processes, be aware of our toxic behaviours, and know what empowers us, expressing ourselves just the way we are. We can practice things like setting up a quiet time through meditation, going on solo dates, viewing ourselves from a best friend’s perspective, or maintaining a journal.
  • Acknowledging and accepting the fact that there are differences and similarities in a relationship. We must make an effort to explore deeper intimacy levels, something that the other person might like.
  • Having open two-way communication, be it with oneself or with another person always helps. It makes it easy to understand someone better and know their likes and dislikes and vice-versa.
  • Doing a common activity together can also help to boost intimacy. Research suggests that having meals together as a family makes a better bonding. This can be diverted to other activities that the people involved love collectively.


We tend to feel intimate with someone who understands us and makes us feel safe. Sometimes this close connection may remain absent in a named relationship like marriage or with family. It is extremely common and at times normal to feel its absence. The difference that we can make in such scenarios is to make an effort from both ends. Amidst the complexities of life, a small gesture can bring the spark back. We never know.


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