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12 Different Ways to Connect With Your Partner Intimately

couple holding hands, sunset

Have you ever wondered what makes you “click” with a partner? Have you pondered upon the magical formula to have chemistry with another human being? Well, look no further! Intimacy (In-To-Me-See) is one of the key ingredients and precursors to successfully connect with your loved one. Thankfully, there is more than just 1 way to bond with your significant other. It is a common notion that when people hear the word intimacy their first association with the word is perhaps to define a sexual or emotional connection. There are actually 12 different forms of intimacy, hence there is a variety of options! Dr. Robert Sternberg, a renowned American psychologist for his research in love and different forms of intelligence, defines intimacy as: “feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness in loving relationships, including those feelings that give rise, essentially, to the experience of warmth in a loving relationship” (Sternberg, 1986, p. 119). Having an awareness of your own values, and your partner’s values in intimacy can strengthen the relationship, and foster a deeper level of commitment. 


couple talking

Let’s explore 12 different ways to connect with your partner intimately:

  1. Sexual Intimacy is more than just the physical act of sex. It is feeling safe to be honest to communicate and explore with your partner: your likes & dislikes, fantasies, needs & wants, and healthy boundaries with sex. The more you communicate with your partner about sexual preferences helps to promote trust in the relationship as well. 

  2. Emotional Intimacy is the ability to be vulnerable with your partner about your feelings. It is an honor and a privilege for someone to share with another person their feelings. It is also a skill to be able to be present and practice active listening.  

  3. Intellectual Intimacy opens the doors for couples to have a peek inside each other’s minds. Some individuals identify as “sapiosexual” which is when the highest form of attraction someone has for someone else is related to their intellectual intelligence. Couples find it meaningful when they can share with one another thoughts, beliefs, values, and knowledge. 

  4. Aesthetic Intimacy provides the opportunity for couples to observe and celebrate beauty in the world together. Different forms of aesthetics couples can enjoy together include being admirers of music, movies, paintings, photography, sculptures, theater, natural landscapes, and so forth. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and how wonderful is it to share with your loved one how different forms of art may speak to you? 

  5. Creative Intimacy is when couples are able to work together as a team or accept influence from their partner in creating things. Examples of things that couples have the chance to be creative in include: constructing goals, problem-solving to face a challenge/opportunity, and planning adventures to go on together.  

  6. Recreation Intimacy is a bridge that connects couples together in sharing or supporting one another with hobbies, and interests. When one is not working or spending time with friends and family it can be beneficial to invest time in other pleasures of life such as: playing a sport, volunteering, gardening, etc. 

  7. Work Intimacy involves viewing a relationship like a company, and both partners are the CEOs who are both responsible in helping the company to thrive. Examples of some ways couples can support their relationship are: cleaning the house together, helping their kids to get ready for school, and preparing meals.

  8. Crisis Intimacy fosters empathy and grace between partners when they may have experienced together or independently a tough experience. When a person feels in a low season in their life it can be comforting to know that your partner is walking beside you through the experience. 

  9. Commitment Intimacy is a promise and pledge to your partner to be an active participant in the relationship. It’s doing one’s best to show up and make an effort toward shared goals, and responsibilities, and creating a culture in the relationship that leads to the feeling of: “We’re in this together no matter what we are facing.”

  10. Conflict Intimacy encourages couples to turn more towards one and other rather than away. By growing in conflict resolution skills a couple may feel reassured that their partner has their best interest at hand, and are open and willing to resolve things. 

  11. Communication Intimacy is perhaps one of the most important forms of intimacy on this list as all types of intimacy require some level of communication. It is truly important to emphasize the vitality of what communication represents in the success of a relationship. Couples can encourage one another to open up about their needs, wants, and concerns with one other. Communication also helps couples to talk about their day, and plan things together. 

  12. Spiritual Intimacy is another form of connection a couple can have with one another surrounding: a religion, their faith or spiritual practices, or exploring existential topics surrounding the meaning they give to their life. 

We hope now that by reading this blog the word intimacy has been demystified, and that you now have 12 tangible ways to bond with your partner. Wishing you the best in growing in meaningful connections with your loved one.

For more resources like this, please check out our other tips here: You can always find us at 954-903-1676 for counseling services. 


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