Is it possible for a Relationship to survive a Lack of Intimacy?

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Written By:

Counselling Psychologist - M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.

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Reviewed By:

Counselling Psychologist - Ph.D. Relationship Psychology

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What is Intimacy in a Relationship? 

Intimacy refers to a deep connection that two people have with each other as a result of their close romantic relationship. In a relationship, intimacy is a very important component that determines if a relationship is healthy or not. Having intimacy in your relationship ensures that you and your partner move around synchronously and harmoniously.

There are primarily two types of intimacy

  • Emotional Intimacy and
  • Physical Intimacy.

Emotional intimacy refers to the ability to form emotional connections with your partner in the form of vulnerability, trust, and respect. It is a special bond where you and your partner do not fear judgment or rejection from each other and are open to discussing your emotions openly. Relationships that have emotional intimacy are filled with empathy and understanding that make it more fulfilling. 

Physical intimacy refers to forming a physical connection with your partner. It is a level of closeness experienced by couples when they engage in touch and gestures that are not necessarily sexual in nature. For example, holding hands, cuddling, giving each other a massage, kissing, hugging, etc. Physical and emotional intimacy is interlinked. Most physical intimacy occurs as a result of some form of emotional intimacy and hence cannot be studied in isolation. The acts of physical intimacy are performed to show the other partner love, care, and affection and do not have to be always sexual in nature. 

Is it really important? 

Yes, intimacy is extremely important in a relationship. It shows that you and your partner are going in a healthy direction. When there is intimacy in a relationship it creates a deep sense of safety between you and your partner. It fosters long-term stability and also has a significant impact on your well-being.

Couples who are in an intimate relationship together are known to be feeling more positive emotion, and positive well-being. Hence, it is essential that we try to build more intimacy in our relationships. 

Is it possible for a Relationship to survive a Lack of Intimacy?

As we mentioned previously, it is very difficult for a relationship to survive without any form of intimacy. When there is no intimacy in a relationship, it can leave you and your partner not experiencing any kind of safety. There are many reasons for a lack of intimacy - 
Lack of Communication

A lack of communication can contribute to a lack of intimacy in a relationship. When you and your partner are not aware of each other’s feelings, thoughts, and emotions and are not communicative about it, then there is bound to be some misunderstandings that can lead to a lack of intimacy. This also includes not expressing your needs and wants clearly, being secretive, or holding back some things that you want to say in the relationship. 

 Fear of Intimacy

Sometimes a cause for poor intimacy is a fear of getting intimate. There could be many reasons for this as well. Perhaps you’ve had negative past experiences, or you have an attachment style that is holding you back from being vulnerable with your partner. 

Living in Disconnection

A lack of intimacy can be caused when you and your partner live in complete disconnection from each other. Maybe you both are caught up in your rigorous routines and are not able to schedule a time to be romantic with each other. Over time this can deplete the intimacy levels of your relationship. 

How to Fix Intimacy Issues? 

Despite all of this, intimacy is something that can be learned and it’s never too late to try and restore intimacy in your relationships. Just like any other relationship habit, intimacy also requires hard work and consistent efforts on the part of both partners. 

Communicate More

One of the first things you can do to restore intimacy in your relationship is by communicating more with your partner. You can start by telling them what you like and what you dislike in the relationship. You can also have regular discussions on your needs and wants and discuss how you both can try to meet them. This way you are slowly opening the gates of vulnerability and trusting your partner to make you feel safe and vice versa. This will go a long way in ensuring more intimacy in your relationship. 

Share your Feelings

Sharing your thoughts, feelings, and emotions will help in restoring the lost emotional intimacy in your relationship. Don’t hold yourself back from your partner, if you do it will only create a bigger barrier between you both. Instead, practice by sharing what you are feeling on a daily basis in small doses. This will allow your partner to help you and support you. Eventually sharing can help in building trust between you and your partner and this will restore the intimacy that was once lost. 

Make time for Romance

A very important aspect of rebuilding lost intimacy is making time for romance. We all have busy schedules but it is important to show our partner that we love them by engaging in romantic endeavours. This can be scheduling weekly dates with your partner or making time for movie nights. Another effective way is to take time to be physically intimate with your partner. This does not always mean sex. Apart from sex, you must engage in frequent touching with your partner such as holding their hands and caressing their hair. Being in close physical touch has been known to improve oxytocin (love hormone) levels and so it is a useful bridge to reduce a lack of intimacy. 

Attend Couples Counselling

This might be unconventional for many people, but couples counselling is a very effective way to work on any intimacy issues you might be experiencing with your partner. When you visit a Relationship Therapist together you can work on your triggers, traumas, and other insecurities with the support of your partner. It allows you and your partner to have more empathy for each other and can lead you toward having deeper intimacy. 

Having intimacy in your relationship is very important but it doesn’t have to be achieved on your own! We are here to help you!

How CoupleBees Can Help 

Our platform, CoupleBees, is a blog designed to help you navigate through issues like trauma that could be impacting your relationships. The platform is maintained by Relationship Experts who have curated and reviewed the content by reflecting on real-world scenarios. This is a platform where you can get professional insights on ways to work through your trauma by developing self-compassion, empathy, and resilience. We also provide a safe space for those who want to hear from other couples and their experiences. Along with this, our experts provide personalized advice in their therapy sessions, so feel free to reach out to our experts for further help on being your best self!

Ms. Priyanka Walia
Ms. Priyanka Walia M.A. Counselling Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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Ms. Muskan Maheshwari
Ms. Muskan Maheshwari M.Sc. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 02 years of experience

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Mr. Nishant Sharma
Mr. Nishant Sharma M.Phil. Clinical Psychology Clinical Psychologist 07 years of experience

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Ms. Akshita Bakshi
Ms. Akshita Bakshi Ph.D. Relationship Psychology Counselling Psychologist 05 years of experience

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