It seems like every women’s magazine is obsessed with telling us how important physical intimacy is within relationships and how to ascertain whether we’ve got just the right amount. This physical intimacy obsessed culture can trick us into thinking the only kind of intimacy is physical, and that’s a major mistake.

Intimacy is ultimate another word for “closeness” and that closeness can occur in various ways besides merely being physical. In fact, it’s critical that your relationship has more than physical intimacy, or you’ll probably find yourself feeling unfulfilled. If you’re wondering about the other types of intimacy you should cultivate in your relationships, we’ve got everything you need to know.

Emotional Intimacy
You probably saw this one coming, but yes, emotional intimacy is just as crucial to a relationship’s success as physical intimacy. When we talk about emotional intimacy, think about that description of “closeness” again. If you’re able to share your thoughts and feelings with your partner while feeling safe to do so and heard, your relationship has a solid emotional intimacy level.

Some further examples of this vital version of intimacy are:
Sharing your fears and anxieties
Being able to cry or ask for support
Feeling safe to speak your mind
Emotional intimacy is even more critical in determining the quality of a romantic relationship than physical intimacy.

Spiritual Intimacy
Before you start researching your partner’s star sign, spiritual intimacy isn’t exactly about religion or spiritual beliefs. While spiritual intimacy can and should encompass your religious beliefs, it can also stretch as far as being about your worldview and purpose in life. Spiritual intimacy is a high level of intimacy that brings your partner close to you more than just in mind and body but in your life experience.

When you consider your values for living and your beliefs about your role on this earth, sharing these ideas with your partner is engaging in spiritual intimacy. If you don’t feel comfortable discussing such topics with your partner, you may not have or may not have yet reached the level of spiritual intimacy. Every strong and long-term relationship has a healthy level of spiritual intimacy that keeps both partners aligned on the same path.

Intellectual Intimacy
This type of intimacy is of the mind; are you able to have involved discussions with your partner about various ideas, even those you disagree on while feeling safe and respected? That’s intellectual intimacy. A relationship is more enjoyable and resilient when a couple can discuss their ideas and interest healthily and openly.

These major spheres of intimacy show that a relationship’s closeness isn’t just about the physical, but exists on several other planes crucial to a healthy and lasting connection.