Emotional Wellbeing • 5 min read

5 Intimacy Types and How They Impact Relationships with Real

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Intimacy is often thought about in association with romantic relationships, but it’s an important aspect of all relationships. Intimacy exists in different forms for different people, much like love languages. Understanding the types of intimacy you prefer can help you build deeper connections with the people you care about. Understand the types of intimacy your loved ones prefer with our partner Real, to help you make them feel seen and cared for in the relationship. 


There are five types of intimacy: 


Emotional Intimacy: Emotional intimacy involves active listening and making your partner feel heard. It’s cultivating a sense of closeness relating to how you and your partner feel via empathy, respect, and communication. 


In a friendship, emotional intimacy can look like asking your friend how they really are, and taking the time to listen to their answer. Sometimes simply listening can make the other person feel heard and loved. 


Mental Intimacy: Mental intimacy can be challenging, but satisfying and stimulating. It involves having conversations that spark curiosity. Intellectual stimulation can come from talking about new topics, common interests, or meaningful conversations about life. 


Have you ever had a friend who loves to debate? Well, it turns out that might just be them trying to connect with you. Taking time to engage in the conversation and trying to learn from each other’s perspective could make you both feel closer in the end. 


Spiritual Intimacy: While it may be rare for two people to be similarly in touch with their spirituality, this type of intimacy can take different forms. It can look like a shared code of values or ethics, for example, or a similar approach to life. 


Sharing religious views, life perspectives, or even just the same moral compass can help two people connect in a friendship. Next time you notice one of your friends shares the same view as you, don’t hesitate to point it out! 


Physical Intimacy: Physical intimacy doesn’t necessarily revolve around sex. It can include hugging, hand-holding, sitting closely next to each other, or any other contact that feels good. Physical intimacy is about creating a feeling of closeness that feels beneficial to both people. 


For some people, physical touch is a huge part of intimacy in their lives. In a friendship, that can look like a big hug when you see each other or putting your arm around their shoulder. 


Experiential Intimacy: Experiential intimacy centers around shared experiences. This can involve trying something new together or creating a routine. Simply experiencing life together can spark intimacy at all stages of your relationship. 


Have you ever noticed how easy it was to make friends in high school or college? That is likely because you both had a strong shared experience. In adulthood, we can replicate that through other experiences, like concerts, going to the same workout classes together, or even hosting movie night at your house. 


Most people enjoy all types of intimacy throughout their lives. However, you may find that when you think about a specific friend, one of these types stands out in the relationship. Lean into that! Taking notice of the things that make you both feel close to each other can only help deepen the relationship.




Check out our full line up of resources that will help strengthen your connection within your community and your relationships:



Bonus! Meet Real: Expert Support for Your Mental Wellbeing. Then, get real with Dr. Nina during her AMA on Maintaining Relationships November 17!


Psst...Ready to dive in? Head to Real, create an account, then enter the code ATHLETAWELL at checkout to start your free 30-day trial.


Disclaimer: Even though you may receive advice, insight, or guidance from experts in the AthletaWell Community, please note that this is not medical advice and we always recommend speaking with your doctor.


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