“Inter-Intimate Relationships” — Emotionally Reconnecting.

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An interesting article in the New York Times recently discussed “inter-intimate relationships.” Defined as dealing with emotional intimacy and reconnecting. Here are a few excerpts: 

  • There are many ways in which we show our love and we all need and want different amounts of emotional and physical intimacy. While couples with differing sex drives face hurdles, many couples may also be involved in “inter-intimate” relationships, where each partner has different preferences when it comes to giving and receiving nonsexual affection.
  • ‘Inter-intimates’ describes the incongruent needs and desires that exist between people in a relationship, which inevitably will be mismatched at various times.
  • Touch is a form of intimacy distinct from sex, with its own set of rules that can threaten to undo romantic entanglements.
  • Regardless of quantity, physical affection plays a biological role in one’s happiness. Oxytocin — sometimes called the “cuddle hormone” — releases at higher levels in moments of physical affection.
  • So how do you reconcile your inter-intimate relationship? “Proper communication about affection wants and needs should occur often in the relationship.
  • When broaching the topic of inter-intimacy, it helps to approach calmly and seek to understand and inquire rather than complain or demand.
  • Good communication, a curiosity to understand what makes the other tick and an active interest in meeting these needs are the formula for success in any relationship. In an inter-intimate relationship, it can be the saving grace.
  • Part of what makes their relationship work is a concerted effort from both parties.
  • If you aren’t getting the affection you need in your relationship, there are other options that don’t involve divorce or devastation.
  • If the only touch you get is in sexual activity, then you are missing out on a basic human need. 

To me this short article raised issues that many couples often overlook. It’s a good piece to connect for the first time or to reconnect.

“An Inter-Intimate Relationship.” New York Times (July 27, 2021).