Intimacy is often construed to mean only in terms of physical contact, but it spreads across individuals on different levels. While you can be intimate with your spouse or girlfriend/boyfriend, you can also be intimate with your family members and friends. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this emotional bond that spreads even before you know it.
One of the major advantages of having intimate relationship with family is that they know you so well that you do not have to express when something is wrong. Considering that they know your character, they would already know how you will react to certain things and behave accordingly. Your family, friends or spouse anticipates a need before you call out for help. Besides, by the end of the day you know that you are under the aegis of your family, friends or other human support systems to help you in difficult times.
Intimate relationships fulfil the general desire of a human being to be loved and belong. Intimate relationships ensure that a person have a social network of people that provide for the universal need to belong and be cared for.
Having an intimate relationship with someone gives you a therapeutic feel when you build up trust to share your deepest secrets with them. A serious disadvantage to intimate relationships is when there is the potential for hurt that you can experience when your trust is betrayed. Another disadvantage of intimate relationship is the likelihood of someone taking you for granted. There is also a chance of conflict between two people, who know each other best, because it is then that they can express their opinions more than they would when they are with a stranger. The advantages of intimate relationship may keep changing with time i.e. something that may be advantageous in your relationship today may not be advantageous tomorrow.
See your friend/family/spouse as who she/he really is
The human mind tends to visualise someone the way he/she would want the latter to be. The moment you drop creating images and character of a certain person, you will find yourself to be at a better level of intimacy with him/her.
Be willing to learn
If your family, friend or spouse tells you about problems in your character, make sure that you work on them instead of pointing fingers back at them. This will enhance your relationship with them.
Read more articles on Intimacy in Relationships.