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Let’s talk about intimacy.

*cringe*

Growing up, the word always made me want to run far, far away. Whether it was an adult saying “when you’re intimate with someone…” or stumbling across products in the tampon aisle labeled “for intimacy,” something about the word just makes you turn red in the face.

But I want to change that.

There is much more to intimacy than sex. Sure, sex is probably one of the most intimate ways you can be with a person, but there are other ways to find that deep connection.

Intimacy is actually defined in the Webster’s Dictionary as, “something of a personal or private nature.” So sex definitely fits there, but so does a lot of other stuff. After all, its about feeling connected to a person. So what other ways can you experience an intimate connection with someone?

New experiences: Have you ever watched The Bachelor and wondered why they make them jump off a building together or scale a bridge? It builds trust and helps people connect! Once you share a new experience with someone, it helps bond you. Now you have memories to share and you both got to be there to experience something new and thrilling! Not sure you are ready to skydive? You can start small! Visit a city you’ve never been to or try some exotic food together.

 

Humor: You can tell a lot about a person by what they think is funny or not. Nothing brings two people together more than a good inside joke. Humor can also come from bad experiences! When you are in the beginning phases of dating someone, so many things happen that feel awkward! Don’t be afraid to laugh it off and in turn, build a better relationship.

Fears: I’m not talking about your clown phobia here. Sharing some of your deepest, darkest fears can bring people together as well. Concerns about the future, things from your past that shaped you into who you and people who have hurt you. Getting personal with someone is hard; sometimes the physical stuff is easier than the emotional baggage.

Hometown: Bringing people home from college to go to your favorite coffee shop from high school and see your hometown is one of the most fun things about officially “growing up” and becoming an adult. There is no better way to experience intimacy than sharing your past and childhood with someone. Introducing your new love to your high school bestie is a serious worlds-collide moment! Enjoy every second of it.

Challenging Situations: Overcoming a major road bump with someone by your side really helps cement the relationship and ensure that you are both in for the long haul. Whether it is a tragedy that will change your life, or a stressful situation that is altering your mental health, having someone go through hard situations with you creates a deep connection.

If you are thinking of taking things to the next level with your significant other, there’s no need to rush to the bedroom. Relationships are tricky, and sex doesn’t solve everything. Building a strong connection with someone comes from more than just the physical aspects.

Next time you hear the word “intimacy” I hope you crack a smile instead of fighting off a cringe.

Natalie Eusebio is a Public Relations major at Kent State University. She enjoys writing, reading, listening to musicals, and exploring Northeast Ohio When she is at home in Canfield, OH she likes to catch up with old friends and spend time snuggling her cats. On campus, you can find her in the Chi Omega house or studying at Starbucks. Her weaknesses include online shopping sprees and talking too fast. As a writer, Natalie hopes to both empower and entertain her audience. Natalie's future plans include advocating for those in need and finding employment with a PR firm somewhere out west.
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