39 Copyright 2023 Marline E. Pearson It takes time to know who you really are, what you want, and to build trust and a healthy relationship. Sex-too- soon can cloud a person’s ability to see the relationship or other person clearly. Verbal This connection is about being able to talk. When partners find each other interesting to talk to, when they can share thoughts and feelings freely, they feel close. Emotional This connection is about sharing inner thoughts and feelings—dreams, fears, and vulnerabilities. You expect understanding, acceptance, and affirmation. Emotional intimacy requires trust— feeling safe to share what’s in your heart. Social This connection is about time together doing things they both enjoy. Distribute Shared activities and interests fuel a sense of closeness and connection. Spiritual When couples talk about what’s really important—like their values, what’s influenced their life, or religious, philosophical, moral, and political beliefs—that is spiritual. Talking on this level enhances their connection. Commitment This is about supporting each other’s goals and wellbeing. You can trust each other to be there. This connection is about trust, caring, faithfulness, and mutual support. Physical Physical intimacy is not all or nothing but a continuum from holding hands, hugging, kissing, cuddling, caressing, and on to more intimate forms of sexual involvement. Ebony, 19: “When I look at this chart on intimacy, I think about my relationship with AJ. We started going together junior year. We had fun, could really talk, and had strong feelings for each other. I can honestly say that we had a good relationship. After graduation, I had the opportunity to work and travel in Europe, but AJ didn’t want me to go. I realized then I wasn’t ready for that level of commitment. I still had a lot of exploring to do. Am I ever glad that I had stuck to my boundaries on sex and that AJ respected them. I think now, what if I’d gotten pregnant? No way were either of us ready to be parents. As it turned out, we broke up shortly after graduation. I learned from that experience and left with no regrets. It’s okay to have a great relationship in high school without feeling you have to have sex or commit to a future.” Intimacy— It’s More than a Physical Thing Sex is not only for touching a person’s body it also touch the soul. can be experienced emotionally physically—and when it’s embodied in a mutually loving, caring, trusting, and mature relationship, it can yield great pleasure and meaning. Sample Do Not intimacy—it’s more than a physical thing
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