Per social psychologists, intimacy refers to a process of interaction in which social partners, as a result of sharing personal and private thoughts and feelings, come to feel understood, appreciated, and cared for by each other. This definition is deliberately narrower than the many common language usages of this term. In everyday language, intimate and intimacy are often used as synonyms for closeness, sexual activity, love, marriage, privacy, or relatively intense forms of physical engagement (such as touching or standing very close to another person). When intimacy exists, each of these may or may not be involved. Consequently, and to eliminate confusion, researchers prefer to rely on the more precise definition.

Intimacy and Relationships

Intimacy is widely regarded as one of the key processes governing close relationships. ...

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