The Difference Between Love and Intimacy

Love encompasses a spectrum of alluring and powerful emotional and spiritual states, from the sublime ideal of unconditional love, the strongest interpersonal bond, to the most basic pleasures. In fact, love has been called the “language of soul” because it can be used to communicate every feeling in the universe, from happiness and sadness to pain and delight. There is no question that love is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. In fact, if love were a tangible thing, it would be the fourth most powerful force in the universe–and in the human experience, it is the primary force that brings about the sense of connectedness, belongingness and emotional well-being.


However, even the strongest feelings of love don’t always translate into well-being in the way we want or expect them to. When love involves caring, sharing and nurturing, it can lead to lasting relationships that build strong feelings of connection and give rise to personal well-being. Conversely, when love lacks these characteristics, it can often lead to broken relationships, hurt feelings and frustration as well as a sense of isolation. Love can also lead to other emotion like joy and peace, which are feelings that are very beneficial to our well-being as well as our sense of self-worth.

True love may actually encompass feelings other than those of friendship, romance and affection. While one may experience these strong emotions at least occasionally, they are not the type of feelings that make up a fulfilling relationship. And while they may provide a great deal of emotional support, they rarely lead to deep, fulfilling and healthy relationships. In fact, feelings of love may sometimes be related to negative feelings such as jealousy and envy, feelings that can actually damage a relationship and undermine its success.

Love that is conducted within a romantic relationship experience is often connected with trust, intimacy, bonding and commitment. This type of love involves feelings of intense love and caring that can often last beyond the passionate stage of courtship and into the life of married couples. For example, romantic love may be related to feelings of intimacy, closeness, bonding and commitment in a romantic relationship. These deeper emotions involve feelings such as loyalty, trust, devotion, trust, purity and a commitment to another person that truly means something to you.

In contrast, loving feelings, on the other hand, are often associated with a more physiological state such as arousal, excitement, Oxytocin or similar neurotransmitters, hormones, and physical responses including sweating, heartbeat, and pleasure. In this type of love, there is no real exchange of love for love or a feeling of adoration. Rather, loving feelings are associated with genuine, honest, respectful caring that relies on your other person’s ability to feel safe and nurtured by you. You do not need to exchange anything for this love. In a healthy relationship, sharing love includes giving and receiving affection in a safe, non-absorbent way without expecting anything in return, and without being dependent upon your partner to validate your feelings or approve of your point of view.

Many people confuse love and intimacy. They think they are one and the same. However, they are not. Love encompasses all of our human emotions including compassion, care, devotion, trust, honesty, kindness, adoration, friendship, respect, concern and admiration. On the other hand, intimacy relates to being sexually intimate. While both of these feelings can occur simultaneously, they are very different from one another and each is much better described as relating to one another physically rather than emotionally.