April 21, 2020

The Importance of Partner or Emotional Intimacy


How important is partner intimacy in a relationship? When discussing intimacy, it should be noted that one should look beyond sexual intercourse but rather emotional intercourse. How important is it to be able to have an open and mentally stimulating conversation with one’s partner in the African American community?


Relationships sometimes do not last within the African American community. There are numerous studies that cite infidelity, divorce, irreconcilable differences, and more of the demise of so many African American relationships.  


#BlackLove, #CoupleGoals; whichever idea you subscribe to, there have been symbols of what this looks like: Beyoncé & Jay-Z, Barack & Michelle Obama, Will Smith & Jada-Pinkett Smith, etc. these are the idols the Black community has looked to at one point or another as a depiction of a successful Black relationship. But one must wonder, to what extent does the role partner intimacy plays in these relationships? 




Writer Wendy Gould quotes psychologist Sanam Hafeez in her 2020 article. She writes, “‘emotional intimacy could be defined as allowing yourself to connect more deeply with your partner through actions that express feelings, vulnerabilities, and trust,’ says Sanam Hafeez, a neuropsychologist in New York City…. ‘part of a relationship is sharing your secrets, talking about your relationship, and telling your partner important news. A couple is generally happier when both parties can share and understand each other’s feelings.’”


Many of the relationships previously mentioned were formed with the last twenty-five to thirty years when the culture of relationships has changed. Social occurrences in the late 20th Century changed the landscape of relationships from two-person income households, gender-switching roles from housewife to Mr. Mom, to even unconventional examples of marriages from open marriages to spiritual unions. 


“Emotional intimacy creates a deep sense of security within your relationship and an ability to be wholly yourself…without this intimacy, a relationship struggles in many ways” Gould writes.


How often does one have an emotionally intimate conversation with their respective partner? Should it be a necessary component for the relationship to survive? Some of these questions are at the discretion of the relationship and every relationship is different. But the question still remains: how important is partner or emotional intimacy in a relationship?



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