An intimate relationship is a particularly close interpersonal relationship. It is a relationship in which the participants know or trust one another very well or are confidants of one another, or a relationship in which there is physical or emotional intimacy.
Physical intimacy is characterized by romantic or passionate love and attachment, or sexual activity.
Love is an important factor in physical and emotional intimate relationships. Though the term is notoriously difficult to define, any thoughtful inquiry into the subject will show it to be qualitatively, not only quantitatively, different than liking, and the difference is not merely in the presence or absence of sexual attraction. According to one analysis, love in relationships is divided into two types: passionate and companionate. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate). Companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy and is not necessarily accompanied by physiological arousal.
Terms for partners in intimate relationships include:
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