If your partner never does these 8 things, it might be a sign of fake intimacy

There’s a subtle difference between genuine intimacy and the illusion of it in relationships.

Often, it comes down to actions. A partner who seems close but avoids certain things might be creating a surface-level connection, hiding their true feelings.

Real intimacy allows you to express yourself without judgment, providing security and love even at your most vulnerable.

As a relationship expert, I’ve seen these patterns many times. Trust me, there are clear signs to distinguish real intimacy from a facade.

In this piece, I’ll share eight signs to help you determine if your intimacy is genuine or just an act.

1) Genuine apologies

In a world where ‘sorry’ is often thrown around casually, distinguishing a genuine apology from a superficial one can be challenging.

But in a relationship, this distinction is crucial.

When your partner makes a mistake, you naturally expect an apology. However, it’s not just about the words; it’s about the intent behind them. Genuine apologies come with remorse and a clear desire to make things right.

In an intimate relationship, your partner should not shy away from admitting their errors and making amends. They should also be mindful not to repeat those mistakes.

On the other hand, if your partner apologizes insincerely or tends to brush off their mistakes, it might indicate a lack of genuine intimacy. They might be saying ‘sorry’ just to appease you or avoid conflict.

2) Open communication

Communication is the lifeline of any relationship. It’s the bridge that connects two hearts and fosters trust and intimacy.

No issue is big enough to break a relationship if there’s open communication. But if your partner often keeps you in the dark, it could indicate a lack of real closeness.

Genuine intimacy involves sharing your thoughts, fears, dreams, and even mundane details of your day. If they’re withholding information or avoiding certain topics, it could be a red flag.

As George Bernard Shaw once said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” This couldn’t be truer in relationships.

Make sure you and your partner are not just talking but truly communicating. It paves the path for genuine intimacy.

3) Respecting boundaries

Boundaries are not walls, but rather guidelines for maintaining a healthy relationship. They’re about understanding and respecting each other’s needs, desires, and limitations.

But if your partner often crosses these lines, it could be a sign of fake intimacy. True closeness is about respecting your partner’s boundaries and not seeing them as obstacles to be overcome.

In my book, Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I delve into the importance of setting and honoring boundaries in relationships. It’s a must-read if you’re grappling with this issue.

So remember, if your partner respects your boundaries, it’s a sign of genuine intimacy. If not, it might be time for a heart-to-heart conversation about respect and space in your relationship.

4) Comfortable silences

Here’s something that might seem a bit counterintuitive: silence can be a sign of genuine intimacy.

In the early stages of a relationship, there’s often a rush to fill every moment with words, as if silence were a sign of awkwardness or incompatibility. But as you grow closer, you’ll find that it’s perfectly okay to share silent moments together.

In fact, comfortable silence is one of the most beautiful aspects of a deep, intimate relationship. It shows that you are so at ease with each other that words become unnecessary.

If every silence between you and your partner feels awkward or tense, it could be a sign of superficial intimacy. But if you both can enjoy a quiet drive, a peaceful walk, or simply sitting together without feeling the need to fill the air with words, then that’s a wonderful sign of true intimacy.

5) Active listening

There’s a huge difference between merely hearing and actively listening.

During my years as a relationship expert, one recurring theme I’ve noticed in successful relationships is the presence of active listening. It’s a powerful way to show your partner that you value their thoughts and feelings.

Active listening involves making an effort to understand your partner’s perspective, asking thoughtful questions, and responding appropriately. It’s not just about waiting for your turn to speak, but truly absorbing what your partner is saying.

If your partner often seems disinterested when you’re speaking, or if they frequently interrupt or dismiss your thoughts, it could be a sign of fake intimacy. Genuine intimacy involves valuing your partner’s words and showing this through active listening.

6) Unfiltered authenticity

In a world where there’s constant pressure to present a perfect version of ourselves, being truly authentic with someone becomes rare and precious.

Genuine intimacy thrives on raw honesty and authenticity. It’s about allowing your partner to see the real you, without fearing judgment or rejection.

If your partner only sees the ‘highlight reel’ of your life, or if they make you feel like you always have to put on a facade, then that’s not real intimacy. It’s a carefully constructed illusion that can crumble at any moment.

True love and intimacy mean embracing each other, flaws and all. It’s about removing our masks and being genuine. If your partner struggles to accept your authenticity, it could be a sign of superficial intimacy.

7) Emotional support

In my line of work, I often come across couples who are physically close, but emotionally distant. And let me tell you, that’s not what real intimacy looks like.

Emotional support is the bedrock of a truly intimate relationship. It’s about being there for your partner in their moments of joy and sorrow, triumph and failure.

As the legendary Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

If your partner is there for you in good times but disappears during the bad times, it might be a sign of fake intimacy. Genuine intimacy involves standing by each other no matter what life throws your way. It’s about making each other feel loved and supported in all circumstances.

8) Acceptance of flaws

Let’s face it: nobody’s perfect. We all have our flaws, quirks, and little things that make us who we are.

Real intimacy means embracing these imperfections in your partner and loving them wholeheartedly. It’s about cherishing them for exactly who they are, not some idealized version you’ve imagined.

If your partner is always criticizing you or trying to change you, it might indicate that the intimacy in your relationship isn’t genuine. It shouldn’t be about expectations and conditions, but rather about genuine love and acceptance.

In the end, true love isn’t about finding someone flawless. It’s about loving someone despite their imperfections. If your partner can’t do that, maybe the intimacy you share isn’t as real as it should be.

Faux-mance fades, but true intimacy radiates

Intimacy is a beautiful, complex dance of vulnerability, trust, and acceptance. It’s the glue that holds a relationship together and makes it truly fulfilling.

What we’ve discussed in this article are signs to look out for in your relationship. Remember, these are just indicators, not hard and fast rules. Every relationship is unique and has its own dynamics.

If you’ve resonated with some of the points raised here, I encourage you to delve deeper into understanding your relationship dynamics. My book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship could be a great start.

Remember, genuine intimacy isn’t built overnight. It takes time, patience, and a whole lot of love. But it’s worth every effort because it makes us feel seen, heard, loved, and most importantly, valued.

Here’s to finding and nurturing true intimacy in our relationships.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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