Emotional intimacy is an aspect of interpersonal relationships that varies in intensity from one relationship to another and varies from one time to another, much like physical intimacy. Affect, emotion and feeling may refer to different phenomena. Emotional intimacy may refer to any or all of those in both a lay or a professional context.
Emotional intimacy can be expressed in verbal and non-verbal communication. The degree of comfort, effectiveness, and mutual experience of closeness might indicate emotional intimacy between individuals. Intimate communication is both expressed (e.g. talking) and implied (e.g. friends sitting close on a park bench in silence). Emotional intimacy depends primarily on trust, as well as the nature of the relationship and the culture in which it is observed. Emotional intimacy is different from sexual intimacy. Sexual intimacy can take place with or without emotional intimacy, which differs from emotional intimacy because it often does not occur within any kind of sexual context. Emotional intimacy is a psychological event that happens when trust levels and communication between two people are such that it fosters the mutual sharing of one another's deepest selves. Emotional intimacy can be shared with not just your partner in life, but with friends, family, colleagues, even pets. Depending on the background and conventions of the participants, emotional intimacy might involve disclosing thoughts, feelings and emotions in order to reach an understanding, offer mutual support or build a sense of community. Or it might involve sharing a duty, without commentary. Deep intimacy requires a high level of transparency and openness. This involves a degree of vulnerability that can feel uncomfortable or anxiety-producing to many individuals. These feelings do, however, tend to diminish and even dissolve over time and with practice.