Making love isn’t the same as sex. Making love is another means of saying, although nowadays there’s usually an implied meaning that making love actually involves some sort of sexual activity that is more physical, sexual, or spiritual in nature. “If people say ‘making love,’ they normally mean emotionally attached sex, which is sex with someone we’re really in love with,” says Karen Pryor, PhD, co-author of Feeling Good: The Science of Attraction and Dating. “It may also be used to mean having sex. However, that is not its intended meaning.”
Love making is actually one of the most important ways we can express intimacy. In fact, Dr. Pryor says, “Emotional intimacy is at the heart of romantic intimacy.” The term “romantic” comes from the French word romans, which means “of or relating to romance.” Romance, therefore, is any intimate relationship characterized by love-making and affection.
In contrast, Dr. Pryor adds, “The idea of having sex without romance is romanticized. It becomes the premise of the act, and the topic of discussion.” For instance, when you make love in a movie, you aren’t romantically involved with your partner because it’s a physical need. It’s just a common, healthy sexual function. So, when you read descriptions of couples making love in a movie, you aren’t thinking of having sex or of being in a romantic relationship.
Sexually intimate relationships are frequently happy, fulfilling, and end up as long-term relationships. But too often, the “spicing up” of a relationship is mistaken for lovemaking, which leads both partners to overlook the real emotions and connect only the physical. By taking a look at how you can add intimacy to your making love life, you’ll find that you have a great time and enjoy more connection in your relationship.
Emotional closeness allows you to connect with one another on a much deeper level. As two people who experience deeply connected feelings, we naturally want to share those feelings with our partners. Our connection provides the basis for all our emotions, so feeling empathic and loving toward our partner is essential. But being too emotionally close to one another can create problems because it can make us focus on our partner’s feelings instead of our own.
There is an easy way to be more intimate with your partner, however. When you are in a committed relationship, you can still indulge in casual sex with your partner once or twice a month if it works for you and your partner. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be “in a relationship,” there’s no reason you shouldn’t want to have more casual sex. The idea that you should only have intercourse in a serious relationship is really a common notion that can keep people from experiencing their most intimate relationships. So feel free to indulge with your partner and remember that making love is about more than just physical satisfaction; it’s also about building bonds of friendship.