Physical Intimacy Important, not End All in a Relationship

I was sitting in the university campus of a North American university. My guest was a visitng professor from India, who was on a sabbatical leave. It was a summer afternoon. Boys and girls, men and women were sitting close to each other. My guest was increasingly getting annoyed at public display of affection demonstrated by the crowd. Finally, he could not control himself and commented,

Why don’t these people do this in their homes? Can they not leave some affection for their children? Do they have to shower everything on each other in public?

 I tried to explain, in this society public display of affection is not considered unusual. Actually, it is a sign of how comfortable each member of a couple is with each other. Comfortable couple can be good friends resulting in greater physical relationship and a stable relationship. By contrast, first generation immigrants from our country are considered an odditiy in this land, where a man and woman do not hold hand in public, forget about kissing, and many a time an man and a woman do not even walk side by side.

Professor became very angry at my answer, “Despite so much of openness, why do their marriage break up so easily? Look at us, our marriages are rock solid, almost made in heaven.”

There is no denying Indian  marriages are reasonably stable compared to the same in the US or Europe. According to statistics, only 1% of Indian marriages end in a divorce, compared to as many as 50% in the US. Of late, as economic opportunities are expanding, many men and women are financially becoming more independent and assertive, divorce rate is increasing in India. Prime reasons for divorce in India are lack of romance, lack of communication, sexual problem and extramarital affairs.

In this context, a public display of affection and intimacy may be a pointer to greater attraction between partners, a better understanding leading to possibility of better intimacy. I would like to think for a relationship to be successful, there needs to be compatibility at the level of physical, financial, psychological and spritual. Yes, a marriage and relationships may survive without physical intimacy. For a vast majority of people, physical intimacy forms the bedrock of any stable relationship. At the same time a great physical intimacy does not guarantee a successful relationship, as is evidenced by higher divorce rates in western countries…


I am participating in #myfriendalexa campaign as part of #blogchatter other relevant posts may be found here


6 thoughts on “Physical Intimacy Important, not End All in a Relationship

Add yours

  1. I’m not so sure Indian marriages are better. There is much abuse and sexual violence in India. Wives are much more submissive and not necessarily happy.

    I’m also not so sure how a marriage survives without intimacy. It would no longer be a marriage.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Survival of relationships and thriving of relationships are two different matters, sir. And somewhere in their midst are the tsunamis that hormones cause. What happens then? Physical intimacy is a funny maverick that is governed totally by hormones and not so much by ethical thoughts. So far as Indian marriages are concerned, the 1 percent quoted in the post would hardly represent the upheavals that exist as under-currents.
    Do read my post on the way hormones and intimacy interact.

    Arvind Passey

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading. As I had said, in the west there is great intimacy. But marriages fall apart. In India, marriage is stable but many are unhappy continuance. I guess there is more to marriage over and above intimacy.


  3. First things first. It was lovely reading your thoughts on the topic (I too have posted my take). Yes, public display of affection these days point towards the fire is still on philosophy. Indian marriages do not lead to divorces most of the times and the reason is not compatibility. It is more of a social commitment that everyone is reluctant to break. There is a societal pressure and that is a huge deal. However, I am always a fan of happy endings and people living in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you on all points. I have tried to touch upon the issues like financial independence, assertiveness etc. Solid marriage does not mean happy marriage. Great physical intimacy does not mean great marriage. There are people who marry knowing fully well the other person is physically incapacitated. So issue is more deep than mere physical compatibility.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: