In human relationships, the meaning and level of intimacy varies within and between relationships.
In anthropological research, intimacy is considered the product of a successful seduction, a process of rapport building that enables parties to confidently disclose previously hidden thoughts and feelings.
Intimacy requires an ability to be both separate and together participants in an intimate relationship. It results in a connection in which there is an emotional range involving both robust conflict and intense loyalty.
Lacking the ability to differentiate oneself from the other is a form of symbiosis, a state that is different from intimacy, even if feelings of closeness are similar.
Distinguishing intimate (communal) relationships from strategic (exchange) relationships may also be a factor.
Physical intimacy occurs in the latter but it is governed by a higher-order strategy, of which the other person may not be aware.
The activity of intimating (making known) underpins the meanings of "intimate" when used as a noun and adjective.
The noun "intimate" means a person with whom one has a particularly close relationship.
One example is getting close to someone in order to get something from them or give them something.
That "something" might not be offered so freely if it did not appear to be an intimate exchange and if the ultimate strategy had been visible at the outset.