In contrast, passionate love is marked by infatuation, intense preoccupation with the partner, throes of ecstasy, and feelings of exhilaration that come from being reunited with the partner.
Two people who are in an intimate relationship with one another are often called a couple, especially if the members of that couple have placed some degree of permanency to their relationship.
Physical intimacy occurs in the latter but it is governed by a higher-order strategy, of which the other person may not be aware.
One example is getting close to someone in order to get something from them or give them something.
This was clarified by Dalton (1959) who discusses how anthropologists and ethnographic researchers access "inside information" from within a particular cultural setting by establishing networks of intimates capable (and willing) to provide information unobtainable through formal channels.
Studies show that fear of intimacy is negatively related to comfort with emotional closeness and with relationship satisfaction, and positively related to loneliness and trait anxiety.
Distinguishing intimate (communal) relationships from strategic (exchange) relationships may also be a factor.
Physical intimacy is characterized by friendship, platonic love, romantic love, or sexual activity.
While the term intimate relationship commonly implies the inclusion of a sexual relationship, the term is also used as a euphemism for a relationship that is strictly sexual.