An intimate relationship is a particularly close interpersonal relationship. It is a relationship in which the participants know or trust one another very well or are confidants of one another, or a relationship in which there is physical or emotional intimacy.
Love is an important factor in physical and emotional intimate relationships. Though the term is notoriously difficult to define, any thoughtful inquiry into the subject will show it to be qualitatively, not only quantitatively, different than liking, and the difference is not merely in the presence or absence of sexual attraction. According to one analysis, love in relationships is divided into two types: passionate and companionate. Passionate love is intense longing, and is often accompanied by physiological arousal (shortness of breath, rapid heart rate). Companionate love is affection and a feeling of intimacy and is not necessarily accompanied by physiological arousal.
People that are in an intimate relationship with one another are often called a couple, especially if the members of that couple have ascribed some degree of permanency to their relationship. Such couples often provide the emotional security that is necessary for them to accomplish other tasks, particularly forms of labor/work.