Have you ever wondered why you sometimes pull away from people you love for no apparent reason? You become overly critical, start feeling fear and anxiety, get bored, lose interest, or have a sense that the connection is fading. As a result, you begin to distance yourself from the other person or even walk away from the relationship.
If you find yourself repeatedly falling into this pattern, there’s a good chance you’ve been avoiding intimacy. And I don’t blame you. Being intimate with another person is not for the faint of heart, especially if you have a history of failed relationships and grew up in a home where your parents and siblings were emotionally unavailable or distant.
What Is Intimacy?
To be intimate with another person means to share one’s innermost qualities with them. Intimacy is what you get when you give yourself permission to be vulnerable and authentic with others and let them see into the real you. Intimacy means in-to-me-see.
Letting others see you for who you are is what allows you to connect and bond with them at a deeper level – be it physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. The more two people reveal themselves to each other, the more intimate the relationship becomes.
Three Reasons We Avoid Intimacy
If you’ve been avoiding intimacy, here are three good reasons why you might be doing so. Being aware of them is the first step to building greater intimacy with others.
Reason #1: You want to avoid being hurt again
Painful childhood experiences, messy breakups, and early childhood trauma can leave many of us scared for life. As a result, we spend much of our lives doing all we can to protect our hearts from being broken again. Putting on a mask, acting as if everything is okay or not revealing what you’re feeling, and pulling away are all part of our ego’s defense mechanisms. And the more we defend ourselves from others, the more in control we feel.
Reason #2: You’re afraid of being judged or criticized
Opening up to others and revealing what you’re genuinely thinking or feeling will undoubtedly put you in a vulnerable position where you can be judged or criticized. It will also lead to others seeing you differently from how you would like to be perceived. Why reveal your flaws and weaknesses if you want others to see you as strong and confident? It’s much easier to keep quiet and pretend to be something you’re not.
Reason #3: You are afraid of what intimacy might bring up
Inevitably, being intimate with another person will bring your deepest fears and insecurities to the surface. This will be especially true when starting a new relationship or connecting at a deeper level with someone who you’re already familiar with. As a result, you may experience fears of being rejected or abandoned, hurting others or letting them down, and losing their love and respect. It is, therefore, much easier to become distant or to walk away from the relationship.
The Bottom Line
If you truly desire to feel connected to another person, you need to be open to the possibility of getting hurt or hurting others. You must also open yourself to the possibility of being judged or criticized. And you’ll have to face your biggest fears. That’s the price intimacy demands.
But the rewards will be worth it!
You’ll feel connected to the other person in ways you never thought possible.
You’ll feel like you can be your true self in the presence of others.
You’ll grow in self-confidence, self-acceptance, and courage.
The energy used to protect yourself from being hurt, criticized, or abandoned will be channeled into a sense of wholeness and well-being.
More importantly, you’ll live a more authentic life and enjoy having more authentic relationships. Relationships where you are being loved and accepted for who you are and not for the person you want others to see.
Two Powerful Questions
Here are two powerful questions I’d like to leave you with:
Who would you be if you weren’t afraid of intimacy?
What can you do to create 5% more intimacy in your existing relationships?
Your answers to these questions will undoubtedly send you toward greater love and intimacy in all your relationships.
From my heart to yours,