People who avoid the intimacy of romantic, emotionally connected love might be suffering from intimacy disorders including intimacy phobia.
(Photo by Zygimantas Dukauskas on Unsplash)
By Dr T J Jordan
Connection with someone we love is one of our fundamental emotional needs. When this need is fulfilled, most of us find a sense of deep satisfaction.
While most of us seek love as an amazingly important and rewarding part of life, others of us avoid this experience. But these others usually don’t know who they are, so they can’t warn us about the negative ways they will react to being loved! Sometimes they resort to emotionally abusive behaviors in order to protect themselves from the “intrusion” of their partners.
Those who avoid intimate love don’t necessarily know themselves well enough to see clearly their self-sabotage, so they go through life unhappily in coldness and avoidance. In their avoidance, they feel safe from the intrusion of a significant other. However, they also speak of feeling empty and living less than full lives.
Perhaps if people who suffer from intimacy disorders knew themselves better, they would cease attempting to seek connections that will be doomed to failure. Instead, they often remain open to romantic relationships.
Sometimes they seek partners who are likely to react with the coldness and distance they find safe. However, they sometimes find true intimacy compelling as well as frightening and wind up in uncomfortable relationships with others who love freely and deeply.
Sometimes we give our love with passion and emotion only for our lovers to pull back from the privilege we offer. For those of us who love intensely, the avoidance of intimate love by our partners is incomprehensible. Mostly this avoidance signals serious relationship trouble.
While both genders show fears of intimacy, men report more fear than women.
The hookup culture makes avoiding love easier than before. We can have more sex without strings, but we seem to be enjoying it less.