Scared of Emotional Intimacy?
Here’s How to Attack What’s Holding You Back
by Claire Casey
Let’s just quickly clear the air – intimacy isn’t ALL about sex. A LOT about sex, yes, but not all.
Intimacy can also be found between the two of you on road trips in the car together, taking a moonlit walk around the block holding hands, or talking over the day while one of you is in the shower and the other is sitting on the edge of the bathroom counter.
You can find intimacy sitting on the same side of the booth in a crowded diner just as easily as you find it making out in your car before he drops you off at your apartment.
But sometimes, it’s just not working for you. Even if you’ve been together for years, you may still find you get hung up every time he gets close…
Dear Claire, Why do I keep pulling back whenever things get close? If we’re alone together, or he starts getting romantic, I have to crack a joke or do something stupid. He swears he wants to be with me, but it’s like I’m afraid of any emotional fireworks we might set off. It’s not that he’s pushing me to have sex, it’s more that I am scared of… something, I can’t quite tell. I really like him, but I’m afraid I may lose him… – Dalene
I can see how your discomfort is holding you back from a deeper relationship. And it sounds like you might be new at this – no worries, everybody has to start somewhere. And I promise, it isn’t all that difficult, but you probably DO have a little bit of work to do. Take your time, okay? You get to have all the time you need to get comfortable; if he’s a good guy, he’ll be understanding and patient while you work on this.
So. Take a look at the top 3 reasons women (and men) resist intimacy, and how to tackle each one head on…
1. Feeling shy or embarrassed
If you’re shy during intimate moments you’re probably spending too much time negatively evaluating the way you look, feel, and act. You tend to tell yourself “I can’t do anything right” rather than “I’m going to figure this out and make it work,” or “I look a mess” rather than “I am beautiful.”
Here are a few quick ways to begin to melt your shyness faster than a popsicle dropped in a pot of boiling water (!):
Focus on your strengths: Name some of the things that make you desirable as a girlfriend. Claim those strengths and when you feel the shyness creep in, put your “advantages” firmly in mind.
Don’t compare: Sometimes a sense of embarrassment arises out of comparisons with others. You think person xyz is better than you in some way. Focus on the way you are a unique, amazing individual – different is good!
Release your anxiety with slow, deep breathing: When you feel shy or nervous, take the time to pay attention to your breath. Can you calm your breathing with three deep, cleansing breaths?
Visualize your best self: Close your eyes and visualize your BEST self in an intimate situation. See yourself as confident, relaxed, and feeling pleased.
2. Old relationship scars (or childhood incidents)
You’ve been hurt before. You opened your heart and someone reacted as if you’d dropped a cockroach on them, and they stomped all over it. Of COURSE you would be shy about being intimate again…
Time (by itself) is NOT the answer. Instead, what it’s you DO with the time that counts.
Don’t play the blame game. There’s no forward momentum that you can gain from pointing a finger and saying “This is all your fault.” Instead, refuse to get waylaid by handing out blame. Concentrate your power on healing your old injuries so that you can move forward.
Go on a scavenger hunt for lessons. Maybe that sounds too lighthearted for the pain you feel, but remember that an old wound always leaves you with a potential gift. Look for that gift. Ask yourself what lessons you gained from that bad experience, and gracefully accept the present that offers itself to you.
Remind yourself to let go. You can’t control what happened in the past, but you can choose to stop letting the past block you from your future. Find ways to share your story with someone safe and trusted, then work to gently disengage from the clingy grip of the past.
3. Fear of being truly known (with all your faults)
Sometimes you don’t let anyone get intimate with you because you’re afraid that if they see you for who you truly are, they won’t love you any more. If this is you, then you probably spend a lot of time trying to please others so that they won’t see any of your perceived faults. Guess what? It takes a lot of energy to hide your true self!
Here are some ways to start shifting this boulder from your path.
Start really small: There are so many extremely simple ways to instantly start building your confidence in yourself – like better posture, a 20-minute workout, wearing your favorite clothes or cologne/perfume, brewing a fresh cup of coffee, smiling, connecting with a trusted friend, etc. It’s really about starting up your quest for joy and happiness in the present moment. Get started, girlfriend!
Build a confidence book: Make a tiny private notebook filled with morale-boosters like
names/images of the people who love you most
small symbols or drawings that remind you of your personal strengths
a note or picture that reminds you of a time in your life when you were bold
a race number or other indicator of a time when you met your goals
photos of people who are your trusted coaches, mentors, and idols
a special token or thank-you note from a friend who felt you really came through for them when they needed it
personal affirmations or mantras that remind you of your worth and power
compliments that people have paid you
You have SO much to offer!
You are an amazing woman with so many gifts to offer the world. Be patient with yourself as you find ways to believe in yourself.
And if you would like more help in capturing the heart of the man who will love you like you dream of being loved, take a few minutes to click here and check out what Mike Fiore has to say about how his sweetheart got him to give up his “player” ways and get down on one knee! (They’re happily married now…)
Claire Casey blogs at Ask Claire Casey and devotes her writing to helping you attract the kind of man who will treasure and protect your heart like the rare and beautiful gem it is. You can take Claire’s Love Number Quiz (it’s free) and make this YOUR year for love!
Article Source: Digital Romance, Inc.