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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Fear of Intimacy

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Author Topic: Fear of Intimacy
Alunakanula
Neophyte
Member # 109045

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Hi guys. I've been lurking on the forums for a while, but it's only recently that I've really started to wonder if I should seek help for my issue, so here I am.

I am in my early twenties and in university. I have not had a serious boyfriend since I was in high school, though I have had 'crushes' and dates. In the past year, I have dated 3 different guys, the last of whom was just under a week ago (I saw him once). Whenever I get into a situation with someone (like a relationship, like any sort of thing that might require responsibility or commitment), I distance myself from that person or try to provoke fights.

Up until fairly recently, I convinced myself that this was either the result of my friends and family always pushing me towards guys before I felt ready for a relationship to move ahead, or lingering psychological problems related to my father, who I haven't seen since I was seventeen. I was close to him until my parents separated when I was fourteen, and he revealed himself as a transvestite. After this, he became fairly verbally aggressive, especially towards me.

Due to to the relationship I had in October last year, I also blamed it on the fact that I thought I was scared of sex and intimacy. However, about a year ago I started messing around with a guy on my course, one of my best friends and we became very close, very quickly.

It got messy when feelings (mine) got involved and we ended it. I went home for three months, and when I came back, we basically started up again though I set a few rules; no strings, I would never sleep in his bed again and it was to be kept an absolute secret. We had a lot of fun this time around. I've always been fairly wary of my own sexuality but he helped me come to terms with liking sexual acts, and I'm a giver so it was nice and mutual. I am still a virgin, but he's the only person I've ever been sexual with at all.

As of a month ago, he has a girlfriend and we are no longer playing together. I don't really know her, but our ending things this time has led to us being closer as friends somehow. He and I live together with some others (who have no idea) and have since August.

However.
I now find myself missing the intimacy and fun we had together. I don't want it with him again (for obvious reasons), but I do think I want it with someone.
It was very hard for me to connect with him enough to let him touch me and for me to touch him, and our friendship was always strong which helped me enormously emotionally and mentally.

I tried putting myself into a relationship situation with a new person, but it didn't work out. I'm too quick to find faults in people and let myself be scared away by them. My other problem is that I am uncomfortable with putting myself into a FWB type of thing because I don't want others to judge me for having that instead of a proper relationship. I have had a fairly sheltered upbringing and I predict this is what will happen.

I'm basically just looking into advice as to:
- Why I'm uncomfortable in relationships that require emotional and mental commitment.
- Why, despite this, I was able to have a friends-with-benefits relationship with my best friend for just under a year.
- Why I can't come to terms with the fact that I still want that intimacy and friendship, just not the idea of an actual, real life boyfriend-girlfriend scenario.

This ended up a lot longer than I thought it would, but any advice is appreciated. It feels good to just get it off my chest.

[ 12-08-2013, 06:35 PM: Message edited by: Red Rodeo ]

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the moon has vanished

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Hey there, Red Rodeo. Welcome. [Smile]

One thing that is missing for me in all of this, that I feel like I need to know first, is this: would you say that intimacy, or relationships that involve commitment (they are not the same things) are things you think you feel scared of, but have a strong interest in? Or, are things you do not have a strong interest in, or interest in yet?

In other words, are these things you want, but feel afraid of, or things you do not want, but think you should, or feel apathetic about?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alunakanula
Neophyte
Member # 109045

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Thanks for the welcome and thanks for the fast reply! I changed my display name because I'm unsure if any of the parties involved are here and know my online handle.

In answer to your question, I entertain the idea of a relationship quite a bit. In theory, I'm interested in having someone to rely on and who can rely on me. I actually met the last guy through an ad he posted, and he seemed really romantic and mature, which is what I felt I needed.

The actual date is fine. I usually feel pretty good about it all until we separate, and then I just feel like it was lacking and I become neutral to the whole idea of being someone's girlfriend, if not shying away from the idea altogether.

I'm not entirely sure if I want something serious because I want it, or because I feel like I should want it. A lot of people I know and went to school with are in stable relationships, married (!) and/or having children, so it could be influenced by that.

[ 12-08-2013, 07:33 PM: Message edited by: Alunakanula ]

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the moon has vanished

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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That is why I asked that question. [Smile]

Not only does everyone just not want a sexual or romantic relationship at a given time - or a certain kind of one - not everyone wants or finds that intimacy through those kinds of relationships are what they want. For instance, a given person may find that long- term platonic relationships or family relationships are where they prefer to find closeness.

Since it sounds like you are not quite sure what you want yet, I would say that has got to come first. Being afraid of something we want is a very different thing, and something we approach very differently, than not wanting a thing in the first place, and feeling disinterest, not fear.

What do you think could help you to figure that out for yourself?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Alunakanula
Neophyte
Member # 109045

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But isn't it weird that I often feel like I do want it before it happens? Like sometimes I genuinely crave that sense of intimacy and companionship. Other times, I really couldn't care either way.

I think I'm at a pretty solid point in my life. I'm doing well at university, I have friends, a supportive family. I'm fit and mostly healthy. Sometimes I feel like having a significant other would round that out. Again, though, that might be some element of peer pressure. I don't really want a lot of things; I've never even really thought about it. I think I want to be successful above all, and to be continuously happy in the company I choose.

Part of me also thinks that I should find a significant other before it's too late and I'm not in a situation where I'm mixing with others of my own age on a regular basis.

I suppose I'm really not very sure about anything.

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the moon has vanished

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Well, I don't think it is weird for anyone to want to be close to other people. I also do not think it is weird to think we HAVE to want a romantic relationship: lord knows we get enough messages, especially if we are women, that we are broken if we don't, and that that needs to be our biggest want in life (next up: babies).

It is never too late for people to connect with a partner or a committed relationship. People do that in assisted living facilities in their 70s, after all. Seriously.

But I would say there are right times and wrong times to seek those relationships out, and seeking them out at a time when we are not sure we actually want them for ourselves, and for our own reasons and needs? Not a good time.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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