Do You Have Intimacy Issues?
It may sound crazy, but most of us are slaves to our minds. Our minds continuously torment us with an endless stream of thoughts. They’re often inane, sometimes insane, and approximately 98% repetitive. We think ourselves crazy. We think obsessively, compulsively, and incessantly. And the kinds of thoughts things we think – optimistic or pessimistic, constructive or destructive – impact the quality of every area of life. Quieting our minds, and getting them to work for us, in support of our goals rather than against them, is a difficult but extremely important element of life to master.
Nowhere is the phenomenon of mind-dominated difficulty more apparent and transparent than in our closest personal relationships. Intimacy issues happen with fairly high frequency among people in long-term romantic relationships, and physical and emotional intimacy issues are generally byproducts of unhealthy thoughts. Getting past any fear of intimacy symptoms that may be causing problems in the relationship requires first controlling these thoughts.
Intimacy issues typically come from two different kinds of thoughts, each of which is summarized below in a single sentence. While these sentences might sound a little crazy, and few people would describe their personal issues in this manner, but the reality is that these descriptions are quite accurate for a large number of people. Here they are:
- “I trusted someone before in a previous relationship, and that person ended up hurting me a great deal. I’m trusting you conditionally now, but not completely, because I think you might hurt me too.”
- “I really don’t like who I am. I’m not crazy about the way I look, and I don’t think I’m very good at things. If I don’t like me, how can anyone else like me either? It’s obvious to me that the only way to keep you around is to trick you into thinking I’m better than I really am.”
If either sentence might describe you, don’t worry: you’re not alone, and there is a ton of available research and therapy techniques to help.