Relationships: Why Do Some Men Fear Intimacy?
While men and women are both human, they are often portrayed as being radically different. It is clear that they are different on the outside, but what is not as clear is that there are differences when it comes to their brain structure.
One outlook is that these differences are due to genetics, and there is another view that says these differences are the result of socialisation. This means that men and women are not that different, what have made us different are the environments we have lived in.
However, regardless of whether it is nature or nurture or a bit of both, there are generally differences. For instance, women are often seen as the ones who want to settle down and have a relationship and men are not.
The Modern Day
But although this has been the case for so long, as times have changed and gender roles are no longer as defined, it is not always this black and white. In the past, men were seen as the bread winners and the women were the ones who stayed at home; yet in today’s world, it can be the other way round.
There is less pressure for men and women to act in a certain way and it is now a lot easier for them to be who they want to be. This doesn’t apply to every part of the world of course, but it is something that is taking place in the west.
As men and women contain both the masculine and the feminine within them, this is one example of how people are embracing their true self. A woman no longer needs to act ‘like a woman’ and a man no longer needs to ‘act like a man’.
It would be inaccurate to say that men and woman have always acted a certain way, as there have always been differences. Yet in the past, there was more pressure and this pressure is gradually disappearing.
However, even though the labels that each gender are given don’t always reflect reality, it doesn’t mean that they will no longer be used. Through labelling one gender as being a certain way, it stops people from having to think and from taking responsibility for what is taking place in their life.
For example, if one’s experience with the opposite sex is always the same, it might be normal for them to take this as evidence that they are all the same. Another approach would be for them to look at what is taking place within them and to see what part they are playing. This is because one is not simply an observer of their reality; they are the co-creators of it.
Women are often seen as emotional creatures and men are often seen as having a more logical approach. This can create the impression that women are unable to be logical and that men don’t have the ability to relate on an emotional level.
Based on this, women have emotional needs and men don’t; what they do have is physical needs. It is then normal for women to want a relationship and for men to just want sex.
If a woman comes into contact with a man who is only interested in fulfilling his physical needs, it can be seen as normal. It is then black and white, and that’s all there is to it. This could be something she has always experienced and each experience could validate the outlook that she has.
Maintaining the outlook that all men are the same is not going to allow one to attract men who are different. And while some men may act as though they only have physical needs, it doesn’t mean all men are the same.
There are going to be men out there who are in touch with their emotional needs and some who are not. If they are not in touch with their emotional needs, it is going to be a challenge for them to be intimate with a woman.
Instead, one could end up having sex as a way to experience intimacy. Their heart is not going to be open, but it gives them an instant experience of feeling connected to another. The illusion of intimacy can then be created but one is likely to feel empty shortly after.
Just because someone needs something, it doesn’t mean that they feel safe having it. On one side, one could have the need to experience intimacy and on the other, one could fear intimacy.
They might find that when they start to get close to another it is overwhelming or one might not even get this far. In the beginning it might be fine, but once things start to pick up, they might feel the need to pull away.
What’s going on?
So as one has the need to experience intimacy but also fears it, it could be heard for them to understand what is going on. Yet, if one was to take look at how they mothers treated them during their childhood, they might soon realise why they feel as they do.
This could have been a time where one was used by their mothers to take care of their needs and this would have caused one’s needs to be overlooked. On one hand, their mother may have been self-absorbed and on the other, they may have been smothering.
Out of Touch
So when one did receive attention, it would have been for their mothers benefit and not their own. And as their mother was out of touch with their needs, one would have felt smothered and trapped by her attention. When this wasn’t the case, they may have been emotionally and/or physically abandoned.
Their mother wouldn’t have been able to see them as being separate; instead, one would have been seen as extension of their mother and there to meet her needs. This is also likely to have been a time where there was too much energy being directed towards them by their mother (and sometimes the wrong type of energy), and this may have been due to the fact that their mother was single or emotionally disconnected from one’s father or the man that she was with.
This can then set a man up to fear being smothered on one side and to fear being abandoned on the other. The fear of abandoned can then cause them to come on strong, but the fear of being smothered can then cause them to pull away soon after.
While one is no longer a child, the emotional experiences of the past will have remained trapped in their body. The assistance of a therapist, healer and/or a support group can allow one to face and release these emotional experiences.
Prolific writer, thought leader and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from the United Kingdom. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation; love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With several hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behavior, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. Current projects include “A Dialogue With The Heart” and “Communication Made Easy.”
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