The Intimacy Gap

Ok, I have read this chapter like a thousand times. The book is “If I’m So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single” by Susan Page… Chapter 8.

The author defines an intimacy gap as a situation when one partner is more interested in expressing and experiencing genuine intimacy than the other. That’s exactly what was going on in my marriage to a very intense degree before I left. It was excrutiating and I don’t ever get into that kind of situation again.

Well, right now with The Red Hott Ramblin’ Man and the skittish Mr. Hard Body.. I am on alert looking for warning signs of this very problem. So far I have concluded that The Ramblin’ Man just needs some time to heal from his previous relationship, but I believe he does want the same kind of intimacy that I do. As far as Mr. Hard Body goes.. From what he says, he wants a deep intimacy but he’s so frickin’ skittish. I don’t know what to think. It’s like his words and his actions aren’t meshing.

Anyway, I wanted to share some basic tips the book recommends for dealing with an intimacy gap…

What NOT to do…  (it never works! I can attest to that)

1. Ask for Intimacy — this may only trigger your partners fear of it… get your partner to go through the motions which is still not satisfying because it’s not from the heart.

2. Not ask for Intimacy– Planning on backing off for a while. You’ll wait forever!

3. Play Hard to Get– May only get him chasing you for the challenge, not out of a desire for genuine intimacy. When he finally catches you, then what?

4. Emotional Blackmail– like “I love you so much you ought to love me back.” Who wants to play those kind of head games?? Won’t work anyway.

5. Lecture– direct quote from the author “you can’t get a person to cooperate with you by making him or her wrong and yourself right!”

6. Punish– she’s talking about passive aggressive bs. Withholding sex or affection or whatever. Once again a quote from the author “Anger is best expressed directly or not at all”

7. Deny Your Needs– They won’t go away… you’ll just become miserable and continually dissatisfied.

What Can You Do??  Keep in mind, the author says “desire for intimacy is a major source of incompatability for couples.” and “genuine intimacy unfolds slowly and deepens over months and even years of shared experiences.” That second one is big if you are incurably impatient (like I am) when it comes to intimacy in relationships.

1. Recognize when you are trying to make someone love you and then STOP IT! Give it up.

2. Pour less energy into that situation. Maybe be patient… and see what happens. In my opinion, a person that takes a little longer to open up is definately not the same thing as someone who doesn’t desire a deep genuine intimacy… and maybe that slow mover is worth waiting for.

3. Concentrate on finding someone who wants the same kind of intimacy you do.

Tonight I learned that I can recognize it. I was SO thrilled! I was texting with Mr. Off Limits and he definately has an intimacy phobia. Terrified of rejection, I think… and probably not super confident in who he is, so he feels like he has to keep his true self a secret.

What I noticed was that whenever I talk about anything beyond the most shallow bs (sexual flirting, complaining about his ex, or “howz work” type small talk) he rapidly changes the subject… and I mean fast, like his ass is on fire! lol. That’s exactly what I DON’T want. I’m still perfecting the art though… After all, The MMA Fighter got over on me.

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Published in: on July 13, 2011 at 5:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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