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It Looks Like Intimacy (But it isn't!)

Don't be fooled by these common intimacy decoys:

  • Frequent need for reassurance

  • The use of cliche's instead of real understanding

  • Sex [or activities, "fun"] (to avoid intimacy)

  • Politeness without passion

  • Possessiveness

This list and excerpt below is from the book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Intimacy by Dr. Paul Coleman.

If your mate clings to you and frequently needs reassurance that you really love him or her, insecurity is smothering intimacy. An insecure person will be afraid to be honest and open if such openness might lead to rejection. True intimacy is not based on fear.

If your mate makes flat, uninspired statements such as "Life is hard" or "It will all work out" when you're feeling stressed, that's not intimacy. Intimacy involves understanding and acceptance, not pat phrases designed to make you move on to another topic.

How can having sex be a way to avoid intimacy? Easy. Anybody can go through the motions but it doesn't mean they feel a depth of caring for the person they are with. One woman who was headed for divorce put it this way: I had sex with my husband last night. But I wouldn't kiss him. Kissing it too intimate." If you really want to meet someone and develop an intimate, loving relationship, delaying having sex is correlated with long-term stability in the relationship. In other words, the sooner you have sex, the less likely the relationship will last. Why might that be? True intimacy comes from a depth of caring that can only happen when you get to know someone over time.

Some couples act like polite strangers at a cocktail party. They talk, they smile, they snack on cheese and crackers, but they lack a depth of caring. They do no cherish one another. Because they rarely argue, these couples pretend they have intimacy when they don't. A polite relationship is not really intimate if it lacks a genuine caring or the occasional spark of passion.

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