When most people think of intimacy, they assume it has to do with sex. But intimacy is much more than that. It’s about a deeper emotional, spiritual, and intellectual connection between two people.
Those who have intimacy issues struggle to build and sustain significant relationships. They sabotage connections because they fear opening up and allowing others to get too close.
1. Don’t Push Him
Most people associate the term intimacy with bedroom issues, but it is much more than that. Intimacy is a deep emotional, spiritual and intellectual bond between two people. It can be present in any relationship, including platonic, romantic, familial and work-related relationships.
Men with intimacy issues often feel they are not worthy of a true, meaningful and lasting connection with others. This can be a result of childhood experiences or trauma, and it may also be the result of an anxiety disorder such as PTSD or panic attacks.
When a man with intimacy issues acts distant or cold, it is important to not push him. This will likely cause him to withdraw even more, which is not what you want. Instead, take things slowly and focus on getting to know him and building trust. This may take weeks or even months, so be patient. You may want to consider couple’s therapy for you and your boyfriend, as this can be helpful in healing the emotional distance between you. It can also help you learn to communicate better and work through your differences.
2. Don’t Demand Change
It is important to not push a man with intimacy issues because it will only hurt him. Instead, you should focus on understanding his feelings and fostering emotional intimacy.
Intimacy, at its core, is closeness between a couple. It is often associated with sex and emotional connection, but it can also include other forms of affection like hand-holding, cuddling, kissing and hugging.
A fear of intimacy can cause a person to withdraw from loved ones or sabotage relationships in general. Usually, there is some kind of root cause for this – whether it be past trauma, anxiety disorder or childhood experiences.
Over the years, family therapist Terry Real has honed his own distinct therapy method, called Relational Life Therapy (RLT), which is geared towards helping men meet the intimacy bar that many modern women have rightly raised. His work focuses on male shame, the different ways men and women are silenced in relationships, where men’s anger comes from and how to create healthy intimate connections. He has written several bestselling books and is the founder of RLI.
3. Be His Safe Haven
It’s important to show him that you are always available to help and support him. You need to show him that he can trust you and that you’ll be there for him regardless of what happens in the future. He needs to know that you’ll never abandon him and that you’re his friend before he can tear down his emotional walls.
People with intimacy issues tend to isolate because they fear the intense anxiety that comes with intimate relationships. They may not be able to form emotional connections with family, friends, or partners. This is why it’s important to help them find a safe haven and let them know they can count on you for support whenever they need it.
Sometimes, it takes professional guidance to overcome intimacy anxiety and get to the root of the problem. For instance, male intimacy disorder groups are designed to replace negative and unreasonable thoughts with healthy ones that will help a man overcome his fears. This will allow him to build a healthy and supportive relationship with you.
4. Don’t Take Advantage of His Vulnerabilities
Many men struggle to be vulnerable with their partners because they feel like it will make them appear weak or that they will be taken advantage of. This is because many of them are socialized to think that it is a man’s duty to keep their emotions in check. They may also have bad experiences with past relationships where they were hurt.
This is why it is so important for them to seek help from mental health professionals to get over these issues. They will need to understand that vulnerability is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of trust and strength. They will need to know that their feelings are valid and that they will not be judged for expressing them.
When a man is vulnerable with you, it means that he trusts you enough to let down his guard and share some of his most private thoughts and feelings. He will likely also be willing to show you parts of his life that other people may not see, such as his childhood home or where he had his first kiss.
5. Be Patient
Many people with intimacy issues have a fear of vulnerability. This is often a result of childhood trauma or abuse, and it’s triggered by relationships they have with other people.
The problem is that people with this type of anxiety have difficulty establishing and maintaining healthy, intimate relationships. They often find themselves moving from one relationship to another, and they may never be able to fully express their needs.
This is because they have developed a deep-seated fear of abandonment and an inability to trust that they will be loved again. They also have a low self-esteem and believe that they have to “earn” the love of others.
It is very important to be patient with a man who has intimacy issues. Instead of trying to force him to change, you should try to prove to him that he is safe with you and that you will not take advantage of his vulnerabilities. This will help him gradually let down his guard. However, he will need time to learn that he can trust you and open up to you.