Why Do I Avoid Intimacy?

Does the idea of having someone know the real you make you feel uncomfortable? Some people actually abhor the possibility of someone getting close enough to find out what they’re really like and how they really feel.

Fear of intimacy can make you want to avoid becoming too close to other people. Those who fear intimacy often behave in such a way that makes them cold, distant, and emotionally unavailable. If you think you’re always avoiding intimacy and want to know why you’re doing so, continue reading.

Fear of Intimacy

It’s a subconscious fear. People who fear intimacy are not always aware that they’re actually afraid of becoming too emotionally connected with other people. They may just brush it off by saying they’re too busy or that it’s not important. In truth, however, there’s a subconscious fear that makes them behave that way.

Those who fear emotional intimacy tend to develop an avoidant attachment style. It’s a particular way of forming attachments with other people wherein the person tends to avoid emotional closeness and intimacy.

How Does Fear of Intimacy Affect Relationships?

When you’re in a romantic relationship, your partner may have certain expectations of you in terms of how you interact with each other. For instance, your partner may rely on you for emotional support. She may want you to show that you understand her as she expresses her feelings, and she may also want you to share your feelings as well.

couple busy on their phones

However, when you fear and avoid intimacy, you may not be able to live up to those expectations. Someone who fears intimacy tends to put up an emotional barrier as a means to distance himself from his partner. This emotional barrier can prevent you from being able to share your feelings with your partner.

If your partner doesn’t understand where your fear of intimacy comes from and why you avoid emotional closeness, it can make her feel unwanted or unloved. When you avoid intimacy, it can also cause misunderstandings and lead to relationship problems.

If you and your partner don’t get to talk about it in-depth, your avoidance of intimacy may ultimately cause the relationship to deteriorate. And if you continue to avoid intimacy and any other form of emotional connectedness, you may end up isolating yourself. In fact, self-imposed social isolation is common among those who fear intimacy.

Those who avoid intimacy may end up sabotaging their relationships. Because of this, they also tend to have a series of short-term and unstable relationships. Some are unable to enter into a committed relationship at all, so they just stick to casual relationships.

What Causes Fear of Intimacy?

The way we relate with other people and form attachments is greatly influenced by our early childhood experiences. Normally, a child’s first attachment is to a parent, usually the mother.

However, when the parent is dismissive or unresponsive and the child is always scolded or rejected whenever he expresses his needs, which can cause the child to develop an avoidant attachment style.

The child will learn to do things and take care of his needs on his own in order to avoid the parent’s rejection. Because of the parent’s unresponsiveness or emotional unavailability, the child will also learn to suppress his feelings and never voice out his needs. If crying will only earn you a scolding, you’ll eventually learn to suppress your tears.

This is why many of those who fear and avoid intimacy tend to be very self-reliant and independent. They also tend to hide their emotions and are reluctant to talk about their true feelings.

Your avoidance of intimacy may also be rooted in your fears of being rejected or abandoned. The fear of rejection may be attributed to low self-esteem or the feeling of being deficient, which is actually common among those who fear intimacy. Because you think you’re not good enough, you believe that you will be rejected when you profess your feelings to the person you like.

Another reason why some people tend to avoid intimacy is that they actually fear abandonment. When you’re afraid that your partner will leave you anyway, you may feel like there’s really no reason why you should emotionally invest in your relationship or really get close to your partner.

Sexual trauma, a history of physical or verbal abuse, and parental neglect are also possible causes of fear of intimacy. It’s common for victims of sexual abuse to avoid both physical and emotional intimacy.

How Do You Overcome Fear of Intimacy?

sad contemplating man

In order to overcome your fear of intimacy, you must first acknowledge your fear. Once you can honestly say to yourself that you’re afraid of becoming emotionally intimate with someone that’s why you avoid intimacy, you can then start to figure out what caused you to become afraid in the first place.

Finding out and understanding where your fear is rooted is an essential step towards overcoming your fear of intimacy. However, understanding the reasons why you avoid intimacy is not enough.

You also need to be able to identify how your fear of intimacy is manifested in your behavior. For instance, do you often walk out whenever you have an argument with your partner?

Do you always ask for space whenever your partner tries to find out what your feelings are? Do you pull away every time you’re asked to commit to a relationship? These are all distancing behaviors, and someone who avoids intimacy tends to engage in these behaviors as a means to remain emotionally unavailable.

In order for you to stop avoiding intimacy, you also need to learn how to express your feelings and emotional needs. Allow your partner to become physically and emotionally close to you. And allow yourself to be emotionally present and connected during sex.

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Is Hypersexuality Considered A Mental Illness?

There’s a thin line between having an active libido and hypersexuality. The differentiating factor is compulsiveness. When your urge to engage in sexual activities is already compulsive and you can hardly control it, then you could be hypersexual. Being hypersexual is totally on a different level than just having a supercharged sex drive.

There’s a huge debate among experts on whether hypersexuality should be considered a mental disorder. It’s not listed as one in the diagnosis manual that psychiatrists use, but compulsive sexual behavior is recognized as a disease by the World Health Organization. Continue reading to find out more about hypersexuality.

Overview

Hypersexuality is viewed as a form of compulsive behavior. Experts have proposed that hypersexual disorder should be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is what mental health professionals use to diagnose mental illnesses. However, that proposal was shot down.

Nevertheless, there are many psychiatrists who strongly believe that being hypersexual should be recognized as a mental disorder. According to these experts, hypersexuality is characterized by sexual behavior such as excessive masturbation and sexual fantasies.

The sexual urges of someone who is hypersexual are considered beyond normal. There’s a pattern of consistent failure in controlling these repetitive and intense sexual urges, even when the sexual pursuit doesn’t bring about satisfaction.

Clinically, experts analyze the sexual behavior and check if it has been going for at least six months and if it is causing the patient distress or impairment.

What are the Symptoms of Hypersexuality?

When compulsive sexual behavior causes distress or puts you at risk of causing harm to yourself, then it becomes really problematic. Hypersexuality is typically characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Recurrent sexual behaviors, urges, or fantasies
masturbating to online porn

Hypersexuality is typically associated with recurring sexual behaviors such as masturbation or engaging in sex with multiple partners. Recurring sexual fantasies and sexual urges may also be present.

Other sexual behaviors associated with hypersexuality include excessive usage of porn and engaging in sex for pay. Although a normal person with an active libido may also enjoy engaging in these sexual activities, someone who is hypersexual tends to do it compulsively.

  • Compulsive sexual behaviors are interfering with daily activities and obligations

Fantasizing about your partner or favorite porn star actress is totally normal. However, when intense sexual fantasies take up most of your time, then that can cause a lot of problems.

A hypersexual person, for instance, may watch porn or masturbate for several hours every day. When you are hypersexual, the urge to engage in these activities is so strong that you will find it difficult to control yourself, despite being aware that if you pursue your sexual urges, you will be neglecting your daily tasks and obligations.

  • Engages in compulsive sexual behaviors in response to negative mood states

For someone who’s hypersexual, the urge to engage in sexual fantasies or behaviors is usually compulsive. Once they feel the impulse, they’re unable to control their behavior and they’re compelled to pursue the sexual act that they’re addicted to.

However, the urge usually becomes stronger when they’re confronted with negative emotions such as anxiety or depression. When faced with a stressful situation, the hypersexual person usually reacts by engaging in his or her favored sexual activity. A hypersexual person may pursue his sexual urges as a means to escape stress, loneliness, or anxiety.

  • Disregards potential harm to self or others

When the sexual urge is so uncontrollable, a hypersexual person would continue to engage in sexual behaviors, despite the fact that he is aware such behaviors may cause harm to himself or to other people.

A hypersexual who is addicted to masturbation, for example, may masturbate in front of other people or in inappropriate places. He may leave his work station to masturbate even though he’s aware that it could endanger his job.

Those who are addicted to sex may relentlessly pursue sexual activities while disregarding possible health risks. A hypersexual who is addicted to having sex with multiple partners may neglect using protection during sex, thus putting himself at risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Repetitive failure to control sexual behavior

It’s common to see hypersexual people trying to limit or control their behavior but failing to do so. At some point, they become aware that their behavior is doing them a lot of harm but they just can’t stop.

They may be able to limit their sexual behavior for a time, but stressful situations and other triggers like anxiety may cause them to give in to their sexual urges.

Are You Hypersexual?

man and woman having an affair

When you’re sexually active and you enjoy engaging in sexual activities so much, you may feel like you just want to do it over and over again. That could be because your sex drive is extremely high.

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It’s healthy and normal to want to enjoy sex regularly, especially if you’re in a committed relationship. Even if you’re not in a relationship, it’s normal to want to have sex with someone. It only becomes problematic when your sexual urges are no longer controllable and you feel compelled to do it.

If you’re worried that your sexual behavior is already bordering on hypersexuality, you need to objectively assess whether you’re still able to control your urges. You also need to examine if your sexual behavior is already causing you distress or if it’s already damaging your relationships, causing trouble at work, or putting your health at risk.

If you think that your daily life is already suffering because you’re spending too much time masturbating, fantasizing, watching porn, or pursuing sex, then you should consider seeking help from a mental health professional.

There are also numerous support groups that provide help to those struggling with sex addiction and hypersexuality. If you’re not yet ready to speak with a mental health professional about your sexual urges, you may want to think about joining anonymous support groups.

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What is Social Anorexia?

In trying to deal with or fit in certain lifestyles, people put into place things that may be detrimental to their lives. The most common problem that goes without notice is anorexia nervosa. It is an eating disorder where the victim avoids eating any substantial amounts of food. This leads to malnutrition and poor health. Besides that, there is a myriad of adverse effects that manifest in the patient suffering from this eating disorder. The condition is fatal if left addressed conclusively.

Social Anorexia

This is a terminology that comes from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. In social circles, the term social anorexia means chronic withdrawal from people or social events. The victim suffers a syndrome that inhibits his or her social movement beyond the typical absence. As such, people may mistake it for other mental and psychological disorders like depression. Since most of the patients are adolescents, people equate it to the traits of the rebellious stage.

Causes of Social Anorexia

Generally, the causes of social anorexia are in two categories. The first one is genetic or biological background. Irregular hormones may be a link to the withdrawal character. When you expose yourself to the eating disorder, your body mechanism gradually deteriorates. This, in turn, makes you psychologically imbalanced and hyper-reactive. Since you feel inferior to others, your coping mechanism of choice becomes withdrawing. Again, personality traits can be a challenge in dealing with this condition. People with passive personalities find it easier to restrict their interaction with others.

External factors also aid in social anorexia. The cultural exposure plays a significant part in turning someone into an anorexic. Childhood traumas put pressure on a person without his or her knowledge. Childhood harassment haunts a person in adulthood typically. If you do not get regular counseling, this could be fatal. Also, peer pressure and social media can trigger social anorexia. The constant pressure to fit in a group may lead to an inferiority complex that drives one away from the public.

Symptoms of Social Anorexia

Since this social disorder resonates closely with the eating disorder, the manifestations are almost similar. Some of the significant symptoms are:

no appetite

1. Restrictive Eating

The victim develops a poor dietary pattern that harms his or her body functionality. Eventually, the malnourishment gives way to a weak immune system and severe weight loss.

2. Anxiety

If the problem stems from peer pressure, the victim will suffer mental stress. The inability to fit or identify with a group will linger in mind. If nothing is done, the anxiety can slip into depression.

3. Unilateral Seclusion

The victim makes a habit of avoiding any social function. This can be as little as regular family meetings or visiting friends.

Effects of Social Anorexia

1. Anger

People with social anorexia suffer bouts of rage most of the time. They perceive the public as working against them in all aspects of life. In return, they will fight back to repulse back anyone who comes in to offer help.

2. Illnesses

Social anorexia brings about poor relations. With poor relationships and anger, you expose yourself to stress-related diseases. Some other life-disorders like stroke and hypertension may prey on you.

3. Poor hormonal balances

Since you have poor eating habits and an unstable psychological mindset, you may get irregular menstrual cycles.

4. Poor communication skills

In times of isolation, your anger blocks you from appreciating any good deeds from your family or friends. Most of the time, being in denial prevents people from helping out.

5. Low libido

There is a correlation between social anorexia and lack of having sex. The hormonal imbalances, weak interaction, and inferiority complex all lead to refusal to intimate with anyone.

6. Amenorrhea

In extreme conditions, the victim may suffer the inability to have menses in her reproductive years. This complicates the matter by increasing anxiety levels.

Treatment

Several aspects help in dealing with this disorder.

1. Cultural stereotypes

Some cultures look down upon the feelings of certain genders or age segment. Thus, it becomes difficult for someone to express their inner feelings freely without stigmatization.

2. Social aspects

The need to resonate with certain socialites is an even bigger problem. Many people retire to their cocoons because of this inability. So there is a need to address the repercussions of social and peer pressure groups.

3. Counseling

woman undergoing counseling

Most of the victims of this disorder are in denial. It takes a process for them to admit they need help. The process of healing starts by gaining their trust. Be gentle and show care as your progress in the healing journey. Counseling without stigmatization helps.

4. Medication

This will depend on the severity of the problem. Once the victim is opening up to help, it is good to seek medical checkups. It will help address the vital issues that psychological help cannot arrest.

Conclusion

In summary, social anorexia is a silent killer. Few people address its fatal implications in the manner it deserves. But some societal groupings are out to help. If nothing is done to expose the dangers of this disorder in time, we may lose many lives unknowingly.

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How Do I Stop Being Avoidant in a Relationship?

Some people find it so easy to let their loved ones know how they feel. Others even organize special events to make their declaration of love more memorable for their partner. However, there are also those who feel as if they’re being put through the wringer whenever they have to express their emotions.

Avoidant people tend to be very uncomfortable being emotionally intimate with others or expressing their emotions. If you are avoidant, you may find it difficult to form and nurture relationships. 

The Avoidant Attachment Style

According to attachment theory, the avoidant style of attachment is developed in early childhood. If as a child your parent always ignored you whenever you cry or express your emotions, you eventually learn to stop showing how you’re really feeling. Becoming avoidant then becomes a coping mechanism.

The avoidant attachment style is typically characterized by distancing behaviors such as being afraid of commitments, not being able to express emotions, and pulling away from intimacy.

In the face of an emotionally intense situation, the avoidant person tends to emotionally shut down. It’s as if they have a switch that can easily turn off their feelings, and they appear cold and distant. Someone who is avoidant also tends to be very independent and self-reliant. They don’t like it when their freedom is being limited.

How to Be Less Avoidant

In order to overcome your avoidant attachment style, you first need to be aware of it. Only when you do so can you move forward and learn new skills and behaviors that can help you become less avoidant in your relationship.

Understand why you behave the way you do

depressed man seeing a shrink

You didn’t just become avoidant for no important reason at all. It could be that such an attachment style was helpful for you when you were a child.

However, now that you are an adult and trying to make your relationship work, it’s important to understand what’s causing your avoidant behavior. Fear of undesirable consequences is almost always the reason why people develop avoidant behavior.

You would grow up believing that you should never show your emotions because you will just end up being criticized, embarrassed, or even abandoned if that’s what happened to you whenever you cried or showed your emotions when you were still a child.

Those with an avoidant style of attachment avoid their feelings because they believe that’s the best way to preempt threats or attacks. To better understand your avoidant behavior, you can think of it as a defense mechanism that you feel you need to do in order to protect yourself from perceived emotional threats.

Acknowledge your avoidant behavior

Part of being honest about your avoidant behavior is also recognizing what you’re trying to avoid. Once you acknowledge that you are behaving in an avoidant manner, it would be easier for you to identify specific behaviors that manifest your attachment style.

You will also find it easier to identify situations that trigger you to become avoidant. More importantly, it will be easier for you to identify and acknowledge to yourself and to your partner exactly what’s causing you to feel so apprehensive and defensive. Once you get to that point, you will be able to work out how you can stop being avoidant.

Name your feelings

People who are avoidant tend to be very good at identifying other people’s feelings, but not their own. If you’re avoidant, you may notice that you always find it difficult to put words to your own feelings. This can cause a lot of misunderstanding, especially when you say you’re angry when you actually feel hurt. 

When you practice giving your feelings a name, it’s not just about learning how to differentiate your emotions. It’s also about understanding yourself and acknowledging your emotions. This will enable you to more accurately identify your emotional needs.

Don’t just ask for space

couple having a fight

One of the things that avoidant people are notorious for is that they always ask for space. That’s basically their catchphrase for whenever they feel they need to distance themselves from their partner or from other people. If you want to be less avoidant, you need to know exactly what it is you need the space for.

For instance, don’t just say you need space and walk out of your partner every time you have an argument. Instead, you can say that you need time to think and calm down so that you can be more levelheaded when you get back to the discussion.

If you’re married or living together and you feel overwhelmed with everything that you need to take care of in the household, tell your partner what you need help with instead of just saying you need space. Say that you need help with the bills, or that the chores are taking too much of your time, or that you want your partner to be more involved in looking after the kids.

Get relief with your partner

Avoidant children tend to get relief from anxiety by escaping somewhere where they can be alone. However, if you still behave like that as an adult, such behaviors can contribute to the decline of the relationship. If you want your relationship to improve, try learning how you can get relief with your partner.

Instead of being alone, you can gain comfort and relief from your anxiety with your partner. For instance, when you’re feeling anxious, you can tell your partner how you’re feeling. Then ask your partner to spend time together in the same room without talking. You can listen to music instead.

The idea is to be with your partner as you try to calm down and relieve your anxiety. You can also try enjoying activities together like taking a walk, going hiking, or cooking together. Hugging while not saying anything is also an excellent idea.

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What Is A Love Avoidant?

Do you feel comfortable about being emotionally intimate with someone or do you run away whenever the intimacy feels too intense? If you’re the type who pulls away from intimacy, then you may be a love avoidant.

It doesn’t mean that you don’t need love and intimacy in your life. It’s just that you have a difficult time dealing with emotional intimacy in your relationship. Being afraid of commitments is also one of the characteristics of a love avoidant.

Overview

As humans, we build relationships and attachments all through our lives. How we build these relationships and nurture them is influenced by our attachment style. The avoidant attachment style is one of the three relationship attachment styles. The other two are secure attachment and anxious attachment.

Those with a secure attachment style feel comfortable with intimacy and close emotional connections. A person with an avoidant attachment style, however, tends to be independent and self-sufficient. They also tend to pull away from intense emotional connections.

How to Tell If Someone Is Love Avoidant

To make a relationship work, you’ll need to adjust to each other and sometimes compromise. However, that can be quite challenging if you can’t figure out what your partner wants. And if your partner is love avoidant, that presents a totally different challenge. Here’s how you can tell if someone is love avoidant.

Independence

independent woman enjoying coffee

Forming a relationship with a love avoidant is definitely possible. However, you need to remember that to a love avoidant, prioritizing the romantic relationship isn’t something that they can easily do. Rather, it’s more important for them to be independent and totally self-sufficient.

A person with an avoidant attachment style tends to crave independence more than intimacy. If you are love avoidant and you feel that the relationship is infringing on your need for independence, it’s possible that you just might decide to give up the relationship instead.

Limited closeness

While there are people who devote their entire selves to their loved ones, those with a love avoidant attachment style tend to limit closeness with other people. They can enjoy being with their partner, but they’re not a fan of big displays of emotion.

If you feel that your partner is always distant and you just can’t get close enough to her, no matter how hard you try to please her or follow what she wants, it’s possible that your partner is love avoidant. If so, you may feel as if there’s always an invisible barrier to her emotions that you just can’t cross.

No commitments

Some people think that only men are afraid of commitments, but the truth is that there are women who feel being tied down by a committed relationship is a nightmare. To them, commitments mean that they have to give up their freedom and independence.

If and when a love avoidant does enter into a committed relationship, it’s possible that he or she will cope with the perceived limited independence by making his or her own mental space. You may feel that your partner is shutting you out at times, or you may find that she keeps picking at your flaws, no matter how trivial.

Control

Because they value their independence so much, people with avoidant attachment style tend to hate being controlled. If your partner is love avoidant, you may notice that she tends to engage in distancing behavior whenever you try to assert control over your relationship.

Distancing behaviors include flirting with others, being dismissive, and being physically unavailable. This is the way a love avoidant would behave if she notices that you or your relationship is infringing too much on her freedom and independence.

Not worried about breaking up

Whereas those who have an anxious attachment style constantly worry about the relationship coming to an end, a love avoidant won’t appear to be concerned at all. You’ll most likely hear a love avoidant saying that it’s alright for the relationship to end since they never really had any deep feelings for the partner anyway.

If you’re the partner in question, that can be very hurtful, especially if you’ve been trying really hard to make the relationship work out. Even when your love avoidant partner really loves you, she might feel that breaking up with you will just bring her relief since she will be able to fully enjoy her independence again.

Other Signs to Watch Out For

If you’re not yet in a relationship, but you feel that the person you like is a love avoidant, here are some signs you should watch out for.

  • Mixed signals
woman unhappy in bed

A love avoidant tends to send mixed signals. If she’s really interested in you, she’ll let you know by being all warm, flirtatious, and charming. But when things start to get emotionally heavy, she’ll start acting cold and distant. You’ll probably end up wondering if she was really interested in you at all.

  • Vague communication

It can be very challenging communicating with someone who’s love avoidant. You probably won’t be able to get a straight answer from them if they perceive that the answer you’re looking for will force them to sacrifice their freedom. That’s even if all you want to know is whether they’re free for dinner.

  • Prefers casual relationships

Because people who have an avoidant attachment style dislike the idea of being in a committed relationship, they tend to be more interested in casual relationships. Not being in a committed relationship for several years is another sign that a person is a love avoidant.

If you really like someone who’s love avoidant, you might want to try the friends-with-benefits approach rather than confessing your undying love and passion. If you do the latter, she’ll probably just run away from you as fast as she can.

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Can Anxious-Avoidant Relationships Work?

Ever wonder why you always seemed so hesitant to commit to a serious relationship? Or why you always felt you needed to preserve some space between you and your partner? That could be because of your avoidant attachment style.

How you are in your relationship is largely influenced by your attachment style. How you relate to other people, how you form attachments, and build relationships are all dependent on your attachment style. If you’re the avoidant type, continue reading to find out whether a relationship with an anxious type can work for you.

What are Attachment Styles?

We all develop our own style of attachment during our early years. Once established, whatever attachment style we develop tends to stay with us and influences how we relate to other people in intimate relationships.

Secure attachment style

Those who formed secure attachments during their early years tend to follow the same secure attachment pattern even in their adulthood. Of all the attachment styles, those with a secure personality are the ones who have the most positive view of themselves, as well as of their partners and relationships.

Adults who develop secure attachments also have a higher likelihood to be satisfied in their relationships. They usually feel connected and secure, which is how they’re able to let their partners enjoy their freedom and independence.

Avoidant attachment style

You will most likely develop an avoidant attachment style if you were surrounded by insensitive and emotionally distant adults during your early years. This is usually what happens to people whose parents or primary caregivers encouraged independence and discouraged crying and other emotional displays.

Adults who have an avoidant attachment style tend to be very self-contained, independent, and cerebral. They also tend to suppress their emotions, and usually respond to stress, conflict, and even intimacy by distancing themselves. Avoidant adults value their independence, and they don’t like the idea of needing anyone.

couple having bedroom problems

Experts further classified the avoidant attachment style into two subtypes. Those who are dismissive-avoidant tend to be loners, and they have a dismissive attitude towards their relationships, how other people feel, and even their own emotions.

Those who are fearful-avoidant, on the one hand, have a more complicated attachment style. They may appear as if they desire to be in a relationship. However, once the partner becomes too emotionally close or the relationship becomes too intimate, they will try to detach and distance themselves.

Anxious attachment style

This attachment style is common to those who grew up in an environment wherein the parent is sometimes nurturing but insensitive at other times. When the parent is like this, the child tends to feel insecure and confused. And these feelings tend to stay with them until adulthood, making them feel anxious in their relationships.

Adults with an anxious attachment style tend to feel insecure and self-critical. They always worry that their partner will eventually reject and leave them, making them distrustful and always seeking reassurance. Because they feel emotional hunger, they may act desperate in their relationships.

Anxious-Avoidant Relationships – Will They Work?

Just like how opposites attract, people with an anxious attachment style somehow always tend to gravitate towards those who have an avoidant attachment style. It’s not the healthiest of combinations, but it can work.

The thing about attachment styles is that most people aren’t aware of it. There’s a mutual attraction between someone who’s avoidant and someone who’s anxious. That’s because their unconscious needs are expressed by the other.

When you have an anxious style of attachment, you’re familiar with the anxiety that an insecure attachment causes. And you pursue that familiar feeling by being with someone who is avoidant. You know that your avoidant loved one has a tendency to avoid emotional intimacy. That makes you more anxious, yet that’s something you’re familiar with.

If you are avoidant, on the one hand, you may find that being in a relationship with another avoidant person may not necessarily fulfill your emotional needs. You do value your independence, and that’s something that you can greatly enjoy when your partner is also avoiding serious commitments and intensely close emotional connections.

However, when you’re in a relationship with someone who is also avoidant, you won’t be able to practice your behavior of running away and avoiding emotional closeness when there’s really nothing to avoid. But you can do that if your partner is anxious, someone who’s always clingy, insecure, and demanding.

In short, someone with an anxious attachment style validates an avoidant’s need to distance herself emotionally, while an avoidant validates the insecure feelings of someone who has an anxious attachment style. It may sound irrational to others, but such a relationship could actually work.

How Do You Make It Work?

A relationship between someone who is avoidant and another who is anxious is a very challenging one, to say the least. But if you’re determined to make it work, you can actually do so. However, it will require a lot of effort, patience, and communication, and it may take some time to resolve both your issues.

Sit down and talk

couple having serious talk

To make this relationship work, you will both need to actually communicate with each other. This may be difficult to do at the beginning because the avoidant partner will most likely resist.

Understand where you’re both coming from

Knowing your attachment style isn’t enough. You also need to understand your partner’s attachment style and why she’s behaving that way. When you both understand why you both act the way you do, that can help make it easier for you to adjust to each other.

Be patient with each other

It’s not easy to change the attachment style that you’ve been used to since childhood. If you’re avoidant, you may start opening up to your partner gradually, but it will definitely take time before you will feel fully comfortable being emotionally intimate with your partner.

In the same manner, if you’re anxious, it will also take some time before you can feel fully secure that your partner really loves you and won’t abandon you. Be supportive and try to be patient with each other.

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Why Do I Fear Intimacy?

Intimacy is associated with closeness, attachment, familiarity, understanding, warmth, attachment, affection, and togetherness. These are all positive things to have in a relationship. But not everyone welcomes intimacy.

Have you heard people say you’re emotionally distant? That you shut people out or that you resist being close to other people? You may have noticed these behaviors in yourself. If you want to gain a better understanding of your fear of intimacy, continue reading.

Fear of Intimacy – What Is It?

Most people who fear intimacy are not aware that they harbor such fears. Although it happens subconsciously, fear of intimacy can make you engage in behaviors that can sabotage and inflict great damage to your relationships.

Fear of intimacy is actually considered a mental health issue. When you fear intimacy, it means that you view becoming close to other people as something that’s threatening or makes you vulnerable.

Intimacy in relationships takes different forms. We’re all familiar with emotional intimacy wherein one person shares an emotional connection with another person by sharing one’s innermost feelings. Sexual intimacy, of course, is characterized by having a close sexual relationship with another.

Intimacy can also be intellectual, which means that you bond with someone meaningful discussions and exchanging of ideas. Experiential intimacy, on the one hand, refers to when you share common interests and experiences with someone.

conversations over coffee

A person who is afraid of intimacy tends to avoid all forms of close connection, regardless of whether it’s emotional, intellectual, experiential, or even sexual. This doesn’t mean, however, that you no longer want or need to be intimate with someone when you have a fear of intimacy.

What Causes Fear of Intimacy?

When you are afraid of being emotionally or physically close with someone, that kind of fear doesn’t just happen out of the blue. There are many reasons why one would develop such a fear of intimacy, and most of these causes have psychological roots. For example, some people develop a fear of intimacy as a defense or coping mechanism.

Avoidant personality disorder

While avoidant personality disorder may lead to a fear of intimacy, the two are actually different. Fear of intimacy is focused on the idea of being physically intimate or being emotionally close to another person.

Avoidant personality disorder is actually a form of anxiety disorder that affects about 2% of the population. Symptoms include being oversensitive to criticisms, avoiding social situations, as well as low self-esteem and fear of humiliation.

Fear of rejection

A lot of people become afraid of intimacy because they fear rejection. To be intimate with someone, you’ll need to open up to that person, which can make you feel vulnerable. And when you’re vulnerable, rejection can hurt a lot.

Some people fear rejection so much that they don’t want to take the first step at all in forming a relationship. Others develop a fear of rejection after having experienced it in such a painful, embarrassing, or traumatic manner that they don’t want to go through it all over again.

Fear of abandonment

If you’ve been abandoned by all the people you loved, you could end up thinking there’s no use in loving someone or being intimate with someone because that person will just leave you anyway. Fear of abandonment is usually rooted in a negative childhood experience such as being abandoned by a parent or the death of a loved one.

History of neglect or sexual abuse

If you’ve been neglected or abused as a child, the effects of such negative experiences can linger and stay with you even in your adulthood. You may want to avoid all forms of sexual interaction because it reminds you of what you went through.

When the fear of intimacy is rooted in childhood sexual abuse, it may be accompanied by other symptoms such as inappropriate sexual behavior, feelings of disgust or guilt when touched by someone else, emotional distance during sex, inhibited sexual desire, as well as physical problems like erectile dysfunction or orgasmic dysfunction.

How Does Fear of Intimacy Affect Your Relationship?

A person suffering from fear of intimacy is most likely to exhibit behaviors that can push the partner away or cause tension in the relationship. What’s unfortunate is that such behaviors not only destroy the relationship but also causes the partner to suffer pain, loneliness, frustration, resentment, and embarrassment.

woman dissatisfied in bed

Imagine how you would feel if your partner always rejected you whenever you say you want to have sex. Withholding sex is actually one of the ways by which someone who fears intimacy tries to distance himself or herself from the partner.

Someone who fears intimacy may also become overly critical of his or her partner. Whereas praises and encouragement help increase the level of intimacy within a relationship, constant criticisms, on the one hand, can lead to emotional distance and loss of intimacy.

How to Overcome Your Fear of Intimacy

If you only have a mild case of fear of intimacy, you may not necessarily need professional help to overcome the problem. You may be able to overcome your fear of intimacy on your own, or you can turn to self-help books for guidance.

However, you should consider getting professional help if your fear of intimacy is accompanied by depression. If your fear of intimacy is due to trauma or if your fear of intimacy is too severe or intense, then you should definitely see a licensed practitioner who can help you get rid of your fear.

Fear of intimacy may cause you to lose your libido or to develop erectile dysfunction. If you’re too afraid to engage in sexual intimacy with your partner, your fear can manifest as a physical inability to have sex.

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What Is an Intimacy Anorexic?

It would be satisfying if everyone had stable and fulfilling relationships. Sadly, the world is full of people who are struggling with relationship problems such as trust issues, infidelity, and lack of physical and emotional intimacy.

Are you also suffering from a lack of intimacy in your relationship? Do you feel like your partner is deliberately withholding love and affection? Learn more about intimacy anorexia and how to tell if someone is intimacy anorexic.

Overview

When there’s a lack of intimacy in your relationship, it’s possible that it’s not just because you two have grown apart from each other, but rather because one of you is suffering from intimacy anorexia.

It’s actually a relationship disorder that is typically characterized by a significant lack of intimacy within the relationship. This lack of intimacy happens as a result of one of the partners actively withholding sexual intimacy, emotional intimacy, as well as spiritual intimacy from the other partner.

Whether you’re married or not, this lack of intimacy can greatly harm your relationship. It can even cause your relationship to break down. Needless to say, it can result in great pain and loneliness for both of you.

What Can Cause Someone to Become Intimacy Anorexic?

Understanding someone who is intimacy anorexic can be very challenging. However, knowing what causes intimacy anorexia may help you figure out how you can manage your relationship when your partner is intimacy anorexic. Here are four known causes of intimacy anorexia.

Sexual addiction

If your partner is suffering from sexual addiction and is fulfilling her sexual needs outside of your relationship, then she may no longer feel the need to be intimate with you.

Sexual trauma

sexual assault

A factor in numerous mental disorders and addiction, sexual trauma is also one of the most common causes of intimacy anorexia. In many cases, sexual trauma victims try to cope with their negative experience by coming up with defense mechanisms such as withholding intimacy or avoiding sex.

Role modeling neglect

A relationship role model is supposed to show you how you can nurture your relationship. For many intimacy anorexics, they are unable to engage in intimacy within their relationships because they don’t know and they don’t have any good examples to follow.

Attachment issues with a parent

If the opposite-gender parent is emotionally distant, the child’s perception of that parent may be generalized to all members of the opposite gender. Such negative parental behavior can influence the child’s future relationships and the ability to engage in intimacy.

How Can You Tell If Someone Is Intimacy Anorexic?

Experts have identified several characteristics that define intimacy anorexia. Check for these signs to see if your partner is intimacy anorexic.

Too busy

It’s not that your partner is busy because of your work. It’s more like your partner is too busy to spend time with you. You may often hear your partner say that she’s too busy to spend intimate moments with you.

Withholding love

This is one of the most common characteristics of an intimacy anorexic. Your partner may withhold her love and affection for you because she either doesn’t understand why she has to show love and affection or she doesn’t know how to do so. She may also knowingly withhold her love because she thinks it gives her control.

It’s always your fault

Blaming the partner is an intimacy anorexic’s way of shifting the blame away from themselves. If your partner has intimacy anorexia, she may find it difficult to acknowledge how she might have contributed to the problems you are facing. She may also be unwilling to solve the problem together because in her mind it’s your fault anyway.

Withholding sex

It’s very difficult to build intimacy with someone who always avoids sex and intimacy. Those who engage in this behavior may also avoid being emotionally connected during sex, if they engage in sex at all. This is actually one of the characteristics of intimacy anorexia that’s very easy to identify.

Blocking feelings

woman ignores husband

When you’re in a relationship, it’s always nice to be able to share your feelings with your partner and to have your partner do the same. However, someone who is struggling with intimacy anorexia tends to avoid sharing their feelings with their partner. They also tend to block out their partner’s feelings, thus preventing emotional intimacy.

Withholding praise

We all need affirmation and praise from time to time, especially from our partner. An intimacy anorexic, however, tends to withhold praise and encouragement. Some may think that praises and compliments are not necessary in a relationship, but withholding praise can actually prevent intimacy from deepening in your relationship.

Always criticizing

While it’s already bad enough that your partner is withholding praise and encouragement, it’s even worse when it’s coupled with frequent criticisms. Feelings of being understood and cared for does contribute to intimacy. However, an intimacy anorexic can ruin that feeling of intimacy by always criticizing and finding fault.

Like living with a roommate

If your partner has intimacy anorexia, you may find yourself feeling as if you’re living with a roommate. That’s because an intimacy anorexic tends to impose limits on the relationship such that whatever intimacy you may have shared in the past disappears.

Is Treatment Possible?

If you and your partner would like to bring back the intimacy in your relationship, you can overcome intimacy anorexia. If you prefer resolving the problem on your own, communication is definitely important.

However, since intimacy anorexia is a complicated problem, you may want to consider seeing a therapist. Counseling sessions with a licensed sex therapist may also be helpful. Your therapist should be able to guide you and your partner in identifying and resolving your relationship issues, as well as in rekindling the intimacy in your relationship.

Your sex therapist may also be able to help reintroduce sex in your relationship with your partner. To make sure that you’re up for it, don’t forget your daily dose of Male UltraCore. With Male UltraCore, you can always be confident that you can deliver the best sexual performance your partner could ask for.

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Can You Cure Intimacy Anorexia?

As a relationship disorder intimacy anorexia is a complex problem that can cause couples a lot of pain. It isn’t just a simple decline in intimacy within a relationship. When you or your partner are suffering from intimacy anorexia, all forms of intimacy within your relationship may be completely lost.

However, there is hope. As long as you’re both willing, intimacy anorexia may be treated. It may take a while and require a lot of effort from both of you, but you can restore intimacy in your relationship.

Overview

Intimacy anorexia is a type of relationship disorder. There is a marked lack of intimacy within the relationship because one of the partners is actively avoiding any form of intimate connection with the other, be it through sexual intimacy, emotional intimacy, or even spiritual intimacy.

One may develop intimacy anorexia due to a variety of reasons. Whatever the cause, several symptoms characterize intimacy anorexia. These include behaviors such as blaming, criticizing, and withholding sex or affection.

Possible Causes of Intimacy Anorexia

The factors that contribute to intimacy anorexia are deeply psychological. Sexual trauma, for instance, is a common cause of intimacy anorexia. Victims of sexual trauma may find it difficult to form or commit to relationships. And even when they do, they may not find it easy to show their love and affection, much less engage in sex with their partner.

lace blindfold and sensual touches

Sexual addiction is another known cause of intimacy anorexia. Those who are sexually addicted tend to pursue sexual interactions with many other partners, despite the fact that they are already in a relationship with someone. Some of them intentionally engage in sexual activities with other people but remain distant and cold when they’re with their partner.

Other factors that can contribute to intimacy anorexia include issues with the parent of the opposite gender, as well as a lack of relationship role model. For instance, when the opposite-gender parent is perceived as emotionally unavailable or if that parent has abandoned the family, that perception can be transferred to every one of the opposite genders.

If you grew up in an environment wherein you don’t really have any relationship role model to follow and look up to, you may be at a loss as to how you can nurture your own relationship.

Any of these factors can prevent a person from freely engaging in intimate acts and behaviors and can cause intimacy anorexia.

Signs of Intimacy Anorexia

Withholding sex

Does your partner always reject you whenever you want to have sex? How long has it been since you last had sex with your partner? People who suffer from intimacy anorexia tend to avoid sex and intimacy with their partner. And even when they do engage in sexual acts, they tend to be emotionally distant.

Withholding love

One of the reasons why we enter into relationships is that we want to be able to show our love for our partner. And we also want to feel loved and cared for. However, those with intimacy anorexia may intentionally withhold their love from their partner.

Criticizing

When your partner is constantly criticizing you, that can lead to feelings of resentment. It can also prevent you from being intimate with your partner. A constant stream of groundless criticism can destroy whatever feelings of intimacy you may have had.

Blaming

When your partner has intimacy anorexia, you will be blamed for all the problems in your relationship, regardless of whether you actually caused it or your partner did. An intimacy anorexic person will blame his or her partner and never acknowledge the fact that he or she also contributed to the problem.

Withholding praise

Along with criticizing and blaming, withholding praise is another common characteristic among those suffering from intimacy anorexia. While couples in a supportive relationship always praise and encourage each other, you will rarely hear any praises or encouragement from someone who is intimacy anorexic.

Anger or silence

Those who are struggling with intimacy anorexia tend to be very good at using anger and silence as a means to control their partner or the relationship. Unfortunately, when your partner is always angry at you or stays silent all the time, that can negatively affect the intimacy within your relationship.

Avoids sharing feelings

When you’re in a relationship, being able to share your feelings with your partner is something that you feel you should be able to do freely. However, when your partner is intimacy anorexic, you may find that you’re being blocked out whenever you try to talk about how you feel. And your partner may be unwilling to share her feelings with you.

Treatment Options

couple's therapy

Dealing with an intimacy anorexic can be very challenging and frustrating. Even when you love your partner greatly, it can hurt a lot when you’re always rejected, criticized, blamed, and shut out. However, if you really want your relationship to improve and work out, then you may want to think about seeking couple’s therapy.

You may be able to gradually address your partner’s issue with intimacy, but it may take if you don’t have professional help. There’s a lot of psychological issues involved when someone is intimacy anorexic, and having an objective third party guide you through the myriad of issues may be best.

Some therapists provide intensive treatment for intimacy anorexia. This usually involves in-depth interventions that can help you and your partner address the emotional damage in your relationship, as well as help you learn the skills you need in order to rekindle the intimacy in your relationship.

You can also opt for counseling sessions with a licensed relationship counselor or sex therapist. Your therapist will help you identify and resolve your relationship issues, as well as address the cause of intimacy anorexia in your relationship.

A sex therapist would also be able to help you and your partner rediscover the joy of intimate sex with each other again. Should you opt to see a sex therapist, you should be prepared to deliver a truly amazing sexual performance. In order to do so, make sure to take Male UltraCore so that you won’t have any problems with your sexual performance.

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What Is Intimacy Avoidance?

Are you the type of a man who panics when he hears his partner say she wants to take the relationship one step further? Don’t worry, that’s a normal reaction when you’re not ready yet to get serious about your relationship.

Intimacy avoidance, however, is a different matter. It means that you try to avoid close emotional contact with another person. You don’t just avoid intimacy, you actively find ways to escape from it. Continue reading to learn more about intimacy avoidance.

Overview

People engage in romantic relationships for a variety of reasons, including physical and emotional intimacy. When you’re in love, you want to spend as much time as you can with the person you love. You want to get to know your partner better. You want to be able to hold, hug, kiss, and make love with the person you like.

However, that’s not the case for everyone. Those who are struggling with intimacy avoidance view being close to someone as a dangerous thing. They strongly believe that the more a person gets close to you, the more it will hurt when that person betrays or abandons you.

You can think of it as a defense mechanism. Those who actively avoid intimacy do so because they want to protect themselves from being hurt or rejected. It’s not that they don’t want or crave for intimacy. It’s just that the fear of rejection and pain are far stronger than their need for intimacy.

What Can Cause a Person to Avoid Intimacy?

As with many other psychological issues, intimacy avoidance may be due to several factors.

Fear of being abandoned

You may be afraid that if you enter into a relationship, your partner will just eventually leave you. Fear of abandonment is usually rooted in a painful childhood experience such as being separated from a loved one or a parent.

crying child trauma from abuse

Childhood sexual abuse

For someone who experienced childhood sexual abuse, trusting someone and being intimate with someone can be very difficult. When intimacy avoidance is due to sexual trauma, it may be accompanied by emotional distance during sex, inhibited sexual desire, as well as difficulty in achieving erections or orgasms. 

Fear of being rejected

When you’re so afraid of rejection, you may never take that first step toward developing a close relationship. It’s possible that you developed this fear because you already experienced what it’s like to be rejected.

It’s also possible that you fear rejection because you have seen firsthand how someone close to you got badly hurt after being rejected, and you don’t want to go through that kind of pain.

Avoidant personality disorder

Also referred to as intimacy anxiety disorder, avoidant personality disorder is a subtype of anxious personality disorder. This is usually characterized by an intense fear of being abandoned or rejected, low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy, and sensitivity to criticism.

What are the Signs of Intimacy Avoidance?

Someone who is strongly afraid of emotional intimacy doesn’t usually express this fear out loud. If you suspect that your partner may be suffering from intimacy avoidance, here are some signs you should watch out for.

Trust issues

Someone who avoids intimacy usually has difficulties trusting other people. They may also believe that their trust will just be broken anyway, so there’s no point in giving their trust to someone.

Difficulties in forming relationships

Because of their overwhelming fear of rejection or abandonment, people with intimacy avoidance issues tend to find it extremely difficult to commit to a relationship.

In addition, because of the trust issues, low self-esteem, and feelings of inadequacy, an intimacy avoidant person may feel that he or she has nothing much to offer when it comes to relationships.

Inability to express emotions

An intimacy avoidant person usually has problems expressing his or her emotions. Those who avoid intimacy tend to appear cold and distant, and they don’t usually share their feelings.

Unstable relationships

If you look at the relationship history of someone who is intimacy avoidant, you’ll notice that there’s a history of unstable relationships or there’s no relationship history to speak of at all.

Avoids physical contact

Intimacy avoidance can cause a person to avoid any form of intimate physical contacts such as kissing and sex. It’s also common for an intimacy avoidant person to view sex as an obligatory act.

Spends more time with other people or at work

You may think your partner is a workaholic because she doesn’t have time for anything else other than work. However, that could actually be a sign that your partner is struggling with intimacy avoidance.

couples on a double date

If she devotes all her time to her job, then she won’t have time at all to be with you or get close to you. If she’s always out with friends or if she prefers going on double dates, then she won’t have to spend time alone with you.

Feelings of inadequacy

Intimacy avoidance is usually accompanied by low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy. Those who are intimacy avoidant may feel that they don’t deserve the time, attention, and love that they’re getting from their partner. They may also feel that they’re sexually inadequate.

Dealing with Feelings of Sexual Inadequacy

If you feel like you’re totally inadequate in bed, it can make you want to avoid sex and physical intimacy altogether. A lot of men with erectile dysfunction, for example, feel that they can never perform in bed as well as they used to.

In truth, however, you don’t have to let erectile dysfunction prevent you from being intimate with your partner. You should take Male UltraCore, the best male enhancement supplement that’s packed with potent natural erection enhancers.

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.