Opening Up to Intimacy

Intimacy. Terrifying for so many. I’ve never understood the fear myself, but then opening up emotionally for me is as natural as breathing. I’m still learning that not everyone can open up so easily. Some people can’t open up at all.

What about getting close to someone is so scary? Is it fear of abandonment or rejection? Fear of losing oneself? What do you think?

Fear of abandonment & rejection I understand, no doubt. I’m an incredibly intense and passionate woman, and I do feel that in a new relationship especially I need to dial it back some. I’m a bit more reserved going in, especially in the wake of my recent heartbreak. I have deep seated abandonment issues, and I’m always afraid that it’s just around the corner. Well, not always, just at the beginning of a new relationship. After 12 years, I know my husband is not going to just leave me one day. I know he will always be there for me, and even if something happens that breaches the trust we share, he will be there to work it out. I know that with the same certainty that I know the sun will rise again tomorrow. It’s wonderful to feel so secure and protected in a loving relationship.

But we didn’t get there overnight.

With new relationships, especially primary but even secondary, you’re still feeling each other out. Perhaps trying to protect your heart until you gain some confidence in you & your beloved as a couple. Here is the tricky part: repress & protect too much, and the other party will think you’re aloof or disinterested. Share too much too soon and the other party will think you’re needy. It is a tricky time.

I have a tendency to take chances with new relationships and give too much of myself up front, which can result in an unbalanced relationship/attachment and ultimately heartbreak. Not good. However, if my beloved takes a step towards intimacy, I meet them eagerly. And then some.

New relationships are scary, especially when they’re under complicated circumstances, but it is essential to be open with each other. Be honest. Trust that they’ll take care of your heart, but keep your eyes open for signs of abuse, imbalance, and fear. Be ready to back off a little if necessary or just walk away (in cases of abusive behavior).

But as long as you’re moving forward at relatively the same pace, open up! Show your lover who you are. Let them in. And encourage them to do the same. You must build trust and create a safe space to do so. Share your fears. Share your dreams. Nothing brings people closer together faster than sharing dreams & fears. We all have the same basic fears. Acknowledging that, and having it validated, is profound. But even if you don’t understand or don’t share a particular fear/issue/dream, don’t judge. There is no room for judgment here. You might have different views of the world, religion, philosophy, morals, music, whatever; but that isn’t as important as mutual respect and consideration, especially for a secondary relationship. For a primary, it might be necessary to share a basic philosophy on life and spirituality, depending on the individuals involved, of course.

As I’ve said before, love should be embraced in whatever form it manifests. It’s precious and too rare. We all need to feel love and to feel loved. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s beautiful.

Come on in, boys. The water is fine.


~ by omgrey on June 1, 2011.

17 Responses to “Opening Up to Intimacy”

  1. “The ones who know you so well are the ones who can swallow you hole…”

    “If I wrote you, you would know me, and you would not write me again.” – Dar Williams

    Great post.


  3. Well said. I have been pondering this a lot lately as well. It’s hard to walk that line of balanced distance and being true to yourself. I open up far too freely too it seems and I either scare people away, or give and get little to nothing in return. It’s painful, and it kinda becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. I almost did not end up with my husband because of thinking that eventually the other shoe will drop. But because it never did, I am always looking for friends or new lovers who will be as marvelous as he and it has yet to happen. It makes me believe in the idea of soulmates. That no one will ever fit your puzzle as well as this one, but it certainly is fun to try. All the while, you go back to the perfect fit… and it’s simply marvelous.

    • Oh my, Taloolah! It’s like you’re looking into my heart! I feel exactly the same way. It’s very difficult, as I open up far too freely, too. Many people have been scared away by my intensity, no doubt, both friends and lovers, actually. I’m so eager to give, that they end up being very one-sided or imbalanced. I’m trying much harder to only reciprocate and match their level, but with every little bit, I want to give more. I would love to have a secondary who is as marvelous as my husband, but I guess we’re lucky enough to have found it the first time. I totally believe in soul mates, but I also believe that there isn’t just one. Friends, family, and lovers can be soul mates, too. It’s how I explain that indescribable connection one has with some people and not others. Perhaps something inside us recognizes something inside them. It can be fun to try to find that fit, and I would truly love a secondary, but I really must be careful. My heart is rather fragile, it seems. Although all the scars on it have toughened it up a bit. But you’re right about how wonderful it is to come home to the perfect fit. We are lucky ladies, indeed.

  4. Leaping dopplegangers! I thoroughly enjoyed and whole-heartedly subscribe to every word here! Very well done Olivia! You may have a new fan. 😉

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  6. You don’t know the sun will come up tomorrow. You hope like hell and you are probably right, but you don’t really, really, really know for sure. What most of us are more certain of about intimacy is “all I’ve ever learned from love was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you” -Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen

    Being able to open up in spite of the probability you will get outdrawn is admirable. But more people are cruel than loving. Just are.

  7. […] what you mean. Do what you say. Be courageous. Communicate openly and honestly. Build trust.. Cultivate intimacy. Revel in love. Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this […]

  8. […] those fears that two people can become closer. It’s in facing those fears together that intimacy can develop, and a couple can actually learn to deal with them in a healthier way and perhaps even transcend […]

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