Why We Don’t Say, ‘I Love You’…!

I know it is such a cliche, but I AM AFRAID OF INTIMACY. There I said it, and here is how I know it’s true.

First of all, I almost always pick a fight with my husband if I know we’re probably going to have sex that night. I test him to the core and I close off my heart.  He gets through to me somehow.

This is a super juicy example. I was throwing everything at him (while in bed naked): talking about summer plans, bringing up the kids’ behavior, picking my nose. All very sexy. He sat me up, and made me face him eye-to-eye, and not look away and not talk. He held my gaze and smiled at me for what seemed like an eternity (probably three minutes). I squirmed, joked, relaxed, tensed, tried to get away, laughed, made faces, etc. After I calmed down a little, he said, “I just adore you.” I was expecting (hoping for?) punishment, and instead he gave me love. Of course I burst into tears, realizing that is what I wanted to happen, but having no facility (after 19 years with this lovely man) with how to get it. I was relieved, embarrassed and romanced all at once by how many feelings his presence of love brought up in me. Yup, this is what intimacy feels like, freakin’ uncomfortable. No wonder I avoid it.

I whimpered, “You NEVER say that,” followed by a quick, “not that you should,” because immediately it dawned on me that I don’t want him to be affectionate and attentive. I could never blame him for the lack of that in our relationship, given what a battle it was to get me to sit still for even a smidge of it. And then of course the “don’t give it a kinahara” old-world-Jew in me said to myself, “Don’t waste it. Too much of a good thing is definitely bad. It makes the Uni-verse suspicious, possibly even angry, and it is finite; it does run out. Portion out the good stuff very meagerly and slowly.” Oy, you see what I am up against in my mind?

You, too?

Here is why I am telling you about the psycho-drama in my head – because I know I am not alone. I want you to do a quick exercise in your imagination. Picture yourself in the comfiest bed with your chosen “one.” If you don’t have one right now, imagine the one you want. Now imagine, he/she looks right into your eyes and says that thing you really want to hear. Then listen and watch in your imagination at what your “natural” response will be. If you are creative and strong enough to will your mind and imagination in only a positive direction at this point (your response is to melt, say something deep, start touching, etc.), then hallelujah! You are on your way to manifesting one of the most intimate nights of your life. But if what comes up instead is any kind of mental squirm, you are in the same predicament as I am in!

Don’t worry though, I can help us both. Seeing your “dark side/scared side” is always the first step to being able to mitigate its impact! In fact, just seeing your negative thinking, or “dumb-ass theories” as I like to call them, and emotional patterns, is about 90% of the battle. The last 10% is in practicing doing the right thing despite your mind putting up roadblocks. Face your fears and your tendencies to brat out, and sit up and look the people you love in the eye. Hold their gaze, listen to them, let them love you, find what’s right and acknowledge it. Do what you know keeps love alive even if it’s annoying (beforehand) and even if it’s scary. I think you’ll thank me as I thanked my husband for gently compelling me to commune.

So, do my exercise, and share on the blog whether it goes well or not. We’ll be happy and inspired to hear brags!


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Laurie Gerber is President of Handel Group® Life Coaching, an international coaching company, which specializes in teaching individuals to take focused and powerful action in every area of their lives. You can connect with Laurie on Facebook at HG Life Coaching.

  • PrincessRLJ

    lol! nice to know I’m not the only one with a fear of intimacy. It’s weird because i don’t mind touching others but i mind being touched.
    I did as you said and imagined my ‘loved one’ even though we are not together saying something sweet and wonderful to me in bed whilst staring deep into mty eyes and i actually smiled an awkward smile and turned away from my computer screen at work. smh!

    I’ve recently got into a relationship with a lovely man who is VERY affectionate and loves intimacy which is a huge step for me, because he forces me out of my comfort zone, he likes all the things i HATE, i.e holding hands, PDA, constant touches urgh!

    I’m working on it. 🙂

  • This is a brave and candid post, Laurie. It’s hard to think that you fear the thing that you think you want the most. Intimacy is wonderful and scary at the same time. I know that I have a fear of intimacy. It feels like putting myself in someone’s hands and they have the power to drop me whenever they feel like. I am currently receiving the type of intimacy I’ve been hoping for and part of me finds it hard to believe. 

    I will try to allow it. I have manifested it into my life and now I know that I have to receive it. Thank you for this post. I know that I can do it and I know that it’s okay if it takes me time to get used to it. 

  • Kristifra1

    Wow.  I think I love every aspect of this post from our dark side to visualizing what we want to happen.  and I didn’t even really know this about me.  Thanks Laurie for helping me to see why I push my hubby away!  

  • Beverlyn Shld

    Oh my so true! Intimacy scares me to death…..

    • Laurie

       practice practice

  • Jwolfsberg

    Great post Laurie….I scanned the comments below and only noticed women.  That in itself, told me what I already knew, men have a hard time being open about this issue.  We share the same strategy  with intimacy – joke, make a funny face, etc.. to disengage.  Intimacy is not something we talk about growing up and when it hits you, it taps into the “I’m not worthy” part of our psyche.  Thanks for the courage to post this ~ Jeff W. 

  • Renpic

    This is awesome.  I love the idea of remaining strong enough or having your partner remain strong enough to just observe, and love, even when the other partner is having a ‘bratty’ moment!  It must take time to get to a place like this with a partner.  But I guess we can still do this kind of thing with friends and family.  Intimacy comes in all forms. 

  • Jen

    Holy Law of Attraction, Batman! I decided to read this article on a break from journaling about THIS VERY THING! And you cannot really tell what it’s about from the title. Really though, it did help me answer some of my own questions. Thank you for posting this personal story, it helped me immensely, and it’s good to know that people from The Daily Love have the same doubts and fears as the rest of us. 😉

    • Laurie