Fear of Intimacy
I’ve been hung up on a guy whom I kissed ONE TIME…NINE MONTHS AGO. That’s it, just kissing, NINE months ago! His stare, his smell, his touch, his voice bounces around my head more often than I admit to even my best friend. No sex, no nakedness. Just talking and embracing and kissing and touching. Intimately, with purpose and sweetness. That’s all I needed to instantly get hooked, to know how my soul felt around his. The intimacy was electrifying.
I’ve slept with some men, their breaths linked with mine while inside me, whose effect on me didn’t even compare to that of the guy nine months ago. For one reason or another, I didn’t feel a deep emotional pull toward them. Though some would argue we shared the most intimate of moments, I felt a void. The sex was fun and physically satisfying but their stares, their smells, their touches, their voices weren’t on my mind nonstop. Sex isn’t synonymous with connection nor heartache.
I think more about the guy whom I’ve only kissed once, one night, on my couch, in the still of my apartment, than most of the men with whom I’ve had sex.
What is it that makes our heart soar around some and very little around others? The length of time of a connection doesn’t seem to matter. It could’ve lasted one night, a few months, years; intimacy is intimacy. And when it takes hold, it can sometimes be incredibly difficult to shake off.
This is about what I think while messaging with a man on Bumble who, at 9pm, asks: “Wanna come over for a milkshake?”
I assume he’s insinuating a “Netflix and Chill” kinda night, and so I politely decline, “No thanks. Not only am I’m allergic to milk, but I’m also not just looking for an easy fuck.”
He then informs me that he isn’t either; he’s a virgin and just really likes milkshakes. “I’ll make you a smoothie instead,” he offers. Shocked, I probe a bit. “You’re a virgin?! You’re 34. Why haven’t you had sex yet?”
“Because the one time I was intimate with a girl it took me years to get over her.” He vowed to never allow himself to open up like that again…until he gets married. He rather avoid heartache than experience the beauty of love and deep connection.
I’ve written before about losing my virginity (that blog post is here., but this post isn’t about sex.
It’s about intimacy, about fearlessly allowing ourselves the chance to connect and be vulnerable, the chance to fall for someone knowing it’s very likely it’ll end up in heartache.
Many of us seem approach love from a place of fear. We don’t want to get hurt. I mean, who does? But to not love, to not try, to not connect means to not live. How do we foster a sense of freedom despite so much of our being telling us to protect our hearts? I often joke that dating is the definition of insanity. Over and over and over I end up with the same results: disappointment in either the lack of connection or the heartache I feel when a man I want doesn’t want me. But I continue to throw myself into a world of vulnerability, because I know, those moments of intimacy, like those on my couch nine months ago, make all the noise, all the fear melt away.