Eros, the God of love and sexual attraction, has always had his place in every culture of the ancient world. He was worshiped. He was the synonym to life, as he was-according to the Greek myth of Cosmogony- the third God that came to our world after the thick darkness of Chaos. He was born out of the Cosmic Egg with his brother and sister, Gaia and Tartarus.
Erotic love was always praised by humanity in any kind of art, even the most primitive.
Αnd has so far been despised by Western cultures as evil that is not even necessary.
Is this an indication of our times?
Psychologists call it “Fear of intimacy”.
According to the psychologist Hal Shorey, it is the standard procedure for about 17% of adults in our world.
“It is important to understand that avoidance of intimacy does not necessarily mean someone doesn’t care. It usually isn’t even a conscious process. It is in large part a biological reaction that was ingrained in the structures of the central nervous system through certain parenting practices in childhood”, he explains.
And he gives the pattern of parent’s behavior that could lead the child to be a scared partner in a romantic relationship as an adult:
“The parents of children who become avoidant or dismissing of intimacy tend to reject the children’s neediness or perceived weaknesses. They may even use shame as a means of control (“little boys don’t cry!”) and are likely to be very intolerant of children challenging them or telling the parent how they feel. If a child in this type of relationship were to tell her parents that she is angry (or frustrated, agitated, or has hurt feelings), the parent is likely to react harshly and scold the child for being unappreciative and disrespectful. This pattern often leads the developing child to falsely idolize the parent because viewing the parent negatively will flood the child with anxiety”.
We don’t intentionally reject love to preserve a familiar identity. Instead, during times of closeness and intimacy, we react with behaviors that create tension in the relationship and push our loved one away.
Some common ways are withholding affection, reacting indifferently or adversely to the demonstation of feelings or positive acknowledgement, becoming paranoid or suspicious of a partner, losing interest in sexuality, being overly critical, feeling the notion of defense or resistance to being close.
Peter Michaelson, an author and psychotherapist in Plymouth, Michigan, is confident that people can overcome Fear of Intimacy. He suggests that:
“For true insight, we have to penetrate into the nature of emotional conflict. On one side of the conflict, the person with fear of intimacy often suffers from acute loneliness and desperately wants to find love. On the other side of the conflict, however, he or she is unconsciously expecting to be rejected or abandoned, as well as expecting to become passive and lose oneself in an intimate relationship. This conflict, unresolved in the person’s psyche, is processed fruitlessly and painfully in the many forms of self-defeat and self-sabotage that dysfunctional relationships can take”.
Fear of Intimacy is a bidirectional disorder. Two people suffer. And they both have to give some effort in order to make the relationship work.
The one who is afraid of falling in love should, as Hal Shorey says, learn to label and communicate his/her emotions and realize that a calm emotional and rational approach to relationship issues is likely to make anxious people feel invalidated, dismissed, and more anxious.
The partner of the avoidant person should always remember that his/her behavior is the result of the disorder. Remember that the person is scared of strong and painful negative emotions. If the person shuts down, withdraws, or becomes overly intellectual in the conversation, let them run and try again another day. If the avoidant person needs to get away, don’t chase after him. Realize that if you need a great deal of intimacy in your relationship, you may have chosen a partner who will have great difficulty giving it to you.
Love love love … What Is love? Love is a chemical process that starts from an eye contact…. Want to learn more? Read It: “Chemistry of Love”