I'm Afraid of Closeness

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
Why do I run away from him? I like him, trust him, admire him, and I don't think it would be a lie to say he feels the same way. I know how to be flirtatious. But when he starts making the moves, I turn away. Literally. And it's not even as if he's asking much at all-- a hand hold, a hug, maybe a kiss. (yes we've cuddled and held hands--but only a few times! I turn away so often, and I can see that it hurts him as much as it hurts me.) I've known my man for a year now. We live at different colleges--but only an hour away. So we don't see each other a lot. But we've been emailing constantly for almost eight months. And when we do get together, we talk about things that nobody else knows about us. He opens up; I open up. There is a trust I've never had with anybody else, and a respect I'm afraid of. What should I do to make my actions represent my feelings? Help, please. I'm acting so strangely, and it confuses me.

RomanceClass.com Advice
This really isn't that unusual. Everybody wants to be loved, and everybody has a fear of being hurt. We all have different ways of dealing with that fear. It sounds like your way is to shut off the contact, so that he doesn't have a chance to get closer, so you are safe from being hurt if it doesn't work out. Even though you trust him to talk and such, as soon as he tries to get closer, you shut down in fear of something going wrong.

So talk about it with him! Obviously he knows this is going on and probably this is very confusing to him. Make a really great dinner for him some evening at your place. Have it be just you two alone, and get full of great, yummy food. Then sit together, and say again to him that it's your fear of being hurt that is causing you to turn away, and that WITH HIM you want to get through this. It's important to emphasize that it's the two of you facing the problem together, that makes it seem like there's not "something wrong" but just a situation you two can handle.

Then have him give you a massage. Have him start with the hands, then the shoulders, then the back. Have him go slow and gentle, and let him know when you start to feel scared so he can slow down. But that way you can get used to the idea that "touch is good" and together you can get through it.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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