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Fear of Success and Intimacy
Chasing unattainable partners, deliberately throwing away perfectly good opportunities (and rationalising these actions by flawed reasoning), having impossibly high standards, are examples of self sabotage. Like not trying, this is also denial based mindset and a way of avoiding the deeper issue; in this case pushing the problem onto someone else and blaming them for personal failures.
Secondly, why do this?
Intimacy and sex are immensely pleasurable for the vast majority of people and is a biological desire. Why would someone deliberately avoid it? The underlying reason is fear and the reasons and causes for this fear will be looked at in the rest of this article. Rather than risk being hurt, some people - whether consciously or unconsciously - decide not to let anyone get close and they avoid intimacy altogether.
Common cases are guys who remain virgins into their 20s for which having sex for the first time is usually a very conscious goal. For this reason, a fear of success (which can be applied to almost any kind of goal) may also come into play often coupled with a fear of intimacy. Since this is related and the anxiety/avoidance behaviour is the same, some details on this will also be outlined briefly first before looking at fear of intimacy directly.
1. Comfort in being ‘a failure' - Sabotaging any gains in personal growth and achievement, because once they start solving problems they fear that no one will pay attention – they are no longer special or stand out. They are habituated to receiving help, sympathy, and compassionate support from others.
2. Fear that they will accomplish all that they set out to, but still won't be happy. The greater the effort the more likely this is, and the bigger the fear becomes. It is easy to blame not being happy on the inability to reach a goal that is subconsciously made impossible, once it is achieved they will no longer have anything to blame for their own unhappiness and it will force them to address other issues in life which they may be trying to avoid. When finally presented with what they have worked so hard to towards, they may feel empty and realise they have tagged all kinds of ‘fixes' for other problems in life onto it. An example would be a belief that after finally having sex that they will be ‘fixed' and problems with women will be solved, when deep down they know this not to be true.
3. Fear that accomplishments could be destroyed at any time. The result of this fear is difficult to explain, it is often quite self destructive and sometimes difficult for others to understand. Having a great chance and messing it up means they won't have the great chance any longer - so they never take it. Another behaviour might be deliberately destroying chances and opportunities so that no one else or any outside influence can ruin them.
While fear of success can be generalised to apply to almost any goal, fear of intimacy is specific to the focus of this article.
What is intimacy?
Studies by Collins and Freeney have examined the relationship between attachment and intimacy in detail. They define emotional intimacy as a special set of interactions in which a person discloses something important about himself or herself, and a partner responds to the disclosure in a way that makes the person feel validated, understood, and cared for. These interactions usually involve verbal self-disclosure. Physical intimate interactions involve non-verbal forms of self-expression such as touching, hugging, kissing, and sexual behaviour.
Intimacy usually requires most of the following:
1. Willingness to disclose one's true thoughts, feelings, wishes, and fears
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