Many men in 2020 struggle with intimacy. They find it difficult to create it and how to live in an intimate relationship without coming of as soft in front of their male friends? Because let’s face it. Society has created men to become a stereotype who has to be strong, in control, the providing factor of the couple.
Intimacy encourages and enables vulnerability so that you connect with another person on a deeper level. This perceived need for men to hide any weakness, can interfere with their ability to experience a real closeness, since real intimacy always involves some degree of vulnerability. This is such a shame since both men and women need intimacy in their lives, and not creating it can creates longing and resentment in the longer run in a relationship. So let’s dig into what intimacy really is.
What is Intimacy?
Intimacy really is the experience of real closeness. It can be experienced with yourself (some type of self-love), with a partner, a friend or a parent. Intimacy appears when two people are able to be emotionally open with one another, and reveal their true feelings, thoughts, fears and desires. This can only occur when both people are able to genuinely trust one another, and feel able to take the risk of being vulnerable. To witness true intimacy, you therefore have to be filled with courage to open up and show your naked self to another person.
It is a universal human need; without it we have the experience of loneliness. A perceived lack of intimacy is one of the most common reasons for relationship breakdowns., and that is exactly why we have created the 6 weeks bachata course to help couples who feel their intimacy and sparkle between them is gone.
Why is it difficult to be intimate for Men?
Fear of losing independency:
A big thing of masculinity is to feel independent and in charge of them self, their life and work. Men like the feeling of being in control and having the situation in their hands. Again this comes back to how society perceives men in general being the protector of the family. Intimacy often can question that independence or at least it can feel that way initially.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Men needs to understand that intimacy only ads to a relationship. Yes it is true that intimacy connects two people much closer and you will feel as if you are merging in many ways, but gaining more intimacy and closeness also requires a vast amount of respect and trust and in those two skills you will find you independence.
Being in an intimate relationship does not mean that you are tied up with your arms and legs. It means that you feel connected with your lover, that you have mutual respect and mutual love for each other that only grows bigger when desire comes into play, when you witness the person you love from a far.
It also means that your communication is improving, since intimacy is not only physical. Read this article to understand about the 4 different types of intimacy
Men often confuse sex with intimacy:
Sex does not equal intimacy. Sexual intimacy is definitely a part of being intimate with your partner, but there is so much more connected to the word and meaning of intimacy. Sexual intimacy is often what comes so easy and natural in the beginning state of a new relationship. This is because you have a desire to know each other and explore each other bodies driven from your hormones. But as the relationship goes on you can actually create a more meaningful and deeper sexual experiences by tunneling into the intimacy of a sexuality. Sex is just a physical act, but when intimacy comes into play it becomes fulfilling and passionated.
The other sides of intimacy are more intellectual. It requires good communication skills to respect each other’s meaning and views on life. Shared purpose in life, meaningful conversations and affirming comments are all a part of creating an intimate relationship, no matter which type or with who.
Men might feel lack of emotional vocabulary:
For men using words can be more difficult than for women. Some men are naturally open to intimacy and are good in communication, but the majority of men are not as good as their partners in this skill.
Men are intuitively better in handy things. They DO, women THINK and this is perfectly fine to get a relationship work on a logical matter. But here we are talking about opening up to each other and gain more intimacy in a relationship and gaining a more emotional vocabulary looking from a man’s point of view.
While DOING intimate things like touching each other, care for another person, do a favor, create a nice meal, carry the groceries ecc is great, communication still is a key factor, to an intimate relationship between two people.
How you talk, your body-language and what you say can change everything almost in an instant. Oh and lack of talking is also hugely important, we sometimes forget that. When you don’t respond to something, you actually also respond. You send a message that you don’t care about whatever the other person is saying and that can lead into resentment and finally into regret and break-up.
So even though, it can be difficult for men to open up and talk emotionally, it still is super important. Try to speak more to your significant other about general stuff. Share what you have experienced when you did the grocery shopping, or on your work today. Involve your lady into your life slowly and you will see that it starts to become more natural to you to communicate. After some while you can try to open up more, about personal stuff and you will experience that the more you open up to her, the more she will open up to you.
Tips for developing Intimacy
Acknowledging and accepting that developing emotional closeness is a skill that takes practice is the first and foremost thing you should understand. It doesn’t come overnight and it is not nessesarily an easy task. However if you stick to this task the result will be incredible rewarding for your relationship so don’t let that stop you.
Acchieving emotional closeness is an emotional risk for yourself. When you open up to another human being you undress and become naked without knowing if the other person is willing to do the same. The other person might not want to open up and will not accept the challenge it is to create a deeper bonding relationship. Trusting the right person with your feelings, however, will often lead the other person to letting down the guards and open up to you too. If you always wait for the other person to take the first move, you will maybe never get to experience true intimacy.
Even if the other person does not accept the thoughts and emotions you reveal, the relationship will often be better off for your honesty. Learning to manage uncomfortable conversations when someone is not agreeing with you is an important skill. Once you have expressed your feelings and emotions, if its contrary to your partners, you can work on finding a solution which is better for you both and therefore better for your relationship as well. Working on finding a solution that fits you both will make the relationship grow and your mutual respect and trust in eachother will blossom as a result.
On the other hand, if emotional distance becomes a habit for you, your relationship can break down and lead to break up. The risk you take when you start to open up to your partner, not knowing how she will respond, becomes a risk worth taking when you know and understand that the result of doing nothing can lead to break up.
So try to challenge your limiting beliefs about masculinity such as “men are always in control, they don’t show emotions” or “boys don’t cry”.
Because they are only limiting in experiencing true intimacy and a beautiful relationship with your significant other.
Both men and women need closeness in their life. It is a human need to feel belonging and connected with other human beings, we are flock animals, we thrive in company.
2 thoughts on “Why Is Intimacy a Tabu for Men?”
That was wonderful thank you for defining the requirement of the emotional background of living and loving another person. I can agree with 99% but some times there is just a gap in the ability to communicate your intention and if you are trying to communicate with someone who goes all ’emotional’ it is very difficult to deal with. I am no saint but I don’t think I am that bad and after thirty three and a half years I think I know pretty well the lady with whom I share this and previous lives, that being said we are still a different species and we approach and indeed view any problem in a totally different way. I have altered my thinking and opened up to the joys of emotional closeness but sometimes it’s not all plain sailing, nor is it nor should it be a one way street. Thank you for this post.
Thank you for this comment Steve!
I think the most beautiful thing in a relationship is the fact that you can “Agree to disagree” as well. Just because we live together and love each other doesn’t mean that we should agree on everything.
We must be able to have our own ideas and opinions about things as well, but despite those differences still communicate and love each other for it.
Congratulations for your long marriage.
Wish you all the best