Ten Rejections of Intimacy

 

 

 

We embrace the trappings of intimacy because we know this is what you expect when our relationship commences. You want to touch us; you want to be touched. You want to gaze into one another’s eyes and revel in what you see there. The tenderness of the kiss, the tingling sensation that arises from the briefest of brushing touches and the safety and security of a hand being held. We endure all of this in order to maintain the illusion of our perfect love and to provide you with that which you have been conditioned to expect as denoting love, affection and passion. Such intimacy repeatedly hints at a place we would rather not go but the necessity of your seduction means that we focus on the task in hand and dispel those occasional thoughts of what that intimacy means and signifies. Those considerations are banished as we press on with our crusade and complete our quest. Once our tendrils are wrapped around you, our fangs sunk deep into your emotional jugular and the fuel flows, then the provision of such intimacy can finally and thankfully be turned to a better application, namely conveying rejection to you and in turn bring about despondency, humiliation and confusion. Whilst we prefer words to do our work, these rejections work marvellously well because of the effect that they have on you and the economy of effort that comes with them. Provision takes effort. Denial comes easily. Here are ten rejections of intimacy.

 

  1. No eye contact

I don’t want to mirror you any longer but I don’t want you seeing the lurking darkness in my eyes, not just yet. Instead I will settle for evading looking at you, creating the sensation that I cannot bear to look upon you, which is rather accurate because now you are reminding me too much of what I despise and I would rather look elsewhere.

 

  1. Kissing the top of your head

We know you want to be kissed on the mouth but that isn’t going to happen. Not today and not for a while until I decide I can stomach doing so in order to get something from you that I want. I will kiss you on the head, tilting your head down, making you lower yourself in front of me as I place the patronising light kiss on the top of your head. You are a child to me, someone who knows no better and has to be guided by me. You are bowing, showing fealty through this gesture for I am your ruler and your liege.

 

  1. Shuddering if you touch us

You cannot place boundaries for me. I go where I want. You however have no entitlement to me. You require my permission and especially so when it means violating my space. If you catch me unawares and touch me, no matter how lightly, I will give a violent shudder as if have been touched by something unpleasant so you are left in no doubt as to what I think about you.

 

  1. Turning our back on you in bed

This is done as soon as we climb into bed on the occasion we have deigned to provide you with our presence or not banished you from the bedroom with a well-time bout of aggression. You have your hopes raised of sexual union or at least the heart-warming pleasantry of cuddling up together. Instead you receive a glacial wall that is our back and if you think this is an invitation to “spoon” with us you will be sharply elbowed or back heeled away from us.

 

 

 

  1. Avoiding taking your hand

Once upon a time we always took your hand as we walked along the road, through a museum or around the shops, making you feel loved and showing the world that we were together. There was a time when we wanted everyone to know that you were ours. No longer. We will ignore the proffered hand, driving our own into our pockets or shaking off your hand if you happen to grab ours. You don’t decide to show others we are together; don’t you realise that one of my new prospects might see?

 

  1. Awkward Evasion

You try to place an arm around us and we suddenly jump up as if we have sat on a tack. You attempt to hug us and we move around you like a rugby player evading a tackle, often contorting ourselves into a move which would be more often seen in a gymnastics contortion. Our desire to wriggle away, duck under, escape and move apart suggests that your very touch might burn us. The exaggerated movement can leave you in no doubt that this was deliberate.

 

  1. One-sided hug

You have taken us by surprise and launched a hug at us, be it from the front, sides or rear. You will not have it reciprocated. There will be no return gesture, no warming and intimate response. We will stand like a block of ice, arms down by our sides, back stiff and stare straight ahead willing this uncomfortable moment to end.

 

 

 

  1. No longer naked

We once paraded around naked in front of you, letting it all hang out, without a care in the world. Truth be told we wanted you to look on our naked form and admire and it was also done to signal to your that we were entirely comfortable around one another in the buff. Now we behave like a coy virgin. We wear pyjamas in bed rather than sleep naked, we lock the bathroom door when we are in there so you cannot walk in on us and we always wrap a towel around us in order to cover-up our intimate areas so you cannot see us. If you happen to walk in unexpectedly when we are naked we will grab the nearest shirt, sombrero or fruit bowl to cover our modesty or dive behind a door, under a bed or out of the window. You don’t get to look any more.

 

  1. Proffering a cheek

You wait to kiss us and want to plant a tender kiss on our mouth. Others are looking and we must have consideration for the façade. An awkward evasion move now would be unwise and might invite unwanted speculation and comment. Instead we turn our head so you are left with no option but to plant that kiss on our cheek. We will not hold the cheek there either but pull away as soon as you embrace it. You are being given advance warning of your demotion from intimate partner to outer circle friend with this rejection tactic.

 

  1. Moving if you lean against us

You want to cuddle up next to us on the expansive sofa. If you do, we will get up and move to an armchair as soon as you begin to lean onto us. If you try and the sit in my lap, I will tip you up and deposit you on the floor as I leave the room and give you a silent treatment for pushing the matter too far. If I am lying down watching television and you try and climb on me, you may as well be trying to wrestle a crocodile as I will resist your advance and push you away before moving into a position which is easier to fend you off and send you a clear signal to sit elsewhere.

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41 thoughts on “Ten Rejections of Intimacy”

  1. HG
    Very interesting. I am an empath but do all of these things. Not to be mean to my partner. I can not handle physical contact of any kind. Don’t come near me for a hug. Anyone close to me knows not to. Now if I approach you I have prepaired myself for it. The only time I ever hugged was my kids because I new it was importation. This may look like control to someone else but I believe there is something deeper.
    I have attributed this to a very young abused injured child who was not shown the positive affects of touch. Any kind of touch may have been met with physical pain therefore it makes things confining and painful for me with any person.

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    1. Same here! I am using all of these things as well when it suits me – long before the narc experience.

      I guess that’s because narcs and co-dependent do indeed share the issue of fear of intimacy. That’s why the co-dependent gravitate to narcs (aka emotionally unavailable people) in the first place.

      Pia Mellody (the Mother of all Coda-experts;-) calls this the ‘Love-Addict-Love-Avoidant Cycle’ in her books (see “Facing Love Addiction” or “The Intimacy Factor” for more).

      Ie, I too preferences the honeymoon cycle and I too have difficulties with the ‘relationship day-to-day’ (= what others would call a ‘healthy intimate relationship’). I don’t have to replace men all the time – when I do Fall in love, which rarely happens, I am very focused on that one man. And I want to delve deep, VERY DEEP! I also need a certain amount of excitement and agitation, polarity and uncertainty to feel and stay attracted for a long time. Usually it’s around a decade however, so I guess I don’t qualify for a narc yet;-)

      Anyways. I am deeply convinced that co-dependent wouldn’t dance the dance if they weren’t dealing with fear of intimacy themselves. It’s easy to keep asking intimacy from someone you know exactly won’t be able provide you with! (And we *know* this because our subconscious/guts have been telling you right from the start – but we *wanted* and therefore *chose* to believe the illusion, because it serves us!)

      That’s why I think that the term ’empath’ is not accurate and benificial. Rather, it perpetuates delusion and victimhood in the person who dances with the narc. I prefer the terms co-dependents, enabler or simply ‘other side of the coin’. That may not be appropriate for children raised by narcissists. But as adults, there comes a point when we do have a choice!

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      1. Well said, it’s like you filled a very key piece to my puzzle. Co-dependent and intimacy.

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      2. I do this too, Alice! I’m glad you said what you did because, reading it, I wasn’t sure what was up. I find intimate gestures or displays pointless, a little dull to engage in after the first flush of romance and even embarrassing.

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  2. Oh don’t I know these all too well. You know, the bastard won’t even let me get one freakin photo of us kissing? Well not entirely true: he ALLOWED me to take one of me kissing him…in silhouette. And I was even allowed to post it! But without him tagged, he can say it wasn’t him. (Remember that song from 10+ yrs ago It Wasn’t Me? It’s totally a narc anthem. The guy is caught naked on the bathroom floor with the girl next door and continues to INSIST “it wasn’t me”. )

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  3. What exactly are you despising about us that you can no longer look at us? Does this go back to when you’ve written you become agitated when you cannot mirror the feelings we have of love, joy, compassion? Or is it through some kind of wounding we unknowingly did? Or all of the above?
    You’ve also said that negative fuel is more potent than positive fuel, no matter how much the positive fuel flows initially. I can’t help but think when you’re rolling over in bed showing us your back or shuddering at our touch, this becomes the part of the relationship you savor the most giving you the biggest surge of power – or the continual climactic release in a way. More so than sex itself since the act of that is all about our reaction to you and pleasing us so we praise you. You either want praise or us begging for you and the dopamine pumps out of your brain like a faucet. Such a high!

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    1. The facts that we are chained to someone like you, someone who has let us down.
      The sexual withdrawal does provide a considerable surge because its effect on you, when you expect intimacy which you equate with love, is significant.

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      1. HG how divine that surge must be when you describe it as considerable and significant. You have admitted being addicted to that feeling of power. And your brain is craving and addicted to that pleasurable chemical release when devalue can commence and you get negative fuel in copious amounts. It must feel like a wave washing over you. Pure power of feeling you have achieved a permanent mark on a person’s soul must be intoxicating each time with someone new. No? Even if you find your Amanda(esque) person, your brain will trick you at some point because of the subconscious addiction for that pleasurable dopamine release.

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  4. Very good list but very strange. I never experimented ANY of those.. I mean really not…. Hmmmm … i wonder…
    Maybe because I am an empath but contrary to SII I do love to cuddle, hug, holds hands, kiss, caress, touch the hair etc etc etc 😃.. Maybe it was that…

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  5. Food for thoughts: HG, what do you think happens when a female and a male narcissist get together and conductively illustrate the above and their illusions to one another? and I don’t mean explosions of great and passionate showmanship as we already know the sexual experience is intense the beginning. Just curious as to what your thoughts are in this matter. TGIF!

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    1. I assume you refer to them coming together in an intimate relationship as opposed to any other type of one. They may be unlikely to couple. A greater might ensnare a lesser but the fuel provision would be so low that there would be a fairly prompt discard. I imagine two lesser could become entangled and since they have no awareness as to what they are there would be an early clash as they compete for fuel from one another which mean the golden period would be short and then there would be a brutal devaluation and discard. In the context of the article, I daresay both would be turning their back to the other in bed and finding that they get nothing from it, so they would both be looking for new targets very soon thinking the other was difficult when the reality was they were not getting the required fuel.

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      1. Two lessers are very common, rampant almost, in that with the many facets involved in the wounds personality, they easily hook into one another; their dance turns into the trading off of the baton of their co-dependence.

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  6. Speaking of songs, this is one of my favourites and reminds me of a “victim” coming to the realization that he or she is with a Narc.

    There are two versions of it I love – Bonnie Raitt and Bon Iver. Hard to say which I like better.

    I Can’t Make You Love Me (If You Don’t)
    Turn down the lights
    Turn down the bed
    Turn down these voices inside my head
    Lay down with me
    Tell me no lies
    Just hold me close, don’t patronize
    Don’t patronize me

    ‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
    You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
    Here in the dark, in these final hours
    I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
    But you won’t, no you won’t
    ‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

    I’ll close my eyes, then I won’t see
    The love you don’t feel when you’re holding me
    Morning will come and I’ll do what’s right
    Just give me till then to give up this fight
    And I will give up this fight

    ‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
    You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
    Here in the dark, in these final hours
    I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
    But you won’t, no you won’t
    ‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

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  7. That was a brutal read HG…I am wondering though, do you simply not like the feeling of closeness, affection or touching or do you actually enjoy it but choose instead to use it as a means for fuel? Thanks 😊

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    1. The physical sensation itself is not problematic it is what is imported through such intimacy that causes the concern. During seduction the need for positive fuel and the need to bind you are sufficiently strong to override the concerns. Once we devalue we gain more from causing a negative reaction through rejecting intimacy and this also heads off the concerns, which outweighs the pleasant physical sensation.

      1+
      1. My narc watched another man/stranger flirt with me though I didnt reciprocate. Later that evening, he initiated foreplay and participated in intense sex which had not happened for over 4 mos. The next morning he was mad at me for snuggling next to him. Why sex after the flirt and why anger the next morning for closeness?

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      2. He had sex with you for fuel and also to exert control over you because of the threat presented by the flirtation.
        He was mad at your for snuggling because that is intimacy and we dislike it, further, because you chose to do it (and he did not choose it, whereas he chose to have sex with you) and also this was done to draw fuel from you.
        By having sex with you (which you see as intimacy) and then being mad with you when you snuggled him (just writing ‘snuggled’ makes my skin crawl) he creates a contrast which not only increases the impact of the fuel but makes you confused and bewildered, so his control remains.

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  8. Yes to so many of these. And then, after I caught him cheating, and we were in fake reconciliation and counseling, he brought all this up and blamed it on me.

    I truly can’t believe how everthkng he did and does is right out of the narc textbook.

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  9. I’ve just not had time to comment.

    But when I went no contact. Mine smeared my name, made out I was a total whore even though physically we’d done nothing more than kiss. And that was after six months of lovebombing !!

    When I went back two months late (to the environment not to him). There were gasps and comments and whispers. At first I felt terrible inside. So ashamed. But I never said anything. I’d leaned about cognitive dissonance and much about Ns and how if I tried to plead with people that I was innocent I wouldn’t be belwice a anyway. So I never tried.

    I said nothing to anyone. Just held my head up high and carried on about my business as if nothing had happened. He hated that . And even kept saying tk me how I hated him etc etc trying to stoke sometime up from me. He didn’t. I told him j liked him just didn’t want to be with him.

    He had two lieutenants come on to me for a very prolonged period and both at the same time. But k just ran rings round them.

    Other men, many from this environment were also coming on to me. Didn’t matter whether they were my age or teenagers. They all bloody tried !!!

    In the end I just found it funny. Esp with the lieutenants. I’m not certain but I’m pretty sure they tried to make out something happened with me too !! Even though nothing whatsoever ever did!! No way !!

    So I just let them all belwice whatever bullshit they wanted to. It must have hurt their male egos to be rejected by me when they think I’ve slept with everyone else.

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  10. Oh tell me about the kissy holding hands marlarkey !

    I always said that if ever he wanted to get me into bed ALL he had to do was kiss me ..Passionately .. It happened in the Golden period & worked , but after that all Nothing ..

    His Idea of ” foreplay” .. was opening his dressing gown .. Flapping it from side to side & saying . ” come on then ” .. Like I was soo not turned on by it .
    Even sex was one sided . As for hand holding .. Only ever in the house, never ever in public .

    Blood & thunder . I have cried many times to that song .. George Michaels version still does x https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLl7RgkfP-A

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      1. So Sad, you have totally made my week with that image! So rolling on the floor! 🙂
        PS look up “SNL 3 Way (Golden Rule) on You Tube – it was a video put out a few years ago by the Dick in a Box guys (Andy S and Justin T) when Lady Gaga was hosting. Watch it and you’ll never think of helicopters in the same way again!

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      2. Lol I’ve never known a guy to wear a dressing gown.. I just realized that when I read this comment, I was imagining Scroog, holding a candle in one hand while swinging his hips around..

        Also – SO not charming! I’d expect more from a narc lol.

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  11. I seem to attract NP’s! Why is that? I only realized my ex was a NP when he discarded me. I’m still not over it but have moved on, to u guessed it another NP, whom I just left.
    After I found out I had wasted 2 years with a NP, I educated myself about NP’s but somehow found myself right back with one!
    How can I recognize a NP before I get involved???
    P.S. Thanks for the continuing education ☺️

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  12. The fascination with songs and the Narc. Fascinates me. My narc is trying to reel me in with songs. I am in no contact tact 6 weeks. Not giving up. He would be injured if he knew I was laughing.

    I just keep playing
    Jar of heart
    Christina perri

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    1. Music and laughter are transcendent in their nature, and are indeed powerful tools in healing. Keep moving, in and out of the dark, even when it may feel you are stuck.

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  13. My ex narcissist did this to me intermittently but also gave me expressions of intimacy…. back and forth. It was so confusing because I never knew when I could approach him or touch him. It was as though he wanted to take the lead at all times and I could never initiate without him letting me know ( in not so subtle ways) that it was not my place. He trained me to wait on his cue. I was always in responder mode. I was punished or rejected whenever I tried to initiate any expression of affection.

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    1. Deedee, I can’t recall if I told this story elsewhere on the blog, but you reminded me of the time when my ex was looking at his challenge questions and answers, (that he had to answer correctly over the phone to verify an account) and one of the questions was “What is the name of your favorite pet?” And the answer he had entered in the system – my name.

      I thought it was funny and endearing at the time, now it seems more ominous and creepy. I’m finding lately that a lot of the things I used to think were compliments or signs of his affection, I now think of the opposite.. for example, he drunkenly admitted to me yesterday that he has taken to driving by my house several times a week to see if I’m home.. of course the way he said it made it sound harmless, but knowing what I know now, I think I’ll err on the side of caution in my plan for NC. I don’t think he would do anything beyond trying to make me look bad, but he’s done a great deal many things I never would have thought, so clearly I’m not the best judge!

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      1. That’s the exact stuff they do, make comments like that. He was totally trying to devalue you by stating you are his favorite animal.

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