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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.