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.

37 thoughts on “Ten Rejections of Intimacy

  1. Victoria says:

    You really hit the nail on the head with this article. Every single one happened within our 10+ years. I felt like I was with a stranger.
    Two questions Please,
    A. Does the above happen on the commencement of devaluation thus the mask/facade come off?
    B. When you state: “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.” What do they dispise.
    Thank you so much! As always HG your writing just gets to me-it’s magnificent!!!

  2. mistynolan01 says:

    3,4, 6, 7, and 10. One time for each rejection and over the course of six years, he was the one wondering why I never attempted to touch him first again. I was the one with the smug inner smile as he said almost like a thought to himself, “but I set it up like that, so it’s my fault.” Could he have been expressing regret? Yes. Regret that I deprived him of opportunities to further reject me.

    Yes, narc, it was your fault.

  3. Moon says:

    My X did all 10..do Ns do this on purpose? Are they aware of what they are saying and doing?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Mostly it is instinctive with some calculation and awareness from those which are Upper Mid Range and Greaters.

  4. Iseethroughyou says:

    HG, No1: this pains me greatly and reminds me of Beauty and the Beast..
    You have never felt as beautiful in your whole life, you glow with contentment, life is good. The way they hold your gaze with intensity, scoping your face, digesting the delightful sight of your presence. You’re reminded daily of your beauty with compliments, attention and adoration, but all you receive, you will be expected to give back tenfold. The constant text are confirmation of this, the phone calls, the desperation in their voice when they have not been able to contact you. All constant reminders of how desired you are.
    From that pedestal you look to your adoring public, but when that dark shadow is cast, the spell broken in what appears to be the click of fingers, your fall is harsh. When the discard comes, it’s like a freight train. The clothes that were so lovingly approved, are the wrong colour, the wrong style, look cheap and now shabby. The hair styled in that sleek pony, now looks like scally brother wife, harsh pulled back. In comparison to her, the woman on the bus, the receptionist at a place they visited, the wife, everyone has traits they admire. But not you, you’ve lost your style…. . Those eyes that absorbed you, now stare away from you, the words when spoken are now directed at the door, into space, as thought they can’t bear to even look at you, you are invisible The distain, disapproval is clearly evident and you seek for the answers, what have you done that would cause this?. You’re anxious, you are confused, you stop eating, stop sleeping, you begin to lose weight, your clothes hang off you, you look gaunt, these are the physical effects the sly comments, the silence. You begin to try harder to please, nearly begging for them to love you, pleading to be seen. Whilst he is the demon, you don’t yet realise this and you retract within yourself, from feeling the prettiest girl in the world, you now feel uglier than the beast, you are so ugly, he can’t stand to be anywhere near you.

  5. Jjenny says:

    But why?

  6. One of my ex’s used to treat me like a child by the kiss on the cheek and top of the head, the side hug. Weird. Started calling me cute and childish terms of endearment. Then it became, you are such a baby. Omg stop acting like a baby. You can’t handle anything, you act like a baby. Yep, dumped his ass too. Then it was all come back you mistook me…blah blah blah. NEXT!

  7. jojometoo says:

    All of it.. every fuckin 1-10..

  8. abrokenwing says:

    He only told me not to touch him when he was telling me off for not texting him often enough, not seeing him often enough, not giving him enough attention and apparently treating him like s**t. 🙄 🍼👶🏼

  9. Matilda says:

    This is absolutely PATHETIC!!!

    1. NarcAngel says:

      I knew this one would rankle you and waited for your comment lol. How are you?

      1. Matilda says:


        Yes, this kind of abuse enrages me more than other strategies… I’m okay… trying to wean myself off this blog a little as it is too triggering at times… watched a romantic movie last night I had enjoyed years ago… made me feel sick to my stomach… no depth, no truth, just trite, meaningless BS! I’m very grumpy. How are you?

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Hi Grumpy Cat! I wondered why I hadnt seen you but sorry to hear it was affecting you that way. Maybe best to stick with books where you control the visuals, voice, and pace. It is different seeing things now with knowledge. Kind of ruins the fantasy Hollywood has created, but then thats a good thing. Isnt it? In any case, I suggest you shake off the grumpy with a good book and a soft blanket.

      2. Matilda says:


        That’s exactly what I did 😀 … one of my favourite books, a woollen blanket, and a good cup of tea… people may come and go, but books… books will always be there for you, like old friends 🙂

        Yes, it is different. You cannot go back to blissful ignorance… all in all, I am glad that I am truly awake now… a bit envious of the sleeping though for their innocence and joy… but I value truth more.

        By the way, I’d always been more of a dog person, but I have come to appreciate the feline attitude to life, their low tolerance for BS: annoy them once, they will seek to escape beyond reach… annoy them twice, they will flatten their ears and hiss… annoy them a third time, and BLOOD will flow… well done, kitty, I salute you! 😀 😀

        1. NarcAngel says:


          Haha. It should be no surprise that my favourite thing about cats is that they will fool you by licking right before they pounce and bite.
          I saw a meme the other day that said:
          I dont know what my spirit animal is, but Im pretty sure it has rabies.
          I thought that was apt lol.

      3. Matilda says:

        Hey NarcAngel,

        that’s exactly what I don’t like about cats: the attack without reason… poor dogs who just want to pass get to feel their claws… that’s just not right! 😀 They do it because they can.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          I meant that I can relate to cats in the way I am with narcs lol. I lick like an innocent little kitty, then I bite.

      4. Matilda says:


        Ah, I see! … yes, that’s the way to deal with them! 😀

  10. Hellandback says:

    I experienced all of these throughout my marriage. 2 weeks post wedding I’m skipping happily through the house gathering laundry and hunting for quarters for the laundromat. I go into our master bath where narcman is lathering up his face for a shave to go give him a hug before driving off to wash, dry, fold. He pushed me back and with an icy glare and angry voice says “I’m busy”. I feel the blood in my face just drain out and water starts to well up in my eyes. I slowly back up turn the corner and run to the car so he doesn’t see me cry. I drive down to the laundromat and start the loads, then I sit and wait staring at a wall. A perfect stranger walks up and says “you look like you just lost your best friend.” I wondered at that statement while finishing up this chore, drive back home, and he acted like nothing happened at all. So thankful I woke up and divorced him and don’t endure this treatment anymore. It practically destroyed me.

  11. This triggered a memory of how he told me once that his wife tried to touch him one night but he recoiled from her and she became upset. This was supposed to make me feel special because he wanted to be with me, but I see how telling me this story worked twofold.

  12. sarabella says:

    pat/pug… lol, pat/push away…

  13. sarabella says:

    Yeah, I had some version of this. At dinner, touching, making contact, holding hand, we get sexual and then he acts like he can’t even kiss me and shakes his head back and forth, mouth held tight, like a total child avoiding taking medicine. So where the heck did that I am GREAT in bed, fun, sloppy, sexy, romantic dude go? What a pathetic POS he was.

    And for my narc mother? She never hugged me. Her hugging was a stiff pat where she made sure to not make contact. And if I hugged too long, she would pat me on the back in a way that was meant to dismiss me and get me to move away. It was a subtle “please stop that and back off”. She hated being touched. When I was about 14, I wanted so desperately to experience what a massage felt like as I wanted to so badly to be touched. At some later point in life, I got ‘into massage’ for various reasons. One was it was a way to bridge the physical boundaries between people. I used to give her one for a brief time. Really working on trying to build a relationship. She never ever reciprocated or changed the way she never made physical contact with me. She never kissed me on the cheek, either. Basically, no physical affection at all. And, she never made eye contact. She once hadn’t seen me in about 4 years and when she did, it was a stiff hug, a pat/pug, complete eye contact avoidance and she walked away.

    And there I am with my daughter…. I can’t keep my hugs and kisses off of her. She is always wandering around the house, looking for snuggles and hugs. She experiences a need to be touched and loved, she asks for it, she receives it. She is an extremely grounded, confident, content child, too.

  14. Maria says:

    Yep… I know that as well…

  15. ZeroFs says:

    I do some of these things and no they wouldn’t work with me . I would take what I want if not I m just gonna leave you there looking stupid.

  16. NarcAngel says:

    Interesting. I have always preferred to be kissed on the top of my head or on my forehead. I always viewed it as you bowing down to me, so thats a different perspective.

    1. abrokenwing says:

      Me too NA!

  17. Narc affair says:

    This blog is so very sad to me. Ive experienced in my marriage a few of these. My hubby was from day one not very intimate. Hes loving but as far as sexual hes lacking something. I dont understand it but him and i are very different. Hes a wonderful person and i respect him but its created a distancing between us. His intimacy rejections arent intentional hes just that way by nature.
    The narc is like me he loves to touch and be intimate. I made the mistake of confiding in him early on in the relationship before i knew he was a narsissist about my marriage(big mistake never give too much info early on). He was extremely supportive about my situation. A few years later he started using the knowledge about the intimacy rejections in my marriage to replicate in our relationship as passive aggressive punishments when id upset him or not go along with what he wanted. He knew how deeply it hurt me. Then reward me with tons of sex and closeness when we were back in our golden stages. He knew part of our relationship was based on intimate validation and he abused that knowledge. That was the start of my researching his behaviors and learning about narcissism.
    Witholding intimacy intentionally is one of the cruelest forms of rejection there is. Its very passive aggressive and has an angry undertone. Very painful to go thru 🙁 i can sympathise with anyone being controlled this way. Its awful. It really makes you feel worthless and unattractive. You really do start to wonder if its you the reason why youre treated this way.
    Its really good seeing these in black and white because it also makes you realise that yes it is a tactic and it is real and no its not our fault. In the narcs mind it is but healthy people resolve differences they dont take away intimacy and give it back again 🙁

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Narc affair
      Im having difficultly reconciling your statement that “Hes a wonderful person and I respect him”…… with later asserting you made a big mistake in confiding in him and he used it against you (you actually said he abused that knowledge), he manipulated you by witholding and then returning intimacy, and stating that it is a cruel form of rejection, passive aggressive, and has an angry undertone. Very painful. That it makes you feel worthless and unattractive and you start to wonder if its your fault to be treated this way.

      Is that truly your view of wonderful and respectful?

  18. Sookie Stackhouse says:

    HG, thanks for the ammo on how to annoy a narc! I love it! You are amazing! From now on its big hugs, run to catch up and grab your hand, pick the lock, and pouncing! When the devaluation comes narc will seek revenge but my awareness and knowledge will shield!

  19. This is exactly what I needed to read. So your kind is only “enduring” the hugs and touches until you know you’ve hooked us. Then touching brings on the shudders … OMG! I’m finished with the narc but recall how when I unexpectedly hugged him, he glanced at my boobs and moved away. A minute later, I felt him staring at me from about six feet away. I looked at him, then down, then back at him again .. he was still staring. I wondered at the time if it was a look of desire but didn’t think so because it unnerved me … and I couldn’t keep looking. The next time I saw him, the arms were tight against his sides so I couldn’t hug him. That night, I told him I needed to ask him something and I saw actual fear in his eyes. I only wanted to ask him about a video but I think he sensed I was skeptical of him and thought it was something he didn’t want to hear. Does that sound right? I just wanted to know something for certain about him and now I think I do know. Thank you.

    1. Pretty says:

      It is my understanding that it’s “tolerated” as long as the perfect dosage of potency and frequency of fuel is provided…until the metaphorical strawberry ice cream effect, which HG has previously explained.
      Mine would allow and initiate tender moments behind closed doors, but displayed all 10 of these responses while in the public eye. Some days he would ask me to be his cheerleader at his sporting events, some days he would tell me I wasn’t allowed to come to the field and threatened to block me on our chat app if I did show up. After subtly questioning one of his fellow teammates and mutual friend (or betraying his trust as he liked to put it) about who he was possibly hiding, I found our monogamy unscathed. It was about control.
      Most public displays were granted because we were a few hundred miles away from home- weekend trips. I still haven’t found a rhyme or reason as to why some days were different than others – same social environment, same activities, but different allowances of interaction. The sinusoidal roller coaster of attention and affection, coupled with emotional abuse and rage was designed simply to keep me on my toes.
      Coincidentally, mine also visibly tensed a month into our 3 year bout when I began post-sex conversation with, “Can I ask you something?” Maybe I should’ve read it better and aborted that mission, but I pressed on.. I asked for truth, that was all. It was never the same after that. Golden periods reinstated more than a few times since then, but never with the same intensity- he never again had a burning desire to request my time or presence.

      I want to say I’ve stopped caring, but the time I’ve spend crafting this reply proves otherwise 🙂

      I think I’ve sent him my final ‘fuck off’ message- by way of launching my SUV through his garage. Now, I figure, he finally has something true to tell people. What he probably won’t say is he told the officer it was an accident to get me out of a likely arrest. He won’t say he called twice after to see if I was okay. Or maybe he will? After all, he only ever cared for my health and well-being and look how I repaid him! Shame on me. And yet, his attempts to contact me continue! It’s almost sad, really. *Sigh*. I’m starting to get it, though… and it took all of that (and help from my new friend, Prozac) to realize it’s time for me to put a stop to contact for my own sake and sanity.

      I conclude my rant with some helpful tips: It is not a good idea to stick a fork into a wall outlet. It’s not a good idea to take a bath with a toaster. It’s not a good idea to drive your car through someone’s home!
      On a serious note, none of it is appropriate or healthy. Take heed of the warnings and get out as fast as you can.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        An understandable response Pretty and thank you for sharing that. Your demolition act will be twisted and spun which ever way suits.
        “Yes it was an accident and I checked afterwards to see how she was because I still care.”
        “Crazy fucking bitch, she tried to run me down and ploughed into my garage. She needs locking up.”

  20. This is exactly what I needed to read. So your kind is only “enduring” the hugs and touches until you know you’ve hooked us. Then touching brings on the shudder … OMG! I’m finished

    1. SVR says:

      Agree. This really is the icing on the cake. Such childlike behaviour HG. Playing silly little games. Do you really hate being touched so much?

  21. NarcAngel says:

    Darling you should never put your nuts in a fruit bowl. You were raised better than that.

  22. Lighthouse says:

    Number 11. Walking 3-4 paces ahead of us instead of side by side, holding hands.


    1. Deb Kramer says:

      My husband started doing this right after we got married.

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