10 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.


23 thoughts on “10 Rejections of Intimacy”

  1. Two years in and all of this is SOP. Maybe this will shed some light for others:
    1. No eye contact. Not when we talk, not when we’re in bed. Just NOT. Unless he’s mirroring to get something or make me believe something or it’s the cold, dead stare with a facial expression that looks like he’s expecting to be hurt, or when he’s furious and wants to, literally, hurt me.
    2. Kissing the top of your head. This was ritualized from the very beginning, giving it a significance that didn’t exist – not a showing of tender love and care, but of avoidance, I know now.
    3. Shuddering etc.: Jumping out of his skin when I touch him, as though he believes I’ll assault him. I protested this, then started huffing at it, then saying “Fine, whatever”, and now – I don’t touch him.
    4. Turning your back in bed: Actually he appears to like the snuggle sometimes, but I imagine that’s just him setting me up for when he purposefully turns away and avoids contact to cause hurt or actually elbows me in the face “in his sleep” when he wants to push me away. He has stepped it up a notch in the last 8-9 months and leaves the bed in favor of the couch or spare room in the middle of the night or avoids sleeping with me at all. He protests when I do it, but if it’s his choice it’s beyond reproach and I’d better not even ask the question, because no explanation will be forthcoming. NOTE: Narcs pretend to sleep when really watching you, your actions, reactions and activities. This is not paranoia, this is FACT, admitted to on only one occasion, but that is enough.
    5. Avoiding taking your hand. Such disappointment when on an impossibly romantic beach at sunset and there he is, shuffling along the sand with his hands jammed in his pockets, taking no interest in the scene, the other people, ME, only the waft of weed on the breeze broke him out of the reverie.
    6. Awkward Evasion: ditto 3. Acts like I’m preventing him from going somewhere important, like the toilet LOLOL.
    7. One sided hug: I gave up on trying and have been conditioned to wait for him to initiate any touching.
    8. No longer naked: He does all of this. Except on odd occasions when he might show me the progress he’s making in the gym (I don’t react anymore) or walk from the shower (never did react) – I mean months apart. I alternate irregularly between hiding and flaunting to unnerve him.
    9. Proffering a cheek: Not yet, but I feel it coming.
    10. Moving if you lean against us. Yep. On the rare occasions when i try to do this, or put my feet (which he has told me he likes but never demonstrated with any behavior) in his lap, it’s like twister: I have to force it and push past his hands in his lap or his stomach, since he’s leaning over protecting his midsection, and wiggle into position, since he does nothing to encourage it.

    Question: If avoiding intimacy is the goal, then why would he bother having sex with me at all after we’ve been together for 2 years? He uses withholding it to punish me, apparently for existing, or having the balls to complain about performance. He once went 5 months without “offering” and the norm is about once a month. I won’t initiate because the rejection is too painful. Need to understand this dynamic if anyone has any intel. Thanks!

    1. Having sex does not automatically equate to intimacy. See Lovesex Addiction and also the book Sex and the Narcissist.

      1. Thank you, HG. I understand the sex vs. intimacy dynamic. Additionally, I think that he avoids physical contact (including sex) as a means of (1) control and (2) as a source of negative supply when he knows it bothers me. However, since he has effectively silenced my complaints or comments (on most any subject, not just our mostly sexless life) by withholding sex, and therefore doesn’t need to “prove” anything, “seduce” or “hoover” (Because I’m not GONE), then why would he do it at all? Especially if it’s true, as he says, he’s a chronic masturbator? Of course, I haven’t discounted the possibility that he’s seeing someone else.

  2. HG, it’s a sickening feeling, reading all of these and reliving various narc rejections. It validates that I was not crazy to feel hurt, and not imagining that there was cruel intent behind the actions.

  3. Ughhh been here done that in my marriage and narc relationship. Rejection is the key word here and narcs know that the one thing we want more than anything is to be loved. Afterall thats why many stay in abusive relationships bc they never grew up with the love and acceptance they needed. Narcs know this bc they too have been on the recieving end of it but they instead follow suit and use it like a tool to punish and control.
    Eventually it loses its affect and the victim loses the closeness they once felt and inevitably it deteriorates the relationship. The narc cycle is about destruction. They destroy even what they once upon a time wanted to work out. They cant help themselves theyre conditioned to destroy and ironically have no control over this.

  4. I would not need any of that particularly, would not bother me….And I would prefer wearing pjs too and not going around in the nude. Wouldn’t necessarily need affection and not need intimacy. And I like kisses on the forehead….and sleeping alone, is always best! Love it! See none of this would work with me. In fact I’d be doing similar things myself just naturally. I often do not want to be touched, hugged, kissed….And I like my own space….get out of my space! Meh!!! What else ya got HG?!?!

  5. Thx HG. Never could understand the side hugs and my narc not wanting his face touched. He explained the face touching avoidance as germaphobia.

  6. What if your empath just likes to fuck …no feelings ,no cuddling , no looking into eyes ……just sport sex . Isn’t that easier ? But if that’s what she likes you get fuel from denying it ….? That’s why empaths should all have men empaths on the side …LOL Seriously

    1. Hi molly…i think theres only certain empaths/normals a narc wants and those are the ones with something they can prey on. Not all empaths will put up with the behaviour of a narcissist. Not indefinitely. So its not as much an empath as it is someone who has some kind of inner damage the narc can use to hook and control them. Not all empaths become prey to a narcissist.

      1. I’m just speaking from my own experience . Iam an empathic sensitive person so ..I’m just speaking from my own account and thoughts . But I have narc traits too.

      2. And if you read about empaths …..we attract all sorts of damaged people. We sense their pain , their loneliness , sadness , despair we by our very nature attract broken people to us. We are kind understanding , and nurturing by nature . We attract the dark energy so we have to protect ourselves . It doesn’t always mean that we are broken or damaged to begin with …..we allow others to damage us if we don’t protect ourselves.

      3. Very good point, Chihuahuamum. Some empaths wouldn’t put up with the crap. But the individuals with unhealed wounds who don’t know their worth or trust themselves when the first red flags appear. Narcs can smell this like blood thirsty sharks.

      4. Chimum,
        That’s so true. We were all broken in some way to try to bond with a narcissist. So really, in addition to learning about narcissism, what we need to do now is to heal ourselves. That’s the only sure way to keep getting sucked into another abusive relationship.

      5. Hi windstorm…so true and its a journey of healing and learning. The journey being made up of stages. Im at that stage where im more interested in learning my part in the dynamic. Im looking at the whole picture and what i was meant to learn from this. Its like a finger tapping you on the shoulder telling you you forgot to work thru something in life and to focus on that lesson before moving on in life. I remember the stage when it was all about the narcs in my life and i was absorbed in knowing the whys to their behaviour. Now i want to know the whys to what ive allowed and who i am.

      6. That is so true ! I vacillate a lot between him and all the why’s and then focusing back on me etc .

        When I try to understand too much I conclude answering my question by : because he is a narcissist.

        And then I move on to me.
        I know that even if you become a specialist of narcs you are never immune.

  7. It was my first diagnosis to him: sent him an article on fear of intimacy and he was happy I had found what his problem was. Than I diagnosed him with Sex addiction and he said … yes you are right … that is my problem .. I can’t stop !! An then … he became what he always told me he was an ego maniac a narcissist … I should have listened and researched before 🙂

  8. I don’t see how being such an ass could be more enjoyable than the alternative. (Negative fuel, I know, I know, but it’s so mean!)

    Just reading makes me feel as if I’ve been punched in the stomach, such is the hurt and shock. The breath knocked out of me leaving a sick feeling.

    Humans (normal ones anyway) crave acceptance and fear rejection. I can’t imagine the hurt IRL. I’m sorry for those of you that have lived with this and worse. I cannot imagine staying with someone that treated me this way. You can fuck that sky high my liege.

  9. And that is the act you show ,in this article , when you are supposedly seducing another …..or jacking off all the time …and/ both . Dam how boring you really must be at sex ….how can you put on an act that you are good at it ….when you really aren’t ?

  10. People will think you are actually a homosexual when you do this to a woman or girl when you are supposedly “acting” like you’re in a relationship , don’t you worry she will tell others that you are not intimate with her ….or do you blame at this point and say she’s a nymphomaniac.?

  11. HG,

    My MLV takes me off the shelf every Saturday as I am offered a chance to chat with him and his NIPS. I am the shelved IPSS. I had consulted with you regarding the fact that he always hugs and kisses me goodbye (the kisses were always quick), but that on one occasion his lips brushed past mine instead of a real kiss. You wisely advised that this time there was just no kiss and not to read anything into it as he was not doing it on purpose, but that he operates through instinct. It has happened twice since that consultation with either lips brushing past or a kiss on the neck as I kissed his cheek. I know the NIPS is watching and I understand facade management. In this article – #9 – Proffering a cheek states that it means advance warning that I am being demoted from intimate partner to outer circle friend. Firstly, does this only apply to the IPPS and not the shelved IPSS? Secondly, I thought that an intimate partner of any type was always viewed that way and could not be viewed an non-intimate or just a friend. I am confused…

  12. One time when I was sitting next to my N friend, my knee barely touched his knee, he pulled his knee away and then raised his finger and started shaking it at me (no) 😂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.