You readily admit that you would love to be in a long term relationship, but you are beginning to wonder why it isn’t happening for you. Is it that you can’t find the right person or that you have a problem letting yourself grow close in a relationship? When you reflect on things, you notice that in your relationships, you are often disengaged and unavailable. You worry that you have intimacy issues.
According to Relationup (a service that provides immediate, online relationship advice from professionals- download the iOS app here or chat now on the web), here are 7 signs to help determine if you have problems getting and staying close.
1. You’re shut down with your partner emotionally. They try and be vulnerable with you but you are uncomfortable with emotion and find it difficult to discuss feelings. When your partner tries to lean on you emotionally, you create circumstances that derail or avoid the process. The complaint that “you are not there for me” is familiar to you.
2. You let your partner down when they need you. You avoid and don’t deal. Your responses to texts and phone calls are delayed and and you often hear “why didn’t you call” or “I didn’t hear back from you.” You also have a history of being unavailable when your partner thought they could count on you. Phrases like “you disappear when I need you” and “you weren’t there for me” have been uttered about you before.
3. Your relationships usually last 6-9 months. You like the early stages of relationships. A relationship becomes more challenging for you as it shifts out of the honeymoon phase ( which is when disagreements and negotiations start to occur). Hearing what your partner needs can reek of control or heavy demands and it makes you want to run the other way.
4. You are hesitant to commit to one relationship. Despite dating someone, you keep the door open to meet others. In the early part of the relationship, you may still have hook ups. You are slow to announce that you are in a committed relationship and take down dating profiles. You often have to be pressured into a commitment and then you are still thinking about others.
5. About 3 months into the relationship, you avoid physical intimacy. You become disinterested in sex with your partner and often justify that it lacks something. It may be common for you to wonder if you are sexually attracted to this person. You sometimes try to avoid times when your partner might want to be sexual.
6. You are more comfortable having sex with someone you know less. You have a lot more fun having sex with people with whom you have no commitment. It is easy and carefree and passionate. The intimacy of the relationship changes sex for you and you find yourself disinterested or just enjoying it less.
7. You question whether your partner is right for you. You revisit your list over and over in your head. This thinking keeps you from having two feet in the relationship. You create tension and distance by sharing your disapproval directly with your partner and leave them feeling insecure that you are on the verge of leaving them.
If you are the type of person who generally avoids intimacy and closeness and want to change this, the remedy is to lean in. Become mindful of the ways in which you throw up roadblocks in the relationship and try to do the opposite.
Written by Rhonda Milrad, LCSW
Founder and Chief Relationup Advisor