The top 5 intimacy killers in a relationship

To many people it seems to be jinxed: they wish for closeness and intimacy in relationship, but the level of intimacy their relationship reaches in the end is rather moderate, if it is not even a feeling of distance, coldness and being separated. Experiencing that, extraordinary relationship with a high level of intimacy and clarity seems to be far away. What many people are not aware of:

Relationship is an ongoing conscious act of nonlinear creation.

To be able to live and stand a higher level of intimacy and closeness, which goes along with extraordinary relationship, it is first of all essential to get clarity about when and how you actually avoid intimacy and closeness. If you have no clarity about the unconscious game you are playing, chances are rather low that you create extraordinary relationship.

Let us therefore take a look at the top 5 intimacy killers:

  1. Expectations
  2. Being right/complaining/blaming/whining/neediness
  3. Resenting
  4. Missing presence and centeredness
  5. Fear

1. Expectations
Who doesn’t know this: You have certain expectations and ideas about how your partner should behave, what he should or shouldn’t do or how he should be. If he doesn’t meet this expectation, you get angry and sulk. Expectations are based on assumptions and beliefs about how things should be. But expectations are predestined to be disappointed. When you have expectations of your partner, you try to force them into a concept that is comfortable for you and in which you feel comfortable. You unconsciously try to manipulate your partner into doing things the way you would do them so that you are supposedly happy. It’s not even necessary that you express the expectation. You radiate this expectation energetically from your inner attitude and your partner will feel it – consciously or unconsciously. Suppose you have the expectation that your partner has to see the full trash can and empty it independently, or that he or she sees that the lawn needs to be mowed. If your partner does not fulfill this – usually unspoken – expectation, you feel betrayed, resent your partner and, as a consequence, withdraw or blame him. So it’s crucial to check your expectations and know how to resolve them.

2. Being right/Complaining/Blaming/Whining/Justification/Neediness
Just like expectations, being bossy, complaining, blaming, whining, etc. are also one of the top closeness killers in relationships. Like expectations, they are a sign that a certain role play is taking place that unconsciously serves to avoid responsibility. For example, if your partner complains that you are “always” late, you may find yourself becoming a victim and trying to explain and justify yourself. Or you feel unloved and then whine in needy, childish mode. On the other hand, you may also like to be right or know things better. But by doing so, you are placing yourself above your partner in an arrogant way and preventing closeness. The fact is: Either you are right/complain/blame/complain/justify yourself OR you are in a relationship. You can’t do both at the same time.

Maybe you think that it’s just your partner’s fault for the drama and that everything would be much better if he would just change. Good luck! This is outright self-deception. Give the fact that you have had a part in the game so far a 1% chance. 

3. Resentment
We’ve all been mad at our partner at some point. Maybe you previously thought that it was completely normal that you…

  • you are always angry with your partner,
  • throws accusations at him,
  • mentally make him small,
  • you’re annoyed by him, etc.

Doesn’t that happen in all relationships? After all, you also hear from friends that they are regularly angry with their partners, or you see it in the soap operas on television. But resentment slowly causes your relationship to die. It’s a silent killer. At first you may not notice it and develop a strategy to let any resentment grow. But the more resentment you accumulate, the more an invisible wall develops between you and your partner and the risk of arguments and distance increases. Even the smallest point of resentment prevents closeness and familiarity. So ask yourself honestly how much resentment you have already accumulated.

4. Missing presence and centeredness
Another intimacy killer is a lack of presence and centeredness. In our modern society, most people are usually exposed to massive sensory overload and are chased by appointments, projects and obligations, not to mention constant media and consumption manipulation. Accordingly, they move in a very large NOW and are mostly only in their minds. Moving in a big now means you are not present in this moment. Instead, your mind may already be on the next appointment, the presentation to the client tomorrow, the visit from the in-laws next weekend, or the advertisement you saw earlier. However, in order to really allow for closeness and familiarity, you need to arrive in the here and now, in this single moment that will be over in the next second. This can be achieved if you learn to center and ground yourself.

5. Fear
There is a saying that goes, “Where there is love, there is no fear.” This saying is based on a societal attitude towards feelings that is more than questionable. The attitude is: feelings are not okay. Neither anger nor sadness nor joy nor fear are okay. Fear is not okay in this context because, for example, it is seen as cowardly, unstable, paralyzing, blocking, incompetent, nerve-wracking and panic-inducing. If the level of intensity and closeness in your relationship increases and you feel fear, you may do everything you can to quickly get out of the frightening situation or to mitigate it, based on the old perspective. You may break eye contact, crack a joke, go to the bathroom, or look at your smartphone to avoid the intensity.

We don’t learn anything about feelings in school. Thus, most people are generally unaware that feelings are neutral energy and information that serve us. Feelings are not a design flaw in the universe. Instead, they are a kind of internal navigation system that guides us unerringly through life. It’s only natural to feel fear (as well as the other feelings) when you want to create a fulfilling relationship. You even need them for this. With fear you can, for example, be attentive and present, try new things, explore closeness and familiarity without knowing how to do it, talk about intimate things or express wishes that you don’t know how your partner will react, etc. Fear is Fear. It is a very useful and absolutely necessary emotional force if you want to live a fulfilling relationship with your partner.

All the best,
yours Nicola Neumann-Mangoldt