Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Fear of Intimacy

Today we see people getting involved in sexual activity, often promiscuous sexual activity, for the simple reason that they don’t understand what true intimacy is. Sexual experience becomes a substitute for intimacy. We use phrases like “making love” and “being intimate” in talking about sexual intercourse. Yet most sexual involvements, outside the loving commitment of marriage, express very little genuine love or closeness.

Not only do many people misunderstand what real intimacy is, but they are afraid of it. Why do people fear intimacy? Because intimacy inevitably brings vulnerability. Emotional sharing requires self-disclosure, and for many of us the idea of opening up our innermost selves is a scary prospect. Many young people repeatedly share their bodies because they are afraid to share themselves. They participate in countless “one-night stands” because they are afraid to be vulnerable. Most teens and adults mistake the ecstasy of an orgasm for the intimacy of love.

No comments: