Wednesday, October 27, 2004

More on men’s fear of getting too intimate

More on men’s fear of getting too intimate

By Bob Garon
TODAY Newspaper
Tuesday, October 26, 2004 11:24 PM

Part 2 of 3 parts

When the conversations that women have with men turn very personal, the guys will often build a protective wall around themselves.

They begin to withdraw and become silent or evasive. They clearly don’t like the direction the talk is going and do what they can to change the topic. If that fails, they simply shut down and retreat into silence.

These thick walls, these various defenses are the shields they use to protect themselves from the intimacy that women value so much. If the guy can go back into his shell, the threat of vulnerability, the possibility of losing himself in a woman is neutralized.

Sure, guys like girls, but they are quickly attracted to a woman more because of her looks than her brains. In fact, very intelligent women turn off most men because they fear being controlled by the female whom they know has a superior mind. Besides, brainy women can shake a guy’s self-esteem a whole lot. That is a risk that most men are not willing to take. In fact, a lot of men will prefer women whom they believe are inferior to them. That way, they are convinced that they will be in control of the relationship. Their silent motto is “The dumber, the better.”

Other men escape into their careers and hide from intimacy in the midst of their work. They talk and talk about their work as a way of not having to deal with too much intimacy.

Some guys are very direct and simply don’t want to talk about anything that is very personal. They are quick to converse about everything except the very personal. The woman knows him, but feels she doesn’t truly know him. She can never seem to draw him out of himself long enough to make much headway. He continues to be real mystery to her, a mystery she can never seem to solve.

Some men keep themselves so busy that they hardly have the time for intimacy (definition: knowledge of something based on personal exposure). They throw themselves into their work with such gusto that they can’t become too involved in a love relationship. The partner of this type of person has to live her life without very much intimacy, and it can get very lonely at times. These men use the volume of work to ward off a woman’s threatening love.

If men fail to keep the woman at a distance using these strategies, then some of them simply grow cold and pull back the warmth that they had previously given. They become less loving, less gentle in an effort to shut down what they believe are intrusions into their private space.

We see this in counseling when the counselor gets too close to some personal matter for comfort. The guy will either respond with measured hostility or simply grow silent.

When intimacy deepens, some men do not see this as a blessing. Instead, it is perceived to be a threat to their independence and emotional well-being.

More tomorrow.


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