While some people can find that they can function whether they are with someone or if they are by themselves, there are others who are not in the same position. In this case, one can find that they struggle when they are not with someone.

On the other side, one could find that they it is not possible for them to function in a relationship. As a result of this, they are likely to do everything they can to avoid getting too close to others.

From The Outside

However, if someone was to come across how these people behave, it would be easy for them to come to the conclusion that one of them is healthier than the other. As one of them is drawn to being with others, they could be seen as the one who is comfortable with intimacy.

Whereas when it comes to the person who does what they can to stop themselves from getting to close to others, they could be seen as the one who avoids intimacy. This would show that they have made a surface level assessment and not looked into the other factors that are at play.

Black And White

What this outlook would reflect is the belief that the people who have relationships are comfortable with intimacy and the people who don’t are not. Cleary, if one doesn’t have them there is a strong chance that they have a problem with it.

Yet even if one does have relationships with others, it doesn’t mean that they are comfortable with intimacy. For example, one can be with someone and they may only share their mind and body.

Two Sides

One can then come to believe that they are in a relationship and the people they know can also form the same outlook. If the people around them had this outlook, it could be a sign that they are also experiencing life in the same way.

Thus, through having a surface level relationship themselves, it is not possible for them to recognise when another person experiences life in the same way. Ultimately, this is what is normal and so this is to be expected.


When one does avoid relationships, it is can be because this is the only way for them to maintain their sense of self. If they get too close to others, they are likely to end up feeling overwhelmed.

During this time, one can feel as though their very survival is under threat, and so this is naturally going to cause them to fear intimacy. It would be easy to down play this experience and to say that one should simply embrace their fear, but this would overlook how painful this can be.


During the time when one is close to another, they can feel as though their life is about to come to an end. Their ability to think will then be offline and their reptile brain will take over.

It is then not going to be possible for them to share their life with another person; the only thing they will be concerned about is protecting themselves. This can show that their younger years were a time when they were neglected and/or abused.


Through being treated in this way, it wouldn’t have been possible for them to develop boundaries, and this means that their sense of self would have remained undeveloped. So through feeling exposed as a result of what took place during these early years, it stops them from being able to fulfil the rest of their needs.

When someone can’t understand why they would behave in this way, it can be due to the fact that their mind perceives intimacy in another way. This then allows them to feel comfortable with intimacy, and there is no reason for them to experience fear.

The Other Experience

Now, when one is unable to function when they are not in a relationship, it is going to show that they generally don’t feel overwhelmed around others. This then allows them to get close to others without feeling uncomfortable.

However, this doesn’t mean that one is able to maintain their sense of self around another person, as they could end up merging with them. Or if this doesn’t take place, one could end up playing a role.


Either way, it is going to be a challenge for them to express their true-self, and as they can’t do this, it could be said that it won’t be possible for them to experience intimacy. The part of them that will allow enable them to feel close to the other person will be in hiding.

The people they end up with are also likely to be in a similar position, and this means they are also going to be wearing a mask, so to speak. Yet the reason why one would put up with these kinds of relationships is likely to be due to their fear of being abandoned.


As they haven’t developed a sense of self, they need to be with someone in order to feel like a whole human being. Another way of looking at this would be to say that one is not an interdependent human being; they are a dependent human being.

What this is likely to show is that although one looks like an adult, they still feel the same as they did when they were a child. Through feeling this way, it is going to be normal for them to look for another adult make them feel better.

Early Years

In the beginning of their life, they may have had a caregiver who neglected them, and this would have stopped them from getting the attunement that they needed to develop a sense of self. The years have then passed, but the trauma of the past has stayed within them.


If one can relate to this and they want to move forward, it will be important for them to reach out for support. This is something that can be provided by a therapist and/or a support group.

Author's Bio: 

Prolific writer, author and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation; love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over one thousand in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behavior, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. Current projects include "A Dialogue With The Heart" and "Communication Made Easy."

To find out more go to - http://www.oliverjrcooper.co.uk/

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