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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERSONALITY DISORDERS
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Author Topic: BPD BEHAVIORS: Fear of Intimacy  (Read 53331 times)
borderdude
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« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2014, 04:27:53 PM »

I held hand with my BPD ex, it was like helding a dead fish , absolutely no intimate contact ...
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Loosestrife
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« Reply #21 on: October 30, 2014, 01:59:09 PM »

My BpD partner keeps physically running away. Has anyone got any advice on what to do when their panic sets in?
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loveu
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« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2014, 03:54:34 AM »

My daughter is 19 and has BPD.  She has an intense fear of intimacy, but is in a newish relationship with a lovey man.  I know they have been intimate as she has come to me in tears to talk to me and say she is so scared and wants to disassociate, during intimate times.  She is very scared he hurts her or she hurts him.  Please give me tips on how I can help her.  There is a 10 year age gap between the, but he really cares about her and wants to help. ...
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cleverusername
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« Reply #23 on: December 10, 2014, 12:02:01 PM »

One thing that makes me wonder if my ex really has BPD is that I don't think she has a "fear of intimacy." If anything it seemed that she couldn't deal with any time at all spent together that wasn't intimate, and wanted to be together as much as possible (way more than I did).

For instance, over the course of the four month relationship we never once went to the movies together. She mentioned wanting to see this movie one time and I told her we could do that, and she told me "we only have the weekend to spend together (until the following weekend) and you want to spend time in a dark theater where we can't even talk?" It would have been an hour and a half out of a 48 hour weekend, what's the big deal? This was a conversation we had over text so I wasn't able to hear how she said it or see body language but I'm pretty sure she was angry that I even asked.

During the last month of the relationship something similar happened where the World Cup final match was on and I'm not even really a soccer fan but it's a big event and I told her we could put it on in the background while we were just hanging out around the house. She snapped and said something very similar to what she said when I asked if she wanted to see the movie... "this is our last day of the weekend together and you want to spend it watching a soccer game?" and was very angry. Of course, the following weekend we end up watching a marathon of stupid horror movies per her suggestion.

I also never really got the sense that if we got too intimate that she would pull away. It was my first relationship and maybe I just wasn't a "romantic" enough guy to elicit that response from her but if anything I felt that I was the one who was more afraid of intimacy in the relationship and that at times she may have seen that and gotten scared by it. The relationship was definitely a roller coaster and she would often tell me she didn't think it was working out and then take it all back and tell me to forget she said anything, but I really don't think any of this was ever the result of too much intimacy. I don't think she had any fear of engulfment either. In fact, I think engulfment is exactly what she desires and wasn't getting from me, because I tried to put up boundaries and see her less in the end. She wanted me to move in with her within the first few months...
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Turkish
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« Reply #24 on: December 10, 2014, 03:13:04 PM »

I see what you are saying. Perhaps a better way to think about it is "intimacy driven by fear," which isn't healthy love, but rather need. It explains the intensity of feelings and idealization, which is really objectification of the "non" partner.
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cleverusername
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« Reply #25 on: December 15, 2014, 02:48:05 PM »

I see what you are saying. Perhaps a better way to think about it is "intimacy driven by fear," which isn't healthy love, but rather need. It explains the intensity of feelings and idealization, which is really objectification of the "non" partner.

That explanation makes much more sense to me. I feel like the phrase "fear of intimacy" shouldn't be used on it's own when describing BPD behavior and it should always be accompanied by "in the face of potential (perceived) abandonment" or something like that. It seems to be more the fear of the possibility of hurt due to the abandonment of an intimate partner than the intimacy itself, and you can't have one without the other.

I also feel like, at least with my ex, it was always the feeling that the intimacy was starting to subside for a time (which happens in every relationship) that caused her to perceive abandonment that wasn't there. This leads me to believe it's really just the abandonment that's the trigger, the intimacy just gives the abandonment the power to hurt. If it were possible to be present and intimate with someone 100% of the time I think she would never feel the abandonment, and therefore the intimacy really isn't the main issue, right?
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« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2014, 06:10:40 PM »

It seems to be more the fear of the possibility of hurt due to the abandonment of an intimate partner than the intimacy itself, and you can't have one without the other.

This is a good way to look at it.

It may be more generalized, though.  Fear of fire isn't the same as fear of my lighter.  A more generalized fear starting at a young age that would lead to a broader lifestyle and developmental changes.  For example, someone having fear of abandonment would have amassed relationship habits over a lifetime that are dysfunctional.
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