Fear of intimacy among dating couples
The truth, however, is that how we get along with each other is a complex, multi-layered thing – just as likely to be impacted by anxious thoughts or phobias as any other aspect of life.
In fact, because of both the external pressures of the expectations portrayed by modern media and the internal pressures that come with becoming close to someone else, relationships can provide a playing field for strong negative thoughts and emotions.
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Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.
Often the relationship seems to start out well, with an intense emotional attraction leading to a deeply felt (but in reality, superficial) connection.
However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence.
Being human means being biologically wired to be in community and to bond with another (even in the short term) as both actions are integrally bound to the survival of our species.
Sadly, there are many among us who long for connection and deep intimacy, but who also fear physical and emotional closeness in equal measure to their desire for closeness.
I've arrived at this conclusion by thinking through a number of biblical principles.
One of our bedrock governing principles in biblical dating — and in how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ generally — is not to "defraud" our single brothers and sisters by implying a greater level of commitment between us and them than actually exists (see 1 Thessalonians 4:6).
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In fact, they are usually really enthusiastic about doing so.