Have you noticed that your partner has lost interest in sex? Does he tell you that sex just “isn’t that important to him?” If so, you may be experiencing the effects of intimacy anorexia.
What is Intimacy Anorexia?
“Intimacy anorexia” is a term used to describe one partner chronically withholding sex and intimacy from the other. There are a number of reasons why it can show up in a relationship, but whatever the reason may be, it often causes pain and heartache for both partners.
Why Does It Happen?
Remember when you and your partner first fell in love? You probably couldn’t keep your hands off each other, right? Then it may have happened suddenly or gradually, but one day you realized that your partner never wanted to have sex or get close to you anymore. This realization probably left you feeling rejected and confused, wondering why he no longer loved you or found you attractive. It is quite common for the rejected person to feel responsible for their partner’s lack of interest in sex and this problem can last for many years if it’s ignored.
Your partner may swear up and down that he still loves you and wants you, but actions speak louder than words and you know his behavior isn’t “normal.” Getting to the root of the problem is the real challenge here and right now, it may seem practically impossible to find out what’s truly going on if your partner refuses to really open up about it.
If intimacy anorexia is the problem, your partner may be avoiding intimate situations with you because he fears getting too close. This could be because of infidelity, sex or pornography addiction, shame or any other reason that prevents him from becoming vulnerable with you. Intimacy anorexics are very good at saying the things you want to hear and it often takes a professional counselor or couples’ therapist to really uncover the underlying issue that prevents him from being intimate.
What are the Signs?
The following signs and symptoms point to intimacy anorexia. If you can identify with at least a couple of them, chances are good that he hasn’t lost interest in you, but he is experiencing intimacy anorexia for some reason.
- Non-Emotional: He’s unable to share real emotions with you, even in non-sexual situations.
- Lack of vulnerability: He holds back and never acts vulnerable around you or anyone else.
- Frequent Criticism: He is more comfortable criticizing you than showing tenderness to you.
- Obligatory Sex: Your partner has sex infrequently with you, and it feels like he does it only to avoid being nagged or questioned.
- Pretends the Behavior is Normal: He refuses to admit that his lack of interest in sex and intimacy is not normal.
- Change Happened When Relationship Got Serious: He lost interest in sex when your relationship became serious and vulnerability was expected.
Although the situation may feel hopeless right now, if you believe that you both truly love each other, the problem can be solved. However, intimacy anorexia is a deep-rooted issue that requires the expertise and knowledge of a licensed therapist.
Steve Anderson, founder of Fuck buddy, is committed to guiding his readers through the ups and downs of finding and leaving love. As an author and expert in the field of dating she aspires to create content that is tailor-made for the modern dating world.
Growing up, Steve observed his parents’ grow in love and commitment with every year they were married. But, following a series of tough break-ups, Steve discovered that finding true love wasn’t as easy as he had thought. he then decided to pursue a career as a dating coach. Through his educational and life experience he learned that each situation requires a personalized approach, dependent on the values and desires of each of his clients. Since then he has become a sought-after expert on the nature of the dating game and how to win at it!