Angela Dryden

Certified Life Coach

Intimacy can be Challenging when Struggling with Co-Dependency.

four person holding each others waist at daytime

Feeling uncomfortable with intimacy, whether it is a hug from a friend, child, or significant other can be disheartening. You might find yourself questioning your worth and possibly thinking there are ulterior motives behind the act of love they or you are portraying. But why do Co-Dependents think this instead of just accepting the gesture for what it is? Examining our thoughts on this experience instead of allowing emotion to rule may be just the deep dive we need to overcome these insecurities.

girl in black and white floral dress

A child hugs you and you feel warmth and peace. They do it as they see you looking sad so they want to make you feel better. Your significant other did something that upset you and they come in to hug you and apologize. Someone you loved has accomplished something wonderful and everyone is proud and celebrating, so hugs all around. These are three examples of why we might show or give affection.

When all our hugs and love are happening because of a sad situation, making up, or proud accomplishments intimacy is being viewed as the fix to what is wrong, a reason to celebrate, or a reason to comfort. No wonder we feel uncomfortable with intimacy. Somehow, we have been taught to show love to others as we try to makeup, comfort, or celebrate. The day in and day out love is missed, and the focus is on all or nothing when it comes to intimacy for ladies that struggle with Co-Dependency.

Because of this, making the decision to create the behavior of being vulnerable can be a challenging first step. Showing vulnerability is a beautiful and brave Leading Lady behavior when displayed with no expectations. But, let’s say I want, or need a hug so I am going in for it and get rejected or questioned.

When you begin to change your behavior to become more vulnerable, people may question why you are doing it since you rarely did before; they may question what you want, and why. Some questions they may ask you are:

  • Why are you hugging me? (Worry)
  • Do you want more than a hug? (Expectation)
  • What do you want from me? (Expectation)

I am sure you can come up with a list of your own; I would challenge you to do so and make it a list of what people said when you did go in to give affection. Asking to give a hug could help you in this process as it shows respect for others’ boundaries and Self-Respect.

After reading my objections you might encounter, this thought… “I did go in for the hug, kiss, affection and that’s what they said so I stopped doing it.” Now, the tough question, “are they wrong?” If you rarely gave affection and it was during an occasion, then the follow-up question to ask yourself might be, “What meaning are you giving to what they said?”

Wanting someone to be happy that you are giving them a hug is an expectation on your part. Giving the hug is you meeting your need; their response is for them. The outcome or result of you giving affection is not dependent on the other’s response to that affection.

Understand that being vulnerable is allowing yourself to be uncovered, and as I talked about in my blog on Letting Go Could Help You Get The Most Out of Your Relationships, hiding might actually be increasing your fear. Allowing yourself to let people question your intentions could be the opening you need to take a closer look at your motives and truly awaken.  A Discovery coach call is just a click away Click here to schedule yours!   


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