Muddle: Intimacy, Emotions, Attachment Style, Sex



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Intimacy is a state of affairs, not a state of mind. It has nothing to do with emotions.

This is why people can and do have sex (the ultimate intimacy) with total strangers.

Intimacy means sleeping together, talking, eating, making love. All these do not require any affect.

There is intimacy in prison, with a prostitute, in a hospital between patient and doctor, in psychotherapy. All these are emotionless states
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Intimacy in the clinical sense is a state of affairs involving proximity, vulnerability, and joint activities (life).

No strong emotions here.

Mate selection and attachment style are two separate things.

For relationships to work, attachment styles need to match.

Impaired mate selection (choosing the wrong partners and then going on to have horrible relationships) is the core problem. It is typically the outcome of bad parental programming.

In our most modern approach to attachment, we divide all attachment styles to secure and insecure (avoidant).

Even someone with an anxious-ambivalent attachment style would be avoiding relationships and intimacy or destroying them because of anxieties and doubts.

My contribution is to suggest the additions of a flat attachment style.

Everyone has an attachment style. But some people have "flat attachment": they are incapable of any kind of bonding or relatedness at all.

Flat attachers regard other people as utterly interchangeable, replaceable, and dispensable objects or functions.

When a relationship is over, people go through a period of "latency": mourning the defunct bond and processing the grief and withdrawal symptoms associated with a breakup.

Not so the flat attacher: he or she transition instantaneously, smoothly, abruptly, and seamlessly from one (in)significant other to the next "target" and fully substitutes a newly found beau, lover, mate, or "intimate" partner for the discarded one whose usefulness has expired for whatever reason.

Many narcissists and almost all psychopaths are flat attachers.

Borderlines, on the other hand, tend to sexualize attachment (sex is proof of attachment and assuages abandonment anxiety).

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Management
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