Without trying to solve all possible problems in one blog I would like to emphasise on the matter of wanting to be intimate but for whatever reason you can’t. This might be due to not having a partner,
I assume this issue has been with you for a while and you probably have tried several strategies to resolve it. Am I right? Let me help you with a different approach. As a start we need to identify the specific problem that’s causing you trouble so we can determine precisely what you would like to change. This sounds really simple but in a moment you'll see why this is important. Please take a piece of paper and a pen (or use any device available) and answer the following questions:
If there would be a fairy with a magic wand and she would offer to wipe out one issue of distress for you, what would this be?
Take a moment to think about this and write it down. Then answer the next question:
What would change if this issue wouldn't bother you anymore?
Would you feel different? Would you behave differently? Try to describe as detailed as you can (e.g. ‘I would enjoy sex if I wouldn't feel the pain’, or ‘I would date that girl if I wasn't so shy’).
Usually we are looking for solutions in the most obvious direction or we get stuck in fixating on achieving a specific result. This time I would like you to try something different. Instead of focussing on solving the issues, I would like you to have a closer look at the answer to the second question. Why? Because this says a lot about why this problem is so distressing for you or, in other words, what you appreciate most in life which is impacted by this problem (e.g. ‘yes I like to have a partner who I can share my feelings with’; ‘yes finding pleasure and enjoyment in sex is important to me’). Take this part as a starting point. Ask yourself the challenging question whether resolving this issue is the only way to achieve your goal or would there be other ways to do this? For example: Can you enjoy sex in other ways than to have intercourse (which is causing pain)? The first time you were intimate with your partner, you might have taken some time to explore each other’s bodies and sensual feelings without having intercourse straight away. This is worth exploring again.
In the example of desiring an intimate relationship, you might come up with other more convenient ways to get to know other people without the focus on starting a relationship (a sports club, book club or social event). This is a great first step. Or you might have realised after the second question that you are missing a deeper contact with a person. This need for closeness can be fulfilled in other ways than by having a romantic relationship; intensifying a valued friendship might bring you the same outcome. Plus, this friend can offer support in a future situation when you would like to dare your shyness.
One last general advice: Taking small steps to change your situation is more likely to succeed when you can be kind to yourself and praise yourself for the willingness to approach your discomfort with a new strategy. Complimenting yourself for your actions (‘Well done’) is more supportive than putting yourself down with thoughts like ‘This won’t work’ or ‘I can’t do this’.
We can sometimes get lost in finding solutions for a problem when we are too narrowly focussed on it. Stepping back and looking at your issues from a different perspective might provide you with new ideas of how to achieve your goals without using the old ineffective methods.
I hope you'll enjoy Valentine’s Day now.
If you want to make a change but you’d appreciate more specific advice from a professional who can support you in making this change, feel free to contact me so we can discuss your needs and book you in for a consult.