Ten Rules for Avoiding Intimacy through Coronavirus Quarantine

Rule #2: Keep a stiff upper lip and expressionless face. You can practice with a mirror. (Getty images)

What’s worse than intimacy when you’re preoccupied with world survival?

RULE 1: DON’T COMMUNICATE! That means no talking. Even texting can be risky, especially if you share anything that involves feelings. Not communicating is the first rule for avoiding intimacy. If you follow this one carefully, you will never have to worry about being intimate again.

RULE 2: HIDE YOUR EMOTIONS! Revealing your feelings is almost as bad as talking. For some, our emotions can communicate and that can lead to intimacy. If you show emotion by crying or expressing fear, sadness, anger, or joy, you are giving yourself away. Keep a stiff upper lip and expressionless face. (You can practice with a mirror.) Otherwise, you might as well communicate. So hide your emotions.

RULE 3: ALWAYS BE POSITIVE! Always smile and be positive, especially when anything is upsetting you. This will prevent you from being intimate and will fool others into thinking that you’ve got life handled and everything is perfect. If everything is okay, nothing has to change.

RULE 4: ALWAYS WIN! Never compromise or admit that other people’s views may be as good as yours. If you start compromising, that’s an admission that you care about other people’s feelings, which is a dangerous step toward intimacy.

RULE 5: ALWAYS KEEP BUSY! If you keep busy, your busyness will keep you from being intimate. Because society values learning, working, and staying up-to-date, your partner won’t be able to complain that you’re putting all your time and energy into other things.

RULE 6: ALWAYS BE RIGHT! There is nothing worse than being wrong. That would indicate that you’re human. If you admit you’re wrong, you’ll have to admit someone else is right and that will make him or her as good as you. Then, you will have to take other people into consideration, and before you know it, you’re intimate.

RULE 7: NEVER ARGUE OR DISAGREE! If you argue or disagree, you’ll find out you and your partner are different. If you’re different, you may have to talk about your differences, make adjustments for them, or even compromise. That could include exposing your feelings, desires and needs, which requires communicating and leads to intimacy.

RULE 8: MAKE YOUR PARTNER GUESS! Never tell your partner what you want. That way, you can be sure you’re not understood or loved. Of course, if your partner loved you, you wouldn’t have to ask anything or tell anything. Not only will this prevent intimacy, it will drive your partner crazy as well.

RULE 9: ALWAYS LOOK OUT FOR NUMBER ONE! Remember, no matter what’s happening in your home, neighborhood, or the world, you are number one. Everything else, including your relationships, exist in order to fulfill your needs. Be selfish! After all, you’re the one who’s making all the sacrifices.

RULE 10: KEEP THE TELEVISION ON! Keep the television on at all times, during meals, when you’re reading, when you’re in bed, while you’re talking — especially if your partner is talking about something important. This may sound petty, but it’s important to keep you and your partner from communicating with each other. If you don’t have a TV in the room, use your smartphone or computer. These work well too.

This list is not complete. Surely you know other ways of avoiding intimacy, whether they’re tactics you invented personally or rules you learned from others. Add your own rules for avoiding intimacy to make this list complete. Of course, don’t share any of this with your “Significant Other.” That could also lead to intimacy.

(Based on Ten Rules of Avoiding Intimacy from the PAIRS Mastery Program. Adapted with permission.)

Seth Eisenberg is President/CEO of Purpose Built Families Foundation and Co-Founder of the Operation Sacred Trust program for ending Veteran homelessness.

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