To be intimate means being willing to be affected by someone else's feelings, to be aware of the nuances of their inner meanings and their moods. People who feel the need to insulate themselves from the emotional demands of others fear this. Some people adopt patterns in relationships that ensure them a "safe" emotional distance. Others alternate between intimacy and distance or select partners who have some flaw that guarantees unavailability. The failure to permit oneself to participate in intimate relationships leads people to chronic loneliness, unfulfilment, depression and failure of long-term relationships.