Fear of intimacy means the fear of becoming too close to others and the fear to share your emotional or physical relationship.
Which ultimately makes a person make distance from others. But why is a person afraid of intimacy? Why can’t a person be close to anyone?
There are many reasons why some people have fear of intimacy. It may be including certain childhood experiences or cheated on from a close person.
But now, the first question that comes to your mind is what is intimacy? So we like to clear you first the meaning of intimacy.
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What is intimacy?
In simple words, intimacy is to share your love and sorrows with another person without any hesitation and make sure that the person always keeps all your secrets to himself or herself.
And in other words, intimacy refers to the potential to genuinely share your true feelings with another person and is associated with the experience of intimacy and relation.
Here is one more thing we want to add to your knowledge the types of intimacy. There are different types of relationships, so intimacy is also a different type.
Types of intimacy.
Commonly we know two types of intimacy i.e. physical and emotional intimacy. Actually, there are 8 different types of intimacy.
1. Physical Intimacy: Physical intimacy means physical touches and physical contact between you two. And it is totally different from physical intimacy.
2. Emotional Intimacy: Emotional intimacy means you both share your deepest feelings, darkest past, innermost thoughts, and beautiful dreams with each other and make your relationship last longer.
3. Intellectual Intimacy: Intellectual intimacy means you both share your thoughts, ideas, skills, and hobbies and connect on a cerebral level.
4. Romantic Intimacy: Romantic intimacy is so much sense and this is the connection between two romantic couples. This helps the couples to keep the spark alive and drive their romantic life.
5. Spiritual Intimacy: Spiritual intimacy means you share your beliefs about God, the power of God, and also the magic of God in your life with your partner.
6. Experiential Intimacy: Experiential intimacy means you both as a couple collects many experiences together and these experiences force you two to do something together and enjoy their life happily ever.
7. Conflict Intimacy: Conflict intimacy means you both come together to share your life journey and there is the possibility that both are in conflict. So here conflict intimacy comes in a relationship.
8. Creative Intimacy: Creative intimacy means you think and innovate some creative ways to remind each other of the care, love, support, and affection that you share with the near and dear.
The fear of intimacy of a person is one of these 8 different types or more than one. But this article is based on fear of intimacy. So let’s started to discuss what is fear of intimacy.
What is fear of intimacy?
Some people intertwined the fear of intimacy and fear of vulnerability but to your knowledge, both are totally different from each other.
A person who has the fees of intimacy may be comfortable becoming vulnerable and more comfortable showing their true self to the world.
And yes, there are often some limits to how vulnerable they’ll allow themselves to be. Always the problem starts when they found relationships becoming too close.
But how do you tell that a person has a fear of intimacy? As an emotional mature person, You need to know the signs of fear of intimacy or signs of intimacy issues.
It may be possible that you have a fear of intimacy. So it is also necessary for you to know the fear of intimacy signs.
Signs of fear of intimacy.
The fear of intimacy can play a vast role in each and every person’s life in different ways and the types of relationships are not a matter of that whether the relationship is familial, romantic, platonic, or friendship.
It’s important to point out that the phenomena of an underlying fear of intimacy can often be inferred as the opposite of what the person is trying to attain or fulfill in terms of condition.
For example, a person may strongly wish for close relationships, but their fear prompts them to do things that cause problems forming and strengthening them.
Ironically, in a relationship, sabotaging actions are usually most apparent when the relationship in question is one that the person is especially important.
For the person who has been dating someone with a fear of intimacy or a person living with a fear of intimacy, this mystery is very important to understand.
There are other signs beyond sabotaging are listed below and they can include:
1. Trust Problems.
In most people, the fear of intimacy can sometimes be associated with trust issues like building trust in a relationship and fear of rejection.
If a person trying to avoid engaging or binding on a deeper level, it’s not unusual for a fear of trust to also be present.
The underlying fear of intimacy frequently tells an untruth that a person does not have the right to be loved and supported.
And this leads to the need to be “good and tell truth” to prove oneself precious.
3. Difficulties with the physical connection.
You know what, the fear of intimacy can also lead to extremes when it comes to the point of a physical connection.
On the other side, they may come across to have a continual need for physical contact.
4. Difficulty expressing desires.
A person with a fear of intimacy may have considerable difficulty expressing desires, necessities, and wishes to others.
Furthermore, this may stem from feeling undeserving of another’s assistance and the trustworthy character.
5. Sabotaging relationship.
People who have a fear of intimacy may undermine their relationship in many ways because they have a mindset.
Act of sabotage may take the form of carping or cavil and be very crucial to their partner. So here you need to save your relationship.
6. Fear of commitment.
A person who has a fear of intimacy is always able to interact with others, at least initially but not for a lifetime.
When the relationship gets closer and the importance of the relationship heightens that things begin to fall apart. They have a fear that they may not fulfill the commitment.
7. Low self-esteem.
Many times the reason for fear of intimacy is low self-esteem and it can affect many aspects of a relationship.
For the person who has a fear of intimacy, it can be directly related to feelings of deficiency that strengthen the idea someone isn’t meriting a loving relationship.
8. Serial dating.
Serial dating is the top and very common sign of a man having a fear of intimacy. Because a person never stays one a committed relationship.
When things become more important and serious in a relationship, then the desire to end the relationship and start something new can be a steering force in the eventual extinction of a relationship.
9. Difficulty stating one’s needs.
Fear of intimacy can arise in a relationship when a person is not able to aptly communicate what they want and expect from a partner or relationship.
And the lack of communication can establish a structure that makes it ridiculous to have basic needs fulfilled.
10. You don’t take big risks in a relationship.
Have a past of short, uncertain relationships? If yes then that might be a reason for fear of intimacy in a relationship but these peoples know that respect is important in a relationship.
A person with a fear of intimacy has a tough time sharing specific parts of themselves.
Causes of fear of intimacy.
Fears of dereliction, negligence, engulfment, and, eventually, sometimes the fear of losing something are at the heart of the fear of intimacy for numerous people, and this is natural that these fears can coexist.
Although the fears of intimacy are different from one another, all are causes of the behaviors that alternately pull your partner in and then push them away again.
These fears are mainly grounded in the past childhood experiences and triggered by the here and now of grown-up relationships, leading to violence if a person focuses on evaluating the relationship entirely based on present-day circumstances.
1. Fear of abandonment.
Some people might be worried that once they’re in an intimate relationship with someone else then the other person will leave them.
Fear of abandonment can be due to something that happened in their childhood and it could be the death, separation, or divergence of a parent or other close person in their life.
2. Fear of rejection.
Fear of intimacy may be influenced by fear of being rejected, so the person doesn’t take those first steps toward building a relationship.
And the person may fear rejection because it happened to them before or they’ve seen it happen to their close ones and they don’t want to experience that kind of hurt again.
3. Avoidant personality disorder.
An avoidant personality disorder is also known as an intimacy anxiety disorder. And in research, it was found that anxiety disorder affects about 3 percent of the population.
It affects both men and women equally and tends to start in childhood. If you face this problem then make sure that your partner never feels that you have no respect for them or their feelings.
4. Childhood Physical abuse.
Physical abuse in childhood can lead to fear of intimate emotional or Physical relationships.
Such abuse can make it challenging to trust another person enough to become intimate.
5. Parental neglect.
When a person never gets enough space or closeness from their parents and their childhood they are staying alone and keep all their thoughts and feeling inside them then they have no idea of closeness.
Sometimes a child shares their thoughts with their parents and then it was create a big problem and for that, they are punished. So the child learns to hide their feelings and also build a fear inside them.
6. Fear of being controlled.
It’s actually a big problem that they have a problem controlling. It may be emotional or physical. When the person has control issues they have a fear of intimacy.
The person always thinks that if their partner is leave them then what they do. And if the person faces it once in their life then that situation definitely makes space for fear.
7. Previous verbal or physical abuse.
A person who faces many hard and rubbish situations in their life and feels that “it’s enough” then they make themselves more strong and rude and never trust anyone.
Diagnosing fear of intimacy.
We hope it’s a good idea to start with a complete physical checkup, particularly if you haven’t had one in a while.
Once your physical disorders have been ruled out, then your doctor can refer you to a consult with an appropriate mental health specialist for your good health and wellness.
Psychiatrists and psychologists are educated and trained to conduct experiments and deduce anxiety disorders such as fear of intimacy or avoidant personality disorder.
Effects of fear of intimacy.
The effect of fear of intimacy is very dangerous because that makes a person lonely in their relationship.
And the fear of intimacy can have a crucial impact on your life, especially in your married life I mean, your romantic relationship.
In a study, it was found that anxiety disorders can negatively affect the quality of your relationship. It may be with your wife, husband, friends, family, or relatives.
Fear of intimacy may cause one to withhold love and affection or put up boundaries for emotional, physical, or emotional affection and you stay unhappy in your relationship.
If your partner doesn’t know about it or she doesn’t understand what exactly happens with you, then they may feel undesirable and unloved.
And the biggest impact is your fear makes you stay away from the public I mean you are staying socially isolated.
But the fear highly impacts your mental health and it creates a greater risk for depression and substance abuse.
Overcoming fear of intimacy.
Your process of overcoming these fears totally depends on why you have such fear in the first place, and also analysis of how serious the fear is.
And if you may have a very reasonable fear that you can deal with on your own or with some behavioral therapy then it’s cool and again you enhance your confidence to come closer with your partner.
But if your fear is due to pain and injury, is drastic, or is attended by depression, then you need professional counseling and it is highly recommended for you.
1. Coming to terms with your fear of intimacy.
You first think about incidents in your life and you just try to understand where your fears come from and what is the base of that fear.
And ask yourself are you unconsciously destroying your relationships? And do you want more meaningful relationships? Then you gradually recover from your fear and you save your falling relationship.
2. Value yourself.
All relationships come with a degree of anxiety, and uncertainty. And many intimate relationships are worth having, even if they don’t last forever.
And one thing you always remember is that if someone ends a relationship with you, then it doesn’t say anything about your value as a person.
Always be open with your partner. But you are conscious that it’s not too painful, and then you talk about your fears and where they come from.
If you feel that it’s too painful to communicate, understand that you’re ready to work through these issues with a medical specialist.
And the next thing is you just define your personal boundaries. And then describe what assists you feel safe, as well as things that trigger fear.
Openly tell your partner what you need from them and let them know you’re trying to overcome your fears.
4. Seek help from a professional.
The top and major treatment for avoidant personality disorders is psychotherapy and then you easily recover your relationship.
Mental health specialists can assist you to understand where those fears derive and how to cope with them.
You also like to watch this video: 10 signs of fear of intimacy.
Bottom line from Progrowinlife.
Fear of intimacy is a mental health disorder that can direct you to sabotage relationships and separate yourself and push you towards loneliness.
It takes a long time and your patience for waiting, but with the help of professional guidance, you can easily learn how to overcome your fears and form a powerful bonding with others.
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FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Fear of intimacy is often triggered by positive emotions even more than negative ones. Fear of intimacy can be due to abuse or neglect, fear of abandonment, religious beliefs, or medical problems. You make sure by noticing their behavior because a person who has a fear of intimacy will never allow others to get close to them on a personal level. They never share their feelings or emotions with others, not even their partners. Fear of intimacy feels like you have a separate world and never allow people to enter inside the personal world. It inhibited sexual desire, emotional distance during sex, seeing sex as an obligation, and feeling anger, and disgust when touched. The fear of intimacy is generally an anxiety disorder and in simple words, the fear of being emotionally or physically close to another person or restricting others to come closer to them. The top 4 types of intimacy in a relationship are physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, intellectual intimacy, and sexual intimacy. Overcoming a fear of intimacy doesn’t happen overnight. So you need to follow these five ways 1. be vulnerable and open, 2. feel your feelings, 3. challenge your defenses, 4. stop listening to your inner critic, 5. look at your history.
What triggers fear of intimacy?
Does my partner have a Fear of Intimacy?
What does fear of intimacy feel like?
What does fear of intimacy means?
What are the 4 types of intimacy?
How do overcome the fear of intimacy?
Fear of intimacy is often triggered by positive emotions even more than negative ones. Fear of intimacy can be due to abuse or neglect, fear of abandonment, religious beliefs, or medical problems.
You make sure by noticing their behavior because a person who has a fear of intimacy will never allow others to get close to them on a personal level. They never share their feelings or emotions with others, not even their partners.
Fear of intimacy feels like you have a separate world and never allow people to enter inside the personal world. It inhibited sexual desire, emotional distance during sex, seeing sex as an obligation, and feeling anger, and disgust when touched.
The fear of intimacy is generally an anxiety disorder and in simple words, the fear of being emotionally or physically close to another person or restricting others to come closer to them.
The top 4 types of intimacy in a relationship are physical intimacy, emotional intimacy, intellectual intimacy, and sexual intimacy.
Overcoming a fear of intimacy doesn’t happen overnight. So you need to follow these five ways 1. be vulnerable and open, 2. feel your feelings, 3. challenge your defenses, 4. stop listening to your inner critic, 5. look at your history.