Fear of Intimacy

Nickole (@squishy) 8 years, 9 months ago

So, I was wondering what everyone thinks about the fear of intimacy, which boils down to a person being afraid of getting too close to another person that they care for out of fear that once they see them for who they are they will not like them anymore.

This is caused by several different things, but one being childhood trauma.

How does one overcome this fear?

February 10, 2013 at 6:31 am
Marie (2,051) (@ARCANUS) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@squishy, Hmm. I think by realizing you are more than your fears, and by meeting your fears head on. It has to start within, no one can reassure you of your own worth but yourself. By accepting yourself with all that comes with it, you are vulnerable and therefore you open up to being loved and allowing yourself to be in such a connection. I guess from my experience, the fear that the person I’m with will leave when he “discovers” the truth about me, comes from me not being honest with myself. Honesty is key. Just trust that the person will want to be with you anyway. And if he/she doesn’t, you’re better off without him/her. :) You can only discover whether a person is to be trusted or not, by actually trusting him/her.

OnAnotherLevel (5) (@onanotherlevel) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

I think the fear comes from not thinking that one is not good enough which comes from not truly loving oneself. That is probably one of the hardest things to do but once one has found oneself and loves oneself, everything else is better. Maybe figure out what caused this fear. The very first thing that triggered it. Work that problem out, become comfortable with it. Don’t fight it but accept it. Once you’ve conquered that, let it go because it is no longer a part of your life.

Anonymous (251) (@) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@squishy, For me a fear of intimacy in the past has been purely due to the fact I didn’t like myself all that much. I think most issues can be dealt with once you learn to love yourself. And that includes accepting any previous trauma which you have encountered.

I still shut down occasionally, mainly when people rely upon me too much. Previously it was just too much pressure. Now it’s more down to the fact I don’t think it’s healthy for anyone to have too much of a reliance on any one person.

CaoimheS (135) (@caoimhesweeney) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

I would almost have a fear of intimacy, and have difficulties connecting to people on an emotional level, even friends. I’m not completely sure why but I think it’s because of going through stuff in the past, I subconsciously don’t want to feel that hurt again, knowing that friendships and relationships can go sour, and that the more people you know, the more chance of something happening to them that could affect you. Again, this would be on a subconscious basis, as consciously, I know it’s irrational but it’s just a guess.
Another explanation is that I have difficulty finding people who I can connect to, the other me, I suppose. I don’t know though and I’m happy enough the way I am at the moment so it doesn’t matter

Manimal (2,998) (@manimal) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Exposure is the best way to overcoming fear. It’s the fastest, the simplest, the cheapest, and the most reliable method.
If you fear intimacy, just get intimate.

FACE your fear.

Personally though, I don’t consider it a problem. Why? Because my “fear” of intimacy is based on the fact that it will slow me down and add a lot of unnecessary burden to my life.
I used to be afraid of getting too close to someone because I didn’t want them messing with my mind, but that was a long time ago by now.

Just let go, FACE YOUR FEAR.

Equel (11) (@equel) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@ARCANUS, brilliant.
the only thing is the fear-
and why it exists.
it exists to protect you.
let it protect you for as long as it does
just don’t be afraid.

Nickole (67) (@squishy) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Thank you for your comments, i will continue working on understanding why I have this and facing my fear. <3

Anonymous (119) (@) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@squishy For the longest time I’ve always had this fear of intimacy that you speak of. I hate when people get to close to me and I’ve been known to push people away. I don’t allow people to get too close to comfort for me until I truly know their intentions.

To understand this I feel that we have both shared an incident/experience in the past which has scarred us in the sense that we cannot share the open ‘love’ that others so intimately and affectionately show each other. However you should note that although society has forced upon us an image of ‘love’ and everyone and their mothers seem to be in a relationship these days – we are our own individuals.

I’ve known love in the sense that I loved someone I could never be with. I loved in one night more than others have rationalized they ‘loved; their ‘significant others’ in a month’s time. In doing this I feel that I have given away certain pieces of my essence/being and therefore I’m always careful with who I share it with.

Sex for sex, devoid of feelings of intimacy will only fill a void that cannot be filled. I’ve learned this the hard way. Recently I’ve been trying to find myself again and pick up the pieces. We’re all just human.

But regardless, I feel that feelings of fear of intimacy stems from the past. The only way it can be overcome is by connecting with someone who feels the same way or having someone who is able to show you a different aspect of YOURSELF that you can begin to love and learn to love others more so.

Scars; we all have them. Some just cut deeper than others and thus take more time to heal. But remember; everything will HEAL with TIME.

Until then – don’t bullshit yourself or others. If you don’t feel a connection ; you can tell almost IMMEDIATELY. I don’t bullshit myself these days and if I don’t feel anything I will let the other person know. It’s better to hurt them and let them go so they can find their happiness so that you may find yours rather than lead both them and yourself on.

Best of luck .

wonderboy91 (4) (@wonderboy91) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@squishy, I’ve always felt my fear of intimacy came from me not accepting myself fully. It’s always said you gotta love yourself before you love others. I have a cleft lip and it was always hard loving myself growing up. But now I overcame that and find my fear of intimacy has also diminished. On that note I’d like to add that it’s amazing how badass life becomes once you love yourself completely.

Selina (53) (@selina) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@squishy, I can relate to this…
I don’t necessarily feel as if they won’t be interested in me anymore but more so that I will have involved myself in something that has the (promising) ability create dependency, burden, attachment, and pain (which all come from the desire for me to take on someone else’s personal issues). Therefore, I tread extra cautiously, by giving off the vibe of coldness as a cue to not be involved with me if the other person begins to become physically &emotionally comfortable. This is mainly applied to men; as only they truly desire an intimate relationship with me. Friends, give much more balance and less expectation in regards to intimacy which naturally makes me feel less fearful and results in more openness.
So, to actually address your question I would start from the beginning. To understand what makes you block will allow you the freedom to overcome them when they do occur. The inevitable process of facing fear is letting go of the fear itself till your left with an empty space, which will be filled by your natural inclinations.
Coming from having trauma as well, more so than facing ‘intimacy’ I would say refocus and appreciate being truly comfortable & free around others; inversely you will then feel strong within yourself. Intimacy stems from first being generally close around various people. If you can whisk those insecurities away once they arise, by living through your core, then you’ll begin to realize how minuscule and obsolete fear is, thus dispelling the idea that fear=intimacy. I’m still on my way there…

Leon (17) (@leke) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Excellent question. My particular fear is being taken advantage of. I have no idea how to stop this though as my fear has spread to being responsible for my family too.

Nickole (67) (@squishy) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@leke, I don’t understand what you mean.

tyler (14) (@crane) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Know that you’re not alone. I’ve been dealing with a fear of sex all my life.

Nickole (67) (@squishy) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

It’s not sex. it’s getting close mentally and emotionally that is scary

Leon (17) (@leke) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Sorry @squishy I must have been in another place. I have no idea why I wrote that.

Leon (17) (@leke) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Ok, I’ll have a crack. You said this…
“out of fear that once they see them for who they are”…
When trying to connect with new people, I think we try and become what we think they will like, but this is not really us. After about 2 months of pretending we get tired of pretending and usually show our real selves. This is usually the make or break point in a relationship.

But this is all very normal human behaviour and think it’s a pretty good way to gauge suitability. One day you’ll find someone so suited to you, you won’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. This is a very good sign, but until then, enjoy relationships and don’t feel too guilty about not being you — it’s only natural. :)

Anonymous (359) (@) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

Is there such a thing as being too open and intimate? I have always felt I had the opposite problem because I will just tell people my soul so easily and get them to tell me theirs and a lot of people are taken aback and feel uncomfortable. Is there such a thing as being overly intimate? I have wondered if it is a fear of being on my own. But I just want to be close with everybody! Not cling. Lol

Nickole (67) (@squishy) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@leke, The problem is i am too afraid to be in a relationship, i’ve never had a serious boyfriend. I always end up falling for guys that i know I can’t be with. I went through things when I was younger and I’m working on that. But, at the same time I need to start having relationships and face my fears.

Leon (17) (@leke) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@squishy , you look quite young. There is no need to have a serious boyfriend when you are young. No rush to get married and start a family unless that is what you want.
Finding a serious partner is all about playing the waiting game. Until then, you can either enjoy your freedom, or have lots of casual friends. Being more serious with people will eventually come when you feel ready.

Nickole (67) (@squishy) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@leke, I’m 18, that’s kinda weird to be eighteen and never have been in a real relationship. But, at the same time I agree with you and think it will happen when I’m ready.

@anjelica, It’s hard for me to even relate to that problem, but I can see how the root of both is fear.

kae (17) (@agapeinflux) 8 years, 9 months ago ago


I definitely identify. The last serious relationship I was in seemed to be quite centralized around that theme, for both me and my partner. I realized a ton of stuff that I didn’t fully want to aceept at the moment about this fear but now I’m able to understand why I felt so unsure and scared by getting really close with someone. I find that it was largely due to previous experiences in relationships and yes, certainly childhood could play a role for many out there. I mainly covered up my problems because I didn’t believe this person had the capacity and understanding to truly dig deeper and be there for me, even when shit hit the fan, which was partially true.

Really this fear stems from not owning up to who you are, the good and the bad, and ultimately being at peace with it. I feel like a lot of people are so dead terrified of opening up and becoming vulnerable because we’re not used to it as humans. Many of us got these masks on daily, trudging through life trying to find a purpose, even though we’re not shining light on the deeper parts of us. Tbh, I’ve learned to just be real and up front at the get-go. When you get a good feel for someone and you can sense it’s progressing towards a relationship, just be open and create that space for honesty. If they don’t like you for who you are, fuck em! There will be someone else out there who will, guaranteed.

Anonymous (512) (@) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@squishy, Well I’m 20, and I’ve never been in a serious relationship, so yeah…

I can relate to many of your concerns. They are not outlandish. I’d like to remind you that we’ve all our struggles. (Isn’t it funny to consider how many of them revolve around relationships though?) Perhaps we should take that as a sign! I, myself, haven’t found the satisfaction in beating myself up over what others may call “relationship deficiencies.” There’s no point. I am who I am. You are who you are. We’ve been dealt the hand we’re now playing.

There is nothing to fret over.

Callie (3) (@cgoese) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

I totally understand where you’re coming from. This is a talk that helped me understand intimacy and vulnerability issues, I would give it a shot!

Leon (17) (@leke) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

> “I’m 18, that’s kinda weird to be eighteen and never have been in a real relationship.”
Try not to set your standards by what other people are doing. When you are older, you’ll take pride in being an individual, but for some reason when we are younger, we usually try and follow the pack.
If you ask anyone over 25, they’ll probably tell you stories of all the things they did when they were young that they wish they maybe did differently.

TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 9 months ago ago

@squishy, well, you could be 26 and have never been in anything within a mile of a relationship…..

Don’t worry, you’re still young. I would love to be your age and do things all over again.

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