The fear of intimacy comes from inside within ourselves. While external circumstances may have fueled our fear, the problem is ultimately a result of our own concerns and conflicts. Most people have some level of fear of relationships. It is up to us to find the root of our worries and change our paths, so we can allow loving and caring people into our lives.
Why Do We Have Fear of Intimacy?
Fears of rejection and potential loss
Fear of intimacy can make it difficult to be in a close and loving relationship. Although we seek and look for love all the time, we do not always have the strength to accept it. When we open up ourselves to another person, we become emotionally vulnerable. For those of us that have a fear of relationships, this can lead to anxiety and fears of rejection. The thought of losing love creates our fear of intimacy and causes us to steer clear of loving relationships.
The fear of intimacy develops from an early stage in life. As children, we suffer through our own experiences of rejection or emotional pain. When this occurs, we often shut down and shun others from of our lives. We teach ourselves not to rely on people as a way to deal with our fears. Because we were hurt by others early in our lives, we build up a walls to protect ourselves. Our fear of intimacy makes us reluctant to get close to another person.
People who experience OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) often fear intimacy because it brings uncertainty and lack of control into their lives. The very thought of a close relationship can induce extreme anxiety. Individuals with OCD tendencies need structure and predictability - things that a relationship cannot guarantee. The very idea of having such a huge disturbance in their lives makes them shy from intimacy.
Secret addictions take many forms. Some are quite obvious. Some are easy to hide. No matter the case, when a person suffers from an addiction, they tend to shut others out of their lives. The fear of someone discovering their most “intimate and private” secret causes them to become extremely guarded. This creates a fear of intimacy as they do not want to be held accountable for their actions, especially by someone they love.
Although they don’t all agree, some experts consider the fear of intimacy as a part of social phobia. People who are afraid of dealing with others are naturally more inclined to stay away from close relationships. Sometimes people with a type of social anxiety can sustain comfortable in-person and social media friendships, but cannot allow themselves to have deep, personal relationships.
7 Effective Ways to Overcome Fear of Intimacy
Write down your fears
When we write in a journal, we can express our fears of intimacy and relationships without worry. We are able to track when and where our fears developed and why they are triggered. Take the time to jot down why you think you shut others out of your life. Through self-realization, we are able to open up ourselves to caring and loving people because we gain confidence. Writing our feelings down can enable us to meet our fears head-on.
Determine what you want out of life
Think about it. If we determine that we do want to be in a relationship, we have taken the first step to making it happen. The fear of intimacy causes us to keep others away when our greatest desire is to have someone in our lives. Do you really want to be alone or do you want to be surrounded by friends? Are you seeking a special someone to share your life with? If the answer is yes, by recognizing it we can overcome our fears to allow love in our lives.
Get out of the house
Once it has been decided that we want people in our lives and we want close, intimate relationships with them, it is time to get out of the house. Being surrounded by people is an important step in overcoming our fear of intimacy. It will be hard at first, but it can be done. Start slowly and build up your outings to a few times a week. Go to places that you enjoy, so you can meet people with similar interests. You can even try to start a conversation with a total stranger when you’re out, but don’t push yourself to venture out too fast though.
Let others into your life
Many of us are guilty of pushing people out of our lives because of the fear of intimacy. Now that you’ve decided that you want personal relationships, you have to let others into your life. Answer phone calls, accept invitations to go out, and stop making excuses so you won’t have to interact with others. By avoiding others, you will only make your fears worse. You will become alienated, lonely and bitter. Let people be part of your life. By opening ourselves to intimate relationships, we can feel empty spaces in our lives.
Let go of insecurities and build self-confidence
It is amazing what can happen when you increase your self-confidence. We can achieve this important step towards intimacy by taking proactive measures. Taking more walks, eating more healthy and working out are all ways to boost your self-confidence, allowing you to let go of your insecurities. You can also build your confidence by doing meditation, cooking your favorite recipes and spending time in areas that have brought you joy. By inspiring yourself to take on new things, you will also gain the confidence needed to allow others into your life.
Stop being so serious
Loosen up and let loose. When we relax and laugh, we allow others to join us in our happiness. Our fear of intimacy starts to diminish as we opt to take chances on others. Don’t take things too seriously and allow yourself to go out. Part of this process is to stop trying to make everything perfect. When we let ourselves have fun, we tend to interact with other people, which gives us opportunities to establish close friendships and personal relationships.
Don’t forget you deserve to be loved
Our insecurities and fears of intimacy can make us believe we don’t deserve happyness and strong personal relationships. Because we have been unable to let other get close, we start to believe we don’t deserve deep-rooted and loving people in our lives. We must tell ourselves that we are allowed to make mistakes, and even though we may get hurt sometimes, we still deserve to be loved. Always remember that by exposing your feelings to people in your life, you are allowing love in your life as well.