7 Ways To Deal With The Fear Of Intimacy

Do you fear close relationships? Are you afraid you might lose control of your own life if you get too close to someone else? If you do, you’re not alone. There are millions of people who have a fear of intimacy. I’m one of them.

Last year, I wrote a post called, “My Biggest Weakness Is This,” about spending too much time online. I still struggle with spending too much time on my computer. Why? Because spending time on the computer is something I can do without getting too close to others. It’s safe.

Triggers Behind The Fear Of Intimacy

I was a very shy kid. I was also the child victim of a religious cult. My social skills were stunted. I was married to someone with an extreme case of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I went through a drawn-out divorce. These were all triggers to my own fear of intimacy.

Now I’m a single parent. I feel like I need to be very careful about my relationships. I want what’s best for Annie. I want what’s best for me. I don’t want to wind up with someone that pulls me away from my daughter, my writing, my music. I don’t want another bad relationship. I’m cautious.

EnkiVillage says this about the fear of intimacy:

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.    

I have plenty of loving and caring people in my life. It’s when a relationship begins to take on romantic intimacy that I tend to pull away. I’ve decided it’s time to face that fear:

  1. Write down your fears: When you write down your fears, you’re taking the first step in facing them. This blog is about simple living. Good relationships are part of simple living. I’ve started writing more about relationships and fear of intimacy at The Good Men Project.  
  2. Know what you want: I’ve always envisioned myself with a loving partner as I grow older. As much as I love independence, companionship is something I desire more. I know what I want. Knowing what you want gives you the incentive to begin to take action to get what you want.
  3. Start taking chances: You’ll never find your perfect partner if you don’t start taking chances. You need to get out of your house. You need to set your devices aside and talk to people.
  4. Accept others’ weaknesses: This is a big one for me. Like most humans, I tend to judge myself based on motives, and others based on actions. It’s called psychological egoism. You’ll never meet the right person if you’re too picky to get past the first date. Everybody has weaknesses. Accept them.
  5. Accept your own weaknesses: It’s funny how humans work. We trick ourselves. One day we think we’re too good for someone else. The next day we’re kicking ourselves for our own insufficiencies. Have you ever thought that someone else is out of your league, too good for you? That’s low self-esteem talking. Yes, you have problems. But everybody does. 
  6. Stop expecting perfect: I’ve come a long way in overcoming perfection, except in matters of relationships. My fear of intimacy has been thinly disguised behind the veil of wanting to find the perfect partner. The perfect partner does not exist. Nobody is perfect. But the right partner for you is out there. You just have to take some chances in order to find them. 
  7. Stop being the superhero: I’ve noticed that many single parents wind up taking on the superhero role. We get so used to doing everything ourselves that we say, “Bring it on. I can take it. I don’t need anybody else’s help.” That attitude will keep you from breaking through the fear of intimacy and finding the one that’s right for you.

Start Taking Some Risks

If you’re like me and have struggled with some fear of intimacy, I encourage you to start taking chances. Meet new people. Be willing to accept each person as they are. Be willing to accept yourself as you are. Stop seeking perfection. Stop being the superhero. Start being more open, compassionate, and understanding. You might just lose your fear of intimacy and find love.

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James Ewen
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