Intimacy refers to the choice and ability to be loved, close, and vulnerable. To be intimate, you need to develop your identity. You should know yourself as well as the inner you before you get intimate. That’s the only way you will effectively share intimate moments with another person.
But, some people fear being intimate. And this is a common problem in modern relationships. Essentially, some individuals are afraid of opening up or becoming vulnerable to other people.
What Causes Intimacy Fears?
Intimacy fears can originate from a childhood experience. For instance, if a person had parents with a tumultuous relationship, they may have intimacy fears. You may have relied on your parent for love and care. Nevertheless, you may have felt emotionally rejected and abandoned due to the rocky relationship of your parents.
Children identify themselves with their families. At an early age, children don’t have ideas of their identity and they may not separate form their families. As such, if a family breaks, children see themselves as defective and broken. They feel like they don’t deserve to be loved or get intimate.
There are also cases when kids believe that their parents fight and divorce because they are bad. And since they think they are bad, they see themselves as unlovable. Thus, they fear getting into intimate relationships with other people later in life.
Intimacy Fears Disrupt Relationships
Childhood trauma can make a person take a different identity. That’s because they don’t want to be seen as they really are by their partners. However, masks unravel after being in a relationship for some time.
Before a partner sees the damaged self, a person can unconsciously create a scenario that may sabotage the relationship. That’s because they want to end their relationship before a rejection comes.
Overcoming Intimacy Fears
To overcome intimacy fears, you should recognize that your fear makes you hide your real identity. This doesn’t mean being withdrawn socially all the time. It can also imply using a façade. Even if you are at the center of a party, you can still hide your true identity.
If you decide to overcome intimacy fears, note when you hide and decide to open up. Essentially, know when you are ready and the right moment to open up. Being intimate implies sharing your real self with another person. This should be a person that you love and trust.
Therefore, you don’t have to fear opening up to them. Communicate your feelings and thoughts to them. You can also communicate your fears as well as the desire to hide. If you are experiencing sorrows, share them too.
Remember that you won’t overcome your intimacy fears overnight. This is something that will take time. So, don’t feel obliged to say everything at once. If you do so, you may overwhelm your spouse. Therefore, open up little by little. Share what you feel comfortable sharing. Eventually, you will feel comfortable sharing anything with your partner.
If this approach fails to work, seek assistance from a professional counselor. That’s because the underlying causes of your intimacy fears could be great to address without assistance. Nevertheless, dealing with intimacy fears directly might be the best way of overcoming them.