Ways to Combat Your Fear of Intimacy

To be intimate with someone means to expose and share yourself both emotionally and physically to a person that you trust. It means giving the innermost parts of yourself to them and hoping they will love you anyway. To some, that can come easy. But for others, intimacy is surrounded by a deep-rooted fear that may have been planted in their childhood or early adulthood. Whatever the causes, it is not something an individual chooses to have, but rather something that is implanted in their subconscious after one or several traumatic events.

If you have recently found out or been told that you have a fear of intimacy and are looking for ways to treat it, then here is some advice that could help you start to overcome it.

Don’t blame yourself

This is the first step you need to take and perhaps the most important one. You need to accept that this is just something you have and that you have to live with, and there is no use in blaming who you are as a person because it will not help you grow. Whatever the circumstances that have caused you to be afraid of being close to people, they were not a fabrication of your mind or something that happened of your own accord. You can try and better yourself without having to judge the aspects that you are trying to change. Acceptance is the first sign of healing.

Ask for help when you need it

There is nothing wrong with being independent. But at the same time, there is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it. Relying too much on yourself and on your pride is a sign that you are scared to give control to someone else because you think they might end up abandoning you when you need them. As hard as it is, you cannot let your deepest fears and your paranoia dictate your life. Everyone needs help from time to time, and by letting others offer that to you, you build trust. And remember, they might need your help in return too one day.

Practice mindfulness

Fear of intimacy can sometimes come with intrusive thoughts as a package deal. Such thoughts can make you believe that your partner will leave you one day, or that they are cheating on you, and so on. Whether you are aware that those inner beliefs are not real or not, you have got to understand that they will not help you get rid of your own issues. So if you catch yourself indulging in such thoughts, consider practicing mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a mental state in which you become completely aware of your surroundings in order to focus on the present and accept your feelings. There are many helpful exercises based on mindfulness, such as being mindful of a meal you’re having or of an emotion you are experiencing. The purpose of this practice is to relieve yourself of the thoughts roaming around in your mind. Try asking yourself why you have these feelings instead and focus on being as present as you can.

Try to share your thoughts more often

You might feel the urge to close yourself off in relationships, which is understandable considering your fears. But keeping yourself to yourself is not something that will help you in the long run. Your partner needs to get to know the real you in order to develop your connection, and you need to know them as well. Providing them with a false perception of who you are is deceiving, and you shouldn’t do the same thing you are afraid someone else might do to you. You might think that this is the only way you can protect yourself, but it isn’t. Every wall you built comes crashing down eventually, so you might as well save yourself some time. Express how you feel more often instead, once you believe that you can trust the person you are with. Facing your fears is the only way you can defeat them.

Give the relationship breathing room

The opposite of being scared of intimacy is not having to spend all your free time with your partner. Spending quality time together is helpful, especially if that is how you or your partner express your affection. But every relationship needs space in order to not feel suffocated. Breathing down someone’s neck 24/7 can lead to frustrating feelings that might, later on, turn into arguments. It is better to simply spend some time apart when you both feel like you might need it. It is not a dent in the road, but simply a stepping stone in your relationship.

Seek professional advice

This can go hand in hand with asking for help when you know you need it. A fear of intimacy is hard to combat, especially on your own. That is why it is important to acknowledge that you are not alone, that there are professionals out there who are willing to help you without judgment. And receiving this help can become the reason why you end up improving your relationships with others.

Relationships are hard to figure out. But people crave human connection–it is as necessary as food and sleep. So, even if you are afraid of being intimately close to someone, at the end of the day you can still find yourself wanting to be. These types of feelings are natural and all you need to remember is that you are human, and there is nothing wrong with having feelings you cannot control. All you can do is try your hardest in improving yourself and hoping for the best.

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