Fearing intimacy and avoiding closeness in relationships is not uncommon.
Social phobia, anxiety disorders, and avoidant behaviors may result in difficulty forming close relationships with another person.
What causes intimacy challenges?
Social anxiety can affect intimacy; the same thoughts, behaviors, and emotions that are related to social anxiety can seep into established relationships and trigger intimacy issues. Fear of intimacy doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t want intimate relationships. You may long for closeness, though you can’t seem to allow yourself that vulnerability.
Fears of abandonment and engulfment—and, ultimately, a fear of loss—are at the heart of a fear of intimacy for many people, and these two fears may often coexist. Although the fears are different from one another, both cause behaviors that alternately pull the partners in closer and then push them away again.
It is important to understand that avoidance of intimacy does not necessarily mean someone doesn’t care. It usually isn’t even a conscious process.
The therapists at Affirming Therapy Center are sympathetic to these issues. In our sessions, we may talk about any of the following common signs of intimacy issues;
- Trouble forming or committing to close relationships;
- History of unstable relationships;
- Fear of intimacy – insight into causes and coping skills;
- Low self-esteem;
- Difficulty trusting other people;
- Reluctance or inability to share feelings or express emotions;
- Episodes of anger;
- Actively avoiding physical contact;
- Difficulty being candid or vulnerable with others;
- Feeling trapped when someone expresses interest in you;
- Workaholic tendencies;
- Believing that deep down, you are not lovable.
How do you overcome intimacy issues?
Fear of intimacy can lead you to sabotage relationships and isolate yourself. It takes time and patience, but with professional guidance, you can learn to overcome your fears and form meaningful bonds with others.
You can regain, rebuild, expand, and explore your intimacy.
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