5 Signs You are Afraid of Intimacy

Intimacy is complex. It’s emotional, the sharing of feelings with each other. It’s intellectual, the sharing of ideas and thoughts. It’s physical, with not just sexual but also non-sexual contact. And it’s experiential, the sharing of activities together.
A fear of intimacy is often unconscious and affects a person’s ability to form or maintain close relationships. They don’t intentionally reject love from another. Instead, they may behave in ways that create stress in a relationship, resulting in an early end, before any deeper intimacy can develop.This fear can develop for many reasons. But for many people, it may stem from their childhood relationship with caregivers. Babies cry to express their needs, and some caregivers may respond insensitively or may not respond at all. This is the first social attachment that babies have, and it becomes a pattern that they learn from. Over the years, this early attachment develops into the way we understand relationships and affects how we behave in adult relationships.Fear of intimacy can also be due to childhood trauma, such as the loss of a parent or abuse. This causes the person to have difficulty trusting others. It could also be because of a personality disorder, such as avoidant personality disorder or schizoid personality disorder. People with personality disorders have patterns of thinking and behaving that are different from what society expects, which makes it hard for them to form close relationships.Someone with a fear of intimacy may sabotage their relationships with others. Some might avoid maintaining relationships, pull back from conflicts, or hold back from being emotionally close to the other person. Others may react intensely to situations, such as being controlling or overly critical, using guilt on their partner to express hurt, or being clingy.Perfectionists can find it hard to form intimate relationships. They demand a lot of themselves and sometimes of others. They have extreme concern about how others see them. They may see their partners as holding impossible expectations for the relationship, leading to anger and conflict.Relationships are not easy, and a fear of intimacy may be more common than you’d expect, as not many people would own up to it. A survey has shown that loneliness may be on the rise, with 42% of people saying that they have felt depressed because they felt alone.A person who fears intimacy may act in ways that push their partner away. They may shut down or run away. Try not to take it personally. It’s sometimes easier for them to behave in ways that are familiar to them. They may need space and time. Try not to react with anger or frustration but be patient and supportive.