Why fear intimacy?

Being intimate with another – opening your heart and sharing love – is one of the most life-affirming and fulfiling experiences you can have. Yet, even though we all yearn for it (even if secretly), why do some of us also fear it and push it away?

Past experiences, unhealthy patterns

5951211547_bcd33ae18b_bThere are a myriad of reasons for this fear. For instance, a previous traumatic relationship where your trust was betrayed or your heart broken in a way you didn’t heal from, may mean you are still ‘stuck’ there. Incidents in our childhood, ranging from unhealthy, unstable or threatening dynamics with those around us, to abuse of any kind, can lead to negative self-beliefs and a range of fears.

If you identify with this, start by writing out your fears on a weekly basis, as a stream of consciousness. Making your fears conscious is the first step to moving beyond them.

Address the source of these patterns

Seeing the real cause is crucial to moving out of old patterns that don’t serve you and allow you what you need. Unresolved traumas or emotional imprints will continue to play out unconsciously until you address the source of them through a process like ISIS.

These unconscious patterns are why you hold yourself back and withhold your emotions despite desperately wanting to relieve your loneliness and find love.

Such unresolved incidents attract experiences and interactions which confirm the core belief stemming from these traumas: ‘I am unlovable’, ‘People can’t be trusted’, ‘I’m only going to get hurt/rejected/abandoned’, ‘I’m going to lose myself/control’ etc.

How do you feel about your self?

Many people who long for, yet fear, intimacy often tragically push it away when it’s right in front of them. Why?

Negative beliefs about yourself, like being unworthy of love, tragically prevent you from actually receiving it. You literally can’t let yourself be loved even when it’s being offered to you.

Doing this would mean giving up your story that you’ve been telling yourself for so long. This feels threatening to your personality, but it’s also just a story, not who you are. It’s a belief system stemming from a time in your life that you were unable to process or heal from properly because you didn’t have the tools or support at the time.

For more about taking responsibility for your self-worth rather than putting it in the hands of another, read about loving yourself so you can be loved by others.

Being willing to open

Apart from seeking out the cause of your fear and taking responsibility for your self-worth, what else can you do?

So much of it has to do with deciding to open. Ironically this often stems from the loneliness, feeling of being cut off, the pain of missing out on love becoming unbearable.

One of my favourite quotes that spoke to me at a juncture like this in my life is from Anais Nin:

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

Courage of vulnerability

9595796135_61a9a0845f_oNo discussion about the fear of intimacy would be complete without including vulnerability. As Brené Brown states in her book ‘Daring Greatly’:

“There is no equation where taking risks, braving uncertainty, and opening ourselves up to emotional exposure equals weakness… Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.”

By increasing your self-knowledge and building your inner foundation, vulnerability becomes, not a state to avoid at all costs, but a quiet strength and a direct gateway to the kind of intimacy that nourishes you at your very depths.

Supported hurt

After more than a decade of inner work on myself and others, I’ve learned that being hurt is an inevitable fact of being human. And yet I’ve also seen that hurt is only terrifying and unbearable when it is felt in an unsupported setting.

With the tools to experience hurt in a way that feels safe and supported, being hurt becomes an opportunity to open to and access deeper parts of yourself which build on your sense of self and inner strength.

You never have to deal with pain and hurt alone and without guidance, so please get in touch today for a free consultation to see if I can help you.

What about you?

What has most resonated with you in this post? If you push away yet long for intimacy, which aspect are you going to take away and try implementing in your life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

And if you want to receive more heartfelt guidance on various self-development topics plus some great free resources on relationships, sign up here to my e-list.

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