Loving somebody can be both—an exhilarating and a terrifying experience. On one hand, you share a deep and loving connection with your partner. On the other, you open yourself to emotional risks by sharing your deepest secrets and desires with them, becoming emotionally dependent. And if it doesn't work, it can leave you scarred for good.
You might say that the idea of depending on somebody is almost like taking a big leap. You can never be sure of what comes next.
So it should come as no surprise that many people choose not to fall in love. Because those who've been hurt before, often have difficulties finding love again and/or are unable to understand how to overcome intimacy issues.
So what are these fears and how can one overcome them?
What Are The Fears Of Intimacy?
The fear of intimacy reflects differently on different people.
For some who've been emotionally hurt by a previously failed relationship, the levels can be high. For others, not so much. But in general, if you often experience the following, you have a fear of intimacy.
- You want to be with others, but are scared
- You're self-conscious and often think poorly of yourself
- Get anxious at the thought of being touched by somebody
- You feel nauseated or sweat when somebody comes close to you
- Avoid dating altogether
- Feel that you are not good enough to love
While these are classic signs of intimacy issues, it's not a problem that cannot be overcome.
How To Overcome Intimacy Issues
Similar to how intimacy fears work, their resolution is also not same for everybody. That being said, these are the few ways in which you can learn how to overcome intimacy issues.
1. Stop being your own critic
Just as all of us have our instincts, we also have our own critics. That harsh voice inside of you often questions your self-confidence and motives and tells you that you are good enough. You might think that there is no point falling for somebody if you'll eventually get hurt again.
So to battle your fear of intimacy, first learn to tame this inner harsh critic. Begin by being more self-aware. Whenever your inner critics begins to voice herself, shut it down. You can turn your attention to something else.
In the long run, you can learn to train your inner critic to rewrite its popular beliefs and work on positive affirmations.
2. Go back and look at your history
You weren't always so fearful of intimacy, were you? These negative thoughts crept up much later in life and figuring out why, can help you shape loving relationships in the future.
For instance, if you were born into a broken household or saw many separations as a young adult, it can put you off from forming mature relationships of your own in the future. Alternatively, experiences of childhood bullying and sexual abuse can cause you to develop intimacy fears.
So understand the root cause of the problem and go back to the past. Reflect on what made you develop these fears and you'll automatically begin to answer your questions.
3. Take it easy
Being fearful of falling in love can be stressful and the tension can create its own vicious circle. The more you feel anxious, the more you begin to fear intimacy and the more unhappy you become. That's why, taking it easy and relaxing your mind can help you overcome this anxiety.
Set aside an hour or so aside to practice meditation and mindfullness. Know that when you are relaxed, you can take on any challenge head-on, even your fear of intimacy. You can even try to keep your gadgets aside and read a book to indulge yourself in a physical activity.
Remember that these activities are also a way of self-healing and self-care and can even boost your self-esteem.
4. Focus on your life goals
Your life goals can help you figure out how to overcome intimacy issues. The general confusion caused by lack of direction can often be the real culprit. For instance, if you do not know what you wish for in a partner, or your couple goals aren't clear, you can be tempted to avoid intimacy altogether.
So take your time to set life goals. Begin by imagining your ideal circumstances, including your career plans, your partnerships and perhaps even buying a home.
Consider the traits you wish you see in your partner and all of the things you are unwilling to accept. You can also think about your future with a partner, including kids and place of living.
Once you know what you want and are clear about what you don't, you'll attract the right kind of people.
5. Build self-confidence and vulnerability
Sometimes intimacy issues are related to your own self-esteem as well. So work on yourself, not just physically, but also emotionally. Be mindfull of your practices and try to follow your passion.
If you feel your issues of self-esteem are deeply rooted, you can even try life coaching and counselling.
Letting go of your insecurities will help you become more open and go back to your own self. And once you reach that stage, being vulnerable and accepting the highs and lows of a relationship will become easier.
If you've read everything so far, it means you are ready to work on overcoming intimacy issues. Frankly, doing so could be easier than you thought. Once you work on yourself and stop the many problems sabotaging your success, you'll be surprised how easy it is to fall in love.