Fear of intimacy, what is this? How can one overcome the anxiety associated with it, and how to safely live a happy fulfilled partnership? Wow! The questions are really out there, aren't they? Shall we dive into the uncomfortableness that most steer clear from?!
First, we must identify what intimacy is. Intimacy is that place were you feel vulnerable with another person. It's being yourself during the good and bad times, not running away when things become scary, unpleasant, or uncomfortable. It surpasses intellect, emotional, sexual, and spiritual feelings.
The fear can show up in different ways for different people, and even among genders. Yes, a stereotype, but in some cultures vulnerability is seen as weak, and where men grow up taking on the role as a man, intimacy could definitely make one feel uncomfortable. The real truth is, what men are taught in society about relationships are the very things that actually destroy a chance for any real growth to take place. It's that vulnerability that leads to intimacy, and that can lead to a robust partnership.
Women experience the fear of intimacy just as much as men, but what is seen in a woman is usually not seen in a man, however they can, and often do compliment each other in some way. Women tend to experience depression. The fear of coming to a man for emotional support and understanding can make them look weak, or needy. So in turn, most women start to draw in closer, just as the man starts to pull away, thus creating more space, and the cycle continues.
Fear is placed in us as a child, and if a person never overcomes that fear, it comes along to every relationship whether romantic or platonic. It's something we learn, and repeat over and over. Understanding and accepting that fear is the first step to ones recovery.
When you understand yourself, and accept the things about you as a individual first. The problems or obstacles that can arise in your relationships, which they will, but they don't have to leave people in fear of abandonment, or codependency within those relationships. Yes, intimacy can leave each person feeling a level of dependency on the other, but not so great that the survival of the relationship is left here. Happiness is created within us all, and no one person can be responsible for someones happiness, that is something that each of us have to find on our own. Intimacy can only be shared with another, when that person fulfills their own happiness first.