Dating someone with fear of intimacy is not easy. Sometimes we fear that another will harm us, and therefore destroy the relationship or abandon it. But where does the fear of intimacy comes from, and how do you help and handle it?
Every everyone has experienced rejection at some point in their lives. Nobody wants to go back to a scenario like this and experience those feelings all over again. As a result, some of us retreat into our own ‘shells’ and refuse to allow others to approach us. Where do these worries that restrict you from living a meaningful life originate, and how can you overcome them when dating someone with fear of intimacy?
Rejection is a multi-faceted and complicated emotion. At this time, we may feel humiliation, anguish, dispute, guilt, and other unpleasant feelings. In this article, I discuss coping with the fear of intimacy and rejection.
What is the source of these fears?
When a child is young, the most important people in his life are his parents. Everything that concerns the formation of his personality depends on them. Including the patterns of behavior that he will later choose to interact with other people. And if parents do something wrong, the child can be traumatized, which in the future will manifest itself as a fear of intimacy or a fear of being rejected.
Suppose one (or both) parents exhibited rejectionist behavior – being addicted. In that case, their child could be traumatized because of long absences due to business trips, leaving the family, or suffering from mental illness and unable to be in close psycho-emotional contact with family members.
It doesn’t even matter if the parent actually exhibited this behavior, or if his or her child just saw and felt it that way. For example, the mother worked hard and tried very hard to pay attention to the child, but it was not enough. The situation was not deep and meaningful for the adult (the parent could have been involved and interested enough in the child’s life), but the child so emotionally lived it out that he or she still received the trauma of rejection
When it comes to interacting with other people, a kid who has undergone such an accident at a young age may adopt one of two positions:
- I’ll never be so close to anybody else. I forbade myself from ever imagining it. I’m going to avoid closeness, so I don’t have to deal with the agony I went through as a youngster.
- I need connection so desperately that I’ll go to any length to get it. I will do all in my power to get the affection that I lacked as a youngster.
The child’s position will undoubtedly influence his mature connections with others: coworkers, friends, and his immediate surroundings. He’ll grasp everything with his brain, but he’ll stick to a certain situation. He will have intense anxiety whenever he enters into an intimate connection. He may even choose to ignore new acquaintances in order to avoid being rejected later. He will go through life thinking that there are no normal men or women, and he will use whatever defensive strategies to avoid rejection.
He may enter into a relationship or even create a family on occasion. However, intimacy does not occur in these romantic encounters – the partner goes to work, workaholism, and addictions. He is constantly preoccupied and unavailable to a loved one. In such a relationship, the individual has a strong aversion to closeness. Internally, he perceives this as a risk of betrayal if he places his faith in his spouse.
What should I do if I have fear of intimacy?
If you identify yourself in this description, you may be wondering what you should do next. It’s hard to reverse the circumstances that led to this trauma, but you can start taking measures now to overcome your fear of rejection and begin developing meaningful connections.
First, get to know your fear: get a pen and paper and write out what you’re frightened of and why you’re terrified of being rejected. If you recall the source of your fear and how it manifested, that’s great; if not, write down what you’re frightened of right now. Accept your concerns; this is a crucial step in accepting the circumstance and changing your attitude about it.
Second, devise a strategy for dealing with the aforementioned rejection. What are your options if your spouse fails to meet your expectations? Consider what particular steps you can take if you confront your fear.
Do you agree with the fear? Do you have a strategy? Now think of a time when you had to cope with intimacy, when you were frightened of being rejected but were not, or when your relationship did not work out, but you were glad about it.
When coping with any of these sorts of trauma, mindfulness is critical, and an emotional diary may help you write down all you’re feeling.
Learn to tell the difference between reality and fear. When you get this emotion, you should not worry about it or daydream about how it would harm you; instead, you should learn to appraise the genuine hazards. Create an inner support system that will stand with you if your fear proves to be true. If you are actually rejected, or if your close connection is hurting you, you must have other parts of your life (apart from your couple relationship) on which you may depend.
Praise yourself as a professional, create relationships, and acknowledge your strengths! Make a list of your assets. Make yourself a buddy, someone who is constantly on your side.
The fear of rejection is a significant one. The fear of closeness may be terrible for persons who have experienced rejection. It’s perplexing why anybody would want to be in this area at all if it’s so unsafe. However, if you learn to create connections and get more intimate with others, you will realize how many benefits there are: trust, acceptance, support from others, and a great deal of beauty.
Dating someone with fear of intimacy
Being in a relationship with someone who is afraid of intimacy may be difficult. It’s not for everyone, and it may be a difficult and frustrating process. However, those that are up to the challenge should take some measures to maintain the connection.
Understanding what it means to be vulnerable is the first step. This should be done for the advantage of the person who is afraid of intimacy. This activity will not only assist the other person in the relationship to understand more about intimacy, but it will also prepare them to help their partner overcome the fear and phobias they have associated with intimacy.
The capacity to stop from passing judgment is the next step. It’s all too simple for a person to wonder, “Why can’t they simply trust me?” While this line of reasoning is very logical, the individual must also recognize that fear of intimacy is a highly deep mental issue. If the affected person feels condemned, they will likely withdraw even farther into their shell or altogether shut the other person out of their lives. One of the finest courses of action is to show acceptance and love rather than judgment and hostility.
Finally, anybody associated with someone who is afraid of intimacy should constantly affirm their partner. However, be cautious not to go too far, since severe validation will almost certainly have the opposite effect. Appropriate validation, on the other hand, might be as easy as listening to them and assuring them that their emotions are normal.
People sometimes think that their significant other is already aware of positive sentiments, but hearing such words said aloud may make all the difference. This is particularly true for someone who is afraid of closeness or feels apprehensive about it.