Fear of Intimacy

a. Definition of Fear of Intimacy.

Fear of Intimacy.   According to the dictionary, intimacy means something of a personal or private nature.  That definition misses the core of the concept.  Quorvita believes there are three key elements.  One involves an actual exchange of information, another has an aspect of caring, and the third is vulnerability.

There Must be an Exchange of Valuable Information. For example, walnuts stored in the garage could be valuable information but lack emotion.  It is not intimate.  But, under certain circumstances, it could be.   Assume those walnuts were the only ones in existence.  And you wanted to share this information with someone with whom you have strong personal feelings.  This information exchange could express intimacy. Economic value is not the issue, nor is it required. 

Caring. You must care for the person with whom you are lovingly sharing information. A person who feels bad when someone is down is not the same. But it does not reach the level of intimacy required by the caring element. 

Vulnerability. This element is the most important because it involves pure emotions. It deals with opening oneself up to being emotionally hurt. 

The greater the vulnerability, the stronger the intimacy.

Therefore, loving communication between people involving emotional vulnerability defines intimacy on this website. 

 Intimacy creates one of the strongest bonds that can exist between people. And it can last a lifetime. 

b. Fear of Intimacy and Sexual Relations.

Some believe intimacy is sex and reproduction. But that misses the mark as well. Sex can be one of the most vital expressions of intimacy when it involves the ultimate vulnerability. Here are a few things to consider:
Many crave sex to satisfy physical urges. The younger you are, the more likely that biological urges are at play. This is not intimacy.

It is exceedingly difficult to judge whether sex is for intimacy.  This is because emotions run high during this period and shut down analytical thought. 

Therefore, it is important to ask someone who has yet to invest. For example:

Ask your parents. Of all the people in your life, your parents are your most significant protector and the usually best source for personal information and advice.  Ask them what they think about the potential mate or person.  Then follow that up with – why?  The parent’s love may bias their opinion, but they will possess discrete observations and reasons.  

Ask an Older Sibling. This is another source of advice.  An older sibling may have valuable information about this person.  The information they share is more important than a simple opinion. 

A Close Friend.  But beware.  A friend must be honest.  They also take the risk of being defriended.  Therefore, ground rules must be set between friends before expressing opinions.

When the friend has negative opinions:  The friend must exercise great care before expressing an opinion. It should not be volunteered.  And, if asked, the friend should premise the idea with comments like:

You know I care about you.  You’re my best friend.  That means I will be honest with you.  First, it is difficult for me to judge the person since I don’t know them.  You have far more information about them than I do.  With that said, do you want my opinion? 

If the friend continues to want your opinion, then say.

 I do not believe this is the person for you

The friend must be prepared to give specific reasons. 

When the friend has positive opinions: This is the more straightforward answer.   You smile and give your opinion. 

You witnessed the Other Person being unfaithful. This is also easy.  It would help if you told your friend what you saw.  It is essential not to make judgments. 

You were told by someone else or read negative information on Social Media. If the source of this information is unknown, avoid spreading gossip. Friends do not hurt other friends with gossip. 

Ask your Minister or Priest.  This is an excellent source of advice.  They cannot nor should not give you confidential information about the other.  But they can give you basic advice. 

c. How to Spot Fear of Intimacy

This is an exceedingly tricky area.  And for the same reasons, i.e., strong emotions block your thinking ability.

The following is an ideal response with solutions to seven situations when intimacy is present.   It is not mainly practiced in the real world.  But perhaps it should be.

When Intimacy is Present.  

  1. An angry person tells you why they are mad.
  2. When planning a vacation, they want to discuss it with you.
  3. They are so happy with you that they cannot imagine not being with you.
  4. When something good happens, they want to celebrate it with you.
  5. Your partner does not get jealous when you talk to someone else. If they do, they will speak to you about it.  Not becoming jealous shows trust and talking about their feelings shows honesty.
  6. When things go wrong, you can count on your partner’s support. Using a sports analogy, being a team member shows trust, whereas only being the star player shows “I don’t need you.”

When Intimacy is Not Present.  The following are examples that show a lack of intimacy.   

  1. If the other person is indifferent. Someone who does not care is not intimate.
  2. They do not share their vulnerabilities.
  3. They hide their feelings.
  4. They think and do things that benefit only themselves.
  5. They only have short-term relationships. Intimacy lasts a long time. A relationship that veers off after a short period, like six months, is in trouble. 

Red Flags.  This means you should be careful and make an investigation. 

  1. The person worries about being abandoned.
  2. The other shows no solid feelings for their parents or siblings.
  3. Being afraid of touching.
  4. Being abused or neglected as a child.
  5. They seek drugs or alcohol whenever stressed.
  6. Belittling people show they lack confidence in themselves. 
  7. They are bullies.
  8. They try to sabotage the relationship by becoming nitpicking, critical, or making themself less lovable.
  9. They become jealous quickly.