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How fear of intimacy can be overcome?

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Fear of IntimacyFear of intimacy blocks real love

Ideally, husbands and wives are best friends as well as lovers — sharing dreams, interests, fears, and hopes. But according to Stacey Oliker, a sociologist and marriage expert, obstacles such as a fear of intimacy can mean that only a small minority of couples experience genuine closeness.

He claims that marriage partners often seek to fill this gap by being more intimate with close friends than they are with their mates. Does this mean married people shouldn’t have close friends? Absolutely not. But it does mean that rather than fearing intimacy, we need to take special care to cultivate intimacy within our marriages.

Fear of intimacy can be overcome

Fear of intimacy can be overcome only when the dread of rejection is removed. A simple tool that can remove a fear of intimacy and bring you instant closeness is unconditional acceptance. Some married people walk on eggshells around their spouses, fearing that they might say or do something to upset them. That’s no way to create intimacy, or to overcome a fear of intimacy.

After all, it’s hard to be honest or to act authentically if you’re worried that you’re going to be criticized or judged each time you do. You’re not going to show the real you, for fear of being rejected. As a result, real intimacy is completely blocked, since intimacy, by definition, requires two people who are willing to be entirely themselves.

On the other hand, it feels completely different when you know that you’ll be loved and supported even when you make a mistake, express an unpleasant emotion, or explore a unique idea. When you feel that kind of support, then there’s no need to fear intimacy. You can be yourself and share yourself fully with your partner. And when you do that, and when your spouse does as well, genuine intimacy arises.

Don’t let a fear of intimacy block real love in your marriage. Real intimacy has a “best friend” or “soul mate” quality about it. We all want someone who knows us better than anyone else and still accepts us. People who have overcome their fear of intimacy and successfully built an intimate relationship know its power and comfort.

Fear of intimacy blocks authentic love, but genuine intimacy hinges on closeness, sharing, honesty, and support. As one heart given in exchange for another, marriage provides the deepest and most radical expression of intimacy. So watch for ways you can let go of your fear of intimacy and offer more unconditional acceptance to your spouse. And if it feels appropriate, ask your spouse to offer the same to you. The more you can both release any fear of intimacy and embrace your closeness, the deeper and richer the intimacy you two share will become.


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