10 Tips on Overcoming the Fear of Intimacy in Relationships – Signs/Symptoms, Scale and Test

You’re standing at a bar with a drink in your hand.  Your friend walks away for a moment.  You’re alone.  You stand at the bar trying to not look awkward.  A guy approaches you and introduces himself.  He asks, “What’s your name?” and asks for a dance.  You want to say yes.  Before your brain can process the answer, you can’t overcome the fear of intimacy.  So you hear yourself say, “No.”  As he walks away, you stare at your martini.  Why did I do that? Why am I so afraid to say, “Yes?”

As you wrack your brain for an answer, your friend returns from the restroom and you continue to talk and laugh. Then, the night is over.  You’re home in your room.  The familiarity of the room is comforting and disappointing.  You’re so scared to break out of the confines of familiarity that every possibility of intimacy is shut down and you wonder how to overcoming fear of intimacy in relationships.

Thinking back to middle school, high school, and college, you remember this friend dating that friend and how easy it was for them to become intimate and overcoming fear of intimacy.  They held hands, shared kisses between classes, and embraced each other at every opportunity.  During these moments, you were jealous but stood on the sidelines watching, too afraid to make a move as you think of overcoming fear of intimacy.

Overcoming fear of intimacy is rooted in your self-esteem, fear of the unknown, and fear of vulnerability.  Overcoming fear of intimacy can be a daunting task, so here are 10 tips on overcoming fear of intimacy.  For some people, the fear of overcoming intimacy is challenged at a young age with their first boyfriend or girlfriend.  But sometimes, the fear of intimacy prevents you from going out and finding that first love.  overcoming fear of intimacy is a frustrating thing because it’s something that you have to overcome yourself.  You have to learn to say, “Yes.”

Tip #1: Acknowledge the Problem

Before you can work towards a solution, you need to recognize that there is a problem.  Many people see the problem and do nothing to solve it. They read up on the symptoms, acknowledge the problem, and forget about it soon after.  Instead of ignoring the issue or putting it off, let’s take a step in the right direction together.

The first step in overcoming the fear of intimacy is acknowledging that you have a problem.  When you don’t acknowledge the problem, you won’t know it’s a problem.  That makes sense, right? Once you have acknowledged the problem it’s time to address overcoming fear of intimacy.

Tip #2: Address the Problem

To address the problem, write out a list of feeling you have towards intimacy.   These feelings could be good or bad.  Just grab a pen, notebook, and glass of wine (if you’re of age) and find a comfortable spot to sit down.  Don’t think.  Just write on overcoming fear of intimacy in relationships.

Tip #3: Make a List

Now that you have your list and (hopefully) a partially full glass of wine, you can organize the list.  To do so, group up your feelings in to two to three categories such as self-esteem, fear of the unknown, and fear of vulnerability.  Once you have done that, you’re halfway overcoming fear of intimacy.

Tip #4: Make the Changes

For each category, come up with three steps you can take to resolve the problem.  For example, one of your problems is saying, “Yes” to a relationship.  You categorized this problem under the fear of vulnerability category.  You’re scared to become someone’s girlfriend or boyfriend because you’re afraid of getting hurt. You’re afraid to open up to them because you’re scared that they will judge you or reject you for your flaws.

The first step in overcoming fear of intimacy in relationships is opening up to a close friend or family member.  Let them know what you’re thinking and because you already know them you won’t be as afraid to tell them what’s on your mind.  The second step involves addressing the issue with your potential boyfriend or girlfriend.  And chances are, they’re a little nervous too but they’re willing to take that next step in your relationship because they like you.  The third step is accepting the commitment.  Life works in mysterious ways and who knows, your acceptance might be the start of a lifelong friendship.

Tip #5: Execute your Plan

It’s time to execute and make the changes.  This step is the hardest step because it requires that you step out of your comfort zone, try something new, and make yourself vulnerable.  The three steps in the example are a great way for you to start small and slowly build up to the level of intimacy that will make you, your partner, your family, and your friends happy and you will overcoming fear of intimacy in relationships.

Tip #6: Follow Through

Being vulnerable is a sign of strength.  It sounds strange, but it’s true.  It takes courage to open up to somebody.  Many people’s fear of intimacy stems from their fear of rejection.  You don’t want to open up to somebody because you’re afraid they won’t love you anymore and leave.  But by following through, continually following the steps you mapped out, you’ll be able to overcome every reason overcoming fear of intimacy in relationships.

Tip #7: Go out and Have Fun

Part of following through your plan is going out and having fun.  When you fear intimacy, you want to stay at home and hide because the surroundings are familiar.  You’re scared of the unknown and what could be out there.  However, by saying “Yes” to the dance, coffee date, or dinner party with friends you’ll find that intimacy can come naturally as you guys bond with old memories, the creation of new memories, and shared stories ans you will stop questioning on how to overcome the fear of intimacy.

Tip #8: Continue Putting Yourself Out There

Maintain what you started.  Just going out for one night then hiding in your room for the next month does you no good.  You have to keep putting yourself out there in order to improve the situation.  Intimacy is built on a foundation of trust and trust takes time to strengthen.  By going out, you are bonding with another person.  And during these times, you’re learning about the other person, listening to them, and working out problems with them.  These back and forth conversations will let you guys bond over common fears, problems, and opinions and there will be no question like how to overcome the fear of intimacy.

Tip #9: Build Your Confidence

Through these experiences, you’ll notice that your confidence and self-esteem is heightened by questioning how to overcome the fear of intimacy.   You’ll be more self-assured and that little voice in your head will only be a whisper.  The little voice that always instills doubt and fear will fade with every relationship you build.

To assure that the voice doesn’t grow louder than a whisper, write down your strengths and repeat them to your-self daily until it becomes a mantra for how to overcome the fear of intimacy.

Tip #10: How to overcome the fear of intimacy: Find Love

The last tip is find love.  Love doesn’t have to mean marriage. It could be a lifelong partner, friend, or family member that you trust and know that you can confide in no matter the situation.

The best way to successfully overcome the fear of failure is to be open when the opportunity comes.  Don’t let fear stand in your way. Be a little vulnerable, have a laugh, share a kiss, and you’re on your way.

7 FEAR OF INTIMACY SIGNS/SYMPTOMS:

Here are are seven fear of intimacy signs:

1. You never sit still is one of the fear of intimacy symptoms

2. You are known as someone who is very positive is another fear of intimacy symptoms

3. You are the strong one others turn to.

4. You appear perfectly put together. Always.

5. You are sure you know exactly what you want in a partner, you just haven’t found him/her yet.

6. You are many different things to many different people.

7. You have very strong opinions.

Fear of Intimacy Scale Download:

You can download Fear of intimacy scale from here.

Abstract of Fear of Intimacy Scale: Two independent studies showed the Fear-of-Intimacy Scale (FIS) to be a valid and reliable measure of individuals’ anxiety about close, dating relationships. Item-total analyses yielded a 35-item scale with high internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Construct validity was established by factor analysis and significant correlations. The Fear of intimacy scale correlated positively with a loneliness measure; it correlated negatively with self-disclosure, social intimacy, and social desirability measures. These relations were maintained when partial correlations were conducted to control for social desirability. Subjects’ Fear of intimacy scale scores were significantly related to self-report data (e. g. , subjects with higher scores reported briefer relationships) and positively related to therapists ratings about clients’ fear of intimacy. It was also found that androgynous subjects had less fear of intimacy than masculine and undifferentiated subjects. The Fear of intimacy scale FIS holds promise for use in the assessment of clinical populations and for use as a research instrument.

Fear of Intimacy Test

To take fear of Intimacy test, visit this web page. The following items reflect feelings and attitudes that people have toward others and relationships with others. Specifically the items are concerned with attitudes of closeness, intimacy and trust. Choose the alternative that most closely describes your feelings about the item; do not think too much about it, and skip ONLY if you agree and disagree equally with the item.

Credit where is due:

The author of this scale is Dr. Thomas Treadwell et al. i merely did the adaptation for okcupid and the interpretation of the results.

The picture of the lovely sculpture of title “commitment” belongs to Michael Speller, his creator, if you want to see more of his work, or maybe buy a piece visit his web: http://www.spellersculptures.com/

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