When you think of “fear of intimacy,” what comes to mind?
Perhaps the image of someone you dated who ran when things started getting serious? Or a former partner who cheated—perhaps multiple times?
Maybe you’ve wondered if you, too, have a fear of intimacy.
Spoiler alert: You do. We all do.
If you’re breathing, you have a fear of intimacy. It’s a normal part of being human. Exposing ourselves emotionally to another human being brings inherent risks of rejection and loss. The closer we get, the more we can be hurt or disappointed.
Love is the most valuable thing in the world, hence the fear of losing it or being hurt by it is completely rational.
To that end, all of us develop particular patterns that push away intimacy, keeping us in a constant struggle of feeling like we’re never getting the love we want. I call them “flight patterns.”
Let’s look at some of the sneaky ways fear of intimacy can show up, making you flee from the very love you want:
We can’t correct all the ways we flee intimacy—it would take until the end of time. However, if we find one prime way in which we push love away—and if we then tackle that particular defensive pattern—the chances are great that we will see the love in our life increase and deepen. That choice is a small act of personal greatness—and it is within all of our reach.
Take a moment to reflect on your own patterns. What rings most true for you as a way that you consciously or unconsciously orchestrate a degree of distance in your life?
Not sure? Try this: Think of one or two people who are close to you and are both kind and highly perceptive—and ask them what patterns they see in you. Most friends will be able to tell you, instantly and accurately. If you’re in an intimate relationship, your husband, wife, or partner is also sure to have some thoughts on the subject.
Clearly, some of us experience more fear of intimacy than others. But the reality is that all of us have significant gaps in our ability to love.
Once we accept this, we can move on to the real work—acknowledging which parts of love scare us most, and exploring the patterns we’ve created to avoid that love. This is the place to start, the core curriculum for any serious “student of intimacy.”
And as it turns out, the single greatest antidote to fear of intimacy is intimacy itself. Through our relationships with people who we value and who are consistently authentic and caring toward us, we can learn the skills to navigate the personal minefields we all have.
Not only that, but as you continually expose yourself to more and more good intimacy, your brain chemistry actually changes. You will find yourself seeking out experiences of intimacy and closeness, whereas before you may have played it safe or shrunk away.
Your romantic relationships will change, but so will your interactions with your family—and even with yourself. Namely, you’ll feel more comfortable accepting all of yourself—even the parts of you that you’ve been ashamed of and felt you had to hide from yourself and others.
Thankfully, we do not have to rid ourselves of our fear of intimacy before we can have deeper love. It’s the practice of intimacy that gets us past our fear of intimacy.
And this is exactly what I will lovingly guide you to do in Deeper Dating: The Powerful Path to Authentic Love.
Throughout the course of 10 audio modules, you will learn how to date and relate in a way that will attract a partner who will love and appreciate all of you—and how to finally experience the unbridled joys of deep, ecstatic intimacy.
You will learn to understand your particular flight patterns and overcome them—including what I call “waves of distancing.”
If you’ve ever been interested in someone only to start noticing little things about them that “turn you off,” you’ll know what I’m talking about. Waves of distancing happen when we’re with someone who could really be good for us, but our fear of intimacy kicks in and we start convincing ourselves to pull away.
Module by module, you’ll learn how to gradually come up against your core fears, push past them, and start getting more and more comfortable with good, juicy intimacy—to the point where you rewire the neural pathways in your brain that have been keeping you stuck in unhealthy attractions so far:
There is nothing more delicious than experiencing true intimacy. It’s what our hearts truly long for. Don’t keep yourself from this pleasure any longer.