Are You Afraid of Intimacy?

by Andrea M. Darcy
Reviewed by Dr Sheri Jacobson

Intimacy isn't just about romantic relationships. It's about ALL relationships.

To be intimate means to be known. It means you let people see the real you, both good and bad, and accept other people for who they are.

Why am I afraid of intimacy?

Secretly afraid of letting anyone too close? Here are 5 signs you might be.

1. You have a ton of friends or always go out in groups.

Having a lot of friends is great. Except it’s not so great if you are always collecting more ‘friends’ so you have a great excuse to never spend too much time with just one. It’s the same with always being out in groups. Intimacy requires sharing private thoughts and feelings, but this is harder if you are never alone.

  • Do you feel uncomfortable if you are one-on-one with someone?
  • Do you connect quickly with new friends, but then it fizzles and you are on to the next?
  • Have you ever brought along other people when going to meet someone without even askig him or her if that's okay?

2. People are always letting you down.

Always seeing the flaws in other people means you have a good excuse to push them away. And it means you get to seem perfect. Intimacy requires admitting to your own weaknesses, and learning to accept that nobody else is perfect, either.

  • Do you ever claim you just attract bad/strange/dishonest people?
  • Do you blame others for what goes wrong?
  • Are you often letting go of friends because they ‘can't be trusted’?

3. Your life is busy, busy, busy!

Yes, modern life is busy. But if you are always taking on new things or filling your time with small tasks, you might unconsciously be creating a life that means you can tell people you are ‘too busy’ to see them. You even avoid intimacy with yourself, because you are so busy there is not time to face up to what you are thinking and feeling.

  • If you have a down moment, is your first thought what you can fill it with?
  • Do you always keep several ‘to do’ lists?
  • When someone asks to see you do you ever say ‘I’m busy’ without even consulting your diary?

4. You 'tell it like it is'.

Strong opinions are one thing. Strong inflammatory opinions that shut down conversations are quite another. If we are afraid of intimacy, they are a perfect tactic to push people back. Real intimacy means being open to other people, and being open to being wrong.

  • Do you ever tell people ‘you are wrong’? Thereby pushing them away?
  • Do you use phrases like, ‘and I won’t change my mind’, or ‘end of discussion’?
  • Have you ever ended a relationship over a difference of opinion?

5. You are a social chameleon.

You can fit in anywhere and make anyone like you. Sounds like a wonderful skill to have, right? More like a lonely one. If you switch your personality depending on who you talk to you are hiding your real self. It means nobody gets to know you, and in the long run can even lead to an identity crisis.

  • Do you secretly get a kick out of making everyone like you?
  • Even pick outfits so that you will fit in?
  • Have you ever agreed with something just for the sake of it?
  • Do you sometimes wonder who the real you even is?

Is your fear of intimacy leaving you lonely and secretly depressed? Our therapists understand. Why not book a session and see if we can help you?

Need a Therapy Session ASAP?

Here's who's next available...

See other available therapists ›
Are you a therapist?
Apply to be on the platform  ›