Fear of Intimacy versus Commitment

Posted by Leticia, 01 Nov 08

Fear of intimacy is different than fear of commitment. You can be married and not know your partner emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually. In fact, loneliness in marriage is more difficult than being lonely as a single person or widow. Marital loneliness springs from fear of intimacy in one or both partners. What causes this phobia and what can be done to prevent or stop it?

Too many times we only hear the term "fear of intimacy" in relation to someone not being as warm and fuzzy to someone else when it's time to get busy. Those that actually suffer from this issue understand that it's so much more than "not wanting to have sex". According to Dr. Richard Nicastro psychologist and relationship coach, some people have a desire for intimacy but, experience a "strong negative physical reaction to deeper levels of connection".

The cause can be many things. From neglect or abuse in your childhood to gender stereotypes. It's no surprise that our culture has very well defined rules when it comes to how men and women should behave in relation to one another. What happens when your feeling don't match those that you go with your gender? We hear all the time how men are the strong non-emotional types. Does that mean that if you are very emotional you're less than a man?

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Imagine how that must make a man in that position feel. Or a woman that's been told that sex is dirty and nasty throughout her childhood. It's hard to imagine trying to put those words and the associations behind you when you become an adult and jump right in with reckless abandon. So, what can be done to first recognize the signs and then address the problem?

It's often easier to tell what something is NOT. Before assuming that you or someone you care for has a fear of intimacy, it's critical to rule out they possibility that there is a lack of attraction between the parties involved. People change, situations change and most certainly our taste and desires change too. It is possible to be in love with someone and not be physically attracted to them.

If there is physical attraction but it ends when it should be getting started, than perhaps it's time to ask yourself or them a few important questions. Like what are your expectations? What do you think of when it's time to get intimate? Are you holding on to certain stereotypes of what a man or woman is suppose to or NOT suppose to do?

There are some things that we do not and can not learn from reading it in a book or magazine. We must live through it and experience it for ourselves. Even if we've seen our parents doing things a certain way, sometimes we must learn that their way is not our way. Then starts the process of finding our own way to get things done.

This is Leticia and overcoming a fear of anything first begins with the understanding of the source of the fear. The realization that it's the "fear" and not the situation that is truly keeping us from moving forward and letting go. Once we are able to do that, we will be one step closer to seeing the objects of our desires in a whole new way. Not to mention how we'll begin to see ourselves and trust in our own abilities to love and be loved by another person .

30 responses to "Fear of Intimacy versus Commitment"

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  1.   serenity33 says:
    Posted: 16 Oct 10

    I have been saying this often and again people don't like it when I say it but are happy when someone else says it.;-) I totally agree with you and at least am glad when people say ideas I have said before even if they don't listen to it when I personally say it.;-)

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  2.   hoppy4u says:
    Posted: 15 Oct 10

    As I have become older, I have sought out to become a better person. From that, I have taken some courses of both religious and personal awareness/self-growth. And I agree and disagree with the article. If there is loneliness in a relationship, then, it is not a relationship. Pure and simple; it takes two people to have a relationship. I have come to realize that there is a major difference in intimacy. There is Physical Intimacy and Personal Intimacy. The definition that I have come to love and use for intimacy is “In To Me You See”. And by personal intimacy, I am meaning that you are allowing yourself to develop a true self, what you‘re all about. By showing your real self come out, the physical intimacy flows out of you with out to your mate, and you’re actually able to have a more fulfilling physical intimate relationship over the the long haul.

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    • serenity33 says:
      Posted: 24 Oct 10

      I have been saying this often and again people don’t like it when I say it but are happy when someone else says it.;-) I totally agree with you and at least am glad when people say ideas I have said before even if they don’t listen to it when I personally say it.;-) Hoppy4u, you will have to do something about all this prejudice on this site because I can't even agree with you without getting put down. I think I would have to have a race and sex change to be able to post on this site and become a black woman because no one seems to listen to a reasonable white man!!;-)

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  3.   serenity33 says:
    Posted: 04 Sep 10

    Wow 2sexyb. Well spoken and I agree totally. I am glad you said it and not me or else they would have removed it since I am a white male.;-) That is exactly what people need to hear and know. I rarely ever find anyone I agree with and it is nice to know that although we are opposite sexes and different races, that we totally agree on something as deep as this. You should post on some of the why White men like Black women and Why some Black women only date White men. It would be awesome to hear your insight on those blogs!!

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  4.   2sexyb says:
    Posted: 01 Sep 10

    They are shallow. The difference is the individual's depth and core values. Bear with me because I have to try to describe things in English. A shallow vessel is easy to fill. Little depth and little capacity for being filled. Most people are really "Sheeple". They follow others (media, social customs, the norm) blindly and are not introspective. Men and women (vessels) with depth, values and spiritual integrity cannot be filled or fulfilled by sex alone. Sex without the intimacy and a deep connection is "mutual masturbation" and that is a deep as it gets. Unfortunately many marriages are "legalized prostitution". They are legally married, but the essence of the relationship is "bring money" then "you get sex" intimacy can never be reached because of the conflict of interest that is present and usually not discussed openly. Shallow people do not have the capacity or the desire for depth in terms of the relationship. As a woman, If I want a real man then I have to be real. I have to be an asset and not a liability. Women are trained to be users and liabilities. They don't want to have to "step up their game" to have a fair exchange. A female can bring nothing more to the relationship than promises, an empty suitcase, an empty heart, mind and soul. In two years or less, leave or be dismissed with half of what a man produces while making little contribution anywhere.

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    • serenity33 says:
      Posted: 16 Oct 10

      Wow 2sexyb. Well spoken and I agree totally. I am glad you said it and not me or else they would have removed it since I am a white male.;-) That is exactly what people need to hear and know. I rarely ever find anyone I agree with and it is nice to know that although we are opposite sexes and different races, that we totally agree on something as deep as this. You should post on some of the why White men like Black women and Why some Black women only date White men. It would be awesome to hear your insight on those blogs!! In the end, it all depends who says it, not what you say sadly enough because people will say the exact same thing that I say and everyone loves it but hates it when I say it. People are fickle that way.;-)

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      • serenity33 says:
        Posted: 24 Oct 10

        Wow 2sexyb. Well spoken and I agree totally. I am glad you said it and not me or else they would have removed it since I am a white male.;-) That is exactly what people need to hear and know. I rarely ever find anyone I agree with and it is nice to know that although we are opposite sexes and different races, that we totally agree on something as deep as this. You should post on some of the why White men like Black women and Why some Black women only date White men. It would be awesome to hear your insight on those blogs!! Obviously other people wouldn't like what you have to say or they would support me in this fact.

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  5.   serenity33 says:
    Posted: 01 Sep 10

    Well desire for emotional and spiritual intimacy seems to reside more with women as demonstrated by above. And let me clarify it my one statement. Sex is the easy part when it comes to the relationship for most men and some women. But for guys like me and women like you, 2sexyb, is hard without emotional and spiritual intimacy. Why do you think the desire for emotional and spiritual intimacy is more dominate in men a some women than just sex, but not in people like you and I? What makes us different? I do agree with everything you said totally but there are many people who don't. Why do you think that is?

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  6.   2sexyb says:
    Posted: 01 Sep 10

    All relationship issues boil down to trust issues. I made a comment regarding the love and lust. Without a multifaceted bond of trust on all levels of the relationship needs are going to be unfulfilled on both sides. Intimacy is into me, you see. You see into my essence, I see into your essence. This is an exchange. Feeelings of FOG or fear, obligation and guilt keep human beings from being real on so many issues. The desire to share openly and freely and the fear of exploitation from being vulnerable cand be difficult to balance, but worth the effort. You are really loving yourself through and with the other person through mutual exchange. The sex may or may not be the easy part. It depends on the individuals. Sex without passion is unidimensional. Body to body. When a real connection takes place between two people and it is heavenly before the sex, that's perfection! Hiding oneself, wearing a mask, presenting onself to

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  7.   serenity33 says:
    Posted: 31 Aug 10

    I agree with many of the women and feel sorry for the German woman in that bad marriage for 7 years. I have known many women who only get sex from their husbands and not emotional and spiritual intimacy and like in her case, they usually do end up cheating. All six of my relationships were the same way where they only wanted sex but balked at emotional and spiritual intimacy. They cheated on me and left me for someone who just wanted sex. So I know how you women feel. I personally don't think you should be with any guy that you don't have spiritual and emotional intimacy first because that is the hardest part for most men and women in my case. Sex is the easy part so it is better to keep looking for someone who shares spiritual and emotional intimacy before you get sexual with them in my book because most men and some women are like "why buy the cow and go through all the trouble of meeting all its needs and take care of it when you can get the milk for free and then leave the poor cow alone"? I know that stretches the analogy but you know what I mean.

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  8.   Jabali says:
    Posted: 09 Sep 09

    For me "overcoming" fear involves recognizing that fear and confronting it head on. That is the only way to "overcome" fear.

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  9.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 23 Jun 09

    I don't agree that "overcoming a fear of anything first begins with the understanding of the source of the fear." I think it begins with recognizing and accepting that the fear exists. For me next comes asking God to remove the fear. Even if I never understand the source, if the fear is removed, I don't care. Often the "source" is revealed as the fear is removed, but not necessarily.

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  10.   opium00 says:
    Posted: 28 Mar 09

    wow very interesting

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  11.   Lisalie says:
    Posted: 14 Jan 09

    Thank you for that interesting article.It was great help for me to get the chance to listen to it too, because I am German and have to improve my English.But about the content of your opinion- I had to live a marriage without spiritual and physical intimacy and it hurt me a lot.I tried to talk with my husband about our problems but he was not interested to get to know me emotionelly.He cheated instead of working through the problems and it took me 7 years to leave him and get divorced.What a waste of life and hopes. If there is no emotionally and spiritually intimacy women do not want physical intimacy and a marriage without physical intimacy is a sad, lonely relationship.

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    • serenity33 says:
      Posted: 22 Oct 10

      I agree with many of the women and feel sorry for the German woman in that bad marriage for 7 years. I have known many women who only get sex from their husbands and not emotional and spiritual intimacy and like in her case, they usually do end up cheating. All six of my relationships were the same way where they only wanted sex but balked at emotional and spiritual intimacy. They cheated on me and left me for someone who just wanted sex. So I know how you women feel. I personally don’t think you should be with any guy that you don’t have spiritual and emotional intimacy first because that is the hardest part for most men and women in my case. Sex is the easy part so it is better to keep looking for someone who shares spiritual and emotional intimacy before you get sexual with them in my book because most men and some women are like “why buy the cow and go through all the trouble of meeting all its needs and take care of it when you can get the milk for free and then leave the poor cow alone”? I know that stretches the analogy but you know what I mean.

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  12.   beckylyn says:
    Posted: 12 Jan 09

    I feel that both men and women want intimacy...we just go about it differently. Women want the closeness THEN the sex. Men want sex THE the closeness. Men are willing to pay for SEX because they don't want the intimacy without the intracacies a relationship entails. As I get older, I also want intimacy with minimal intricacy...but shouldn't we all be willing to handle our own business and not expect Prince Charming OR the Wife to handle it for us? Just a thought

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  13. Posted: 04 Jan 09

    All too often you hear from men how their woman is no longer interested in sex or even affection, but the odd thing is their solution is to cheat instead of working through the true reason behind it.

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  14.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 04 Jan 09

    the only thing to fear is the fear you didn't give 1000 % , any less wood be you own fault , grow and learn this 009 Bombed Les Bombed

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  15.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 01 Jan 09

    May all have a Happy and fruitful New Year , tonight we and the Johnson Family are going on Vacation on our T.V. screen , Amen

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  16.   Nevahafta says:
    Posted: 26 Dec 08

    Intimacy is very important to every relationship. Men usually on think on a physical level. I was talking to another member about mental and spiritual intimacy in I could tell he mind went...wait, this is going to be too much work. He didn't have to say it out loud. But that his reaction told me right then that if he wasn't willing to invest the time to get to know me personally he was not worth the time for me to know physically.

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  17.   katherine says:
    Posted: 11 Dec 08

    To have that intimacy you have to communicate with your partner then you can find a solution together.

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  18.   Jabali says:
    Posted: 29 Nov 08

    Interesting views. Thanks for that insight, Carolyn.

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  19.   Carolyn says:
    Posted: 26 Nov 08

    Hello, I must comment on Beckylyn's post. Very insightful! I think 'to know and be known' is even more important than 'to love and be loved.' The reason, I believe, goes to the issue being discussed here. Until and if one has done the work to really KNOW oneself (warts & all), there's no way one can expect another to do so. And, if both people in a relationship haven't dug deep enough to 'get this,' lonliness or some other form of a vacuuous, shallow energy will prevail. Here's the best definition of intimacy I've ever heard: Into me I see. Most folks don't have an intimate relationship with themselves, so it's impossible to create that with "other." Often, however, what passes for the 'real deal' (as I see it) is no more than two people becoming co-conspirators, which means: I'll pretend I don't see X in you, if you'll pretend you don't see X in me. It's the white elephant in the living room syndrome! :) I see this happening all the time! Here's to knowing thyself! Thanks for listening. Carolyn Creator of "Fabulous Femmes" Women Who Live Out Loud!

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  20.   Beckylyn says:
    Posted: 23 Nov 08

    Krockwyo - Agree partially... lack of interest to discover the pattern - why his women leave him.

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  21.   krockwyo says:
    Posted: 23 Nov 08

    This is basically what is termed an empty shell marriage. Maybe it is not a fear of intimancy but a lack of interest.

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  22.   beckylyn says:
    Posted: 22 Nov 08

    Exploring one's own "soul" to understand oneself is usually not a priority. If you choose not to undertake the effort, WHY would you expect someone else to connect with you on an intimae mind/body/spirit level? HOW would you know if there is a deep connection in the making? You need more than just SEX to keep the party going! To wake up from a wonderful evening of "swinging from the chandlier" and have not really "connected" with the person is so empty. As Kenyanito mentions sharing your life married to a "stranger", is so empty and worse than the death of a Beloved. The "give and take" of complete intimacy is a refreshing, replenishing endeavor while the chores of "trying to keep someone happy" is draining and empty. Each person owes it to themselves to find their own woundedness and joy; not make it a partner's job. Loving oneself enough to invest in oneself is a gift for you and the people around you. Love yourself and them enough to make that investment!

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  23.   kenyanito says:
    Posted: 18 Nov 08

    yes in certain circles fear can be there but thats why you have a better half.What i dissagree with is that loneliness of the marriage can be more felt than that of a widow/er..guys you have lived with someone for that long and at a snap of a finger s/he is no more...i have been there trust me..you cannot describe it..

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  24.   kenyanito says:
    Posted: 17 Nov 08

    thats the way to go Les

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  25.   Member says:
    Posted: 13 Nov 08

    we , as per advise of a far-away internet friend . Planted a tree at the gate of life to tell all our problems to upon entry , in the morning those problems have gone away . In order to start yet another Happy day . Love Les

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  26.   Member says:
    Posted: 13 Nov 08

    since finding my girl here , she puts us to sleep with smiles on our faces / everynight , may y' all be so lucky and all it takes is time , Love Les

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