Discovering the Triple Threat: Fears Behind Your Intimacy Phobia

Human emotions can often feel like a giant maze – it’s complicated, filled with unexpected turns, and sometimes, dead ends. In this maze, there’s a notorious barrier many of us encounter – the ‘fear of intimacy.’ This fear can restrict our ability to connect with others, leaving us feeling isolated and yearning for genuine interaction. Let’s take a closer look at the three core fears contributing to this overall fear of intimacy.

1. Fear of Rejection

First up is the fear of rejection, a fear so primal it goes back to the days when exclusion from a tribe was synonymous with survival threats. In today’s world, the ‘tribe’ could be a group of friends, or even a special someone, and ‘survival’ has been replaced with self-esteem.

This fear of rejection can show up in numerous ways, from avoiding social encounters to criticizing ourselves too harshly. This self-doubt can damage our capacity to form and sustain meaningful relationships.

Psychologist Mark Leary, in his ground-breaking study, noted that people tend to perceive more rejection than what truly exists. This distortion further amplifies the fear of rejection, fuelling our fear of intimacy.

2. Fear of Vulnerability

Next is the fear of vulnerability. To be vulnerable is to reveal the deepest, rawest parts of ourselves. It means lowering our defenses, leaving us open to emotional pain and rejection. Vulnerability is often synonymous with showing our true selves, our insecurities, flaws, and most hidden secrets, causing fear in many of us.

3. Fear of Abandonment

Last, but certainly not least, is the fear of abandonment. This fear often stems from previous experiences of neglect or being left alone. It’s a profound fear that those we care about will leave us, leading to emotional distress and a sense of loss.

In intimate relationships, this fear can be even more pronounced due to the emotional investment involved. The potential loss of a loved one can be emotionally devastating, resulting in an avoidance of intimate relationships.

By acknowledging and addressing these underlying fears, we can start to understand and work through our fear of intimacy. Seeking professional help, such as online psychotherapy, can be incredibly beneficial in this journey towards self-understanding and healing.

Remember, everyone moves at their own pace. Be patient with yourself and embrace the journey towards a more emotionally enriched future.


Identifying and acknowledging these fears are the first steps towards managing your fear of intimacy. With the help of mental health professionals, you can gradually work on these issues, foster healthier relationships, and live a more fulfilling life.


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