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How To Overcome a Fear of Intimacy

Couple in bed looking embarrassed.
Couple in bed looking embarrassed.

We all want someone to come home to, to have our back, and to love. But along with love comes intimacy—and that can stir up different emotions in everyone. 

While intimacy is wonderful, many of us worry about becoming vulnerable.

If you want to learn how to overcome a fear of intimacy so you can share and enjoy deep, meaningful connections with those you love most…

Just keep reading! 

What Does Intimacy Mean?

When we talk about intimacy, we often believe it is sexual—but that’s not always the case.

Being intimate doesn’t just mean having a sexual relationship with someone, it also refers to a level of closeness that helps us to feel validated and safe. 

In fact, “intimacy” is synonymous with the phrase, “Into me you see.” Perfectly encapsulating the true meaning of intimacy. 

What Are the Four Types of Intimacy? 

Now we know that intimacy holds a much broader meaning, we can look at its four types. 

These are:

  1. Emotional
  2. Physical
  3. Mental
  4. Spiritual

It makes sense that the first person you ever had an intimate relationship with was a parent. 

If the people who loved you (or were supposed to love you) hurt or abused you—emotionally, physically, mentally, or even sexually—it leaves you with a very confusing and warped idea about what love and intimacy are.

When this happens, you don’t stop loving the person you were supposed to bond and connect with as a baby or child. 

Instead, we often stop loving ourselves—blaming ourselves for their unloving and unhealthy behavior, and consequently developing a deep fear of intimacy. 

Do We Choose Partners Like Our Parents? 

The mind has a need to return to what is familiar and runs away from what is unfamiliar.

So take a minute now and think about your parents…

What did you take from them that formed your belief about relationships?

If your parents were cold and distant, then your mind is likely to attract partners who have also been cold and distant too.

“My dad cheated on my mom, and he never gave her any money, and that’s so weird, because I seem to like guys that cheat and never get their wallet out.”

This is because we learn from our life experiences, then we attempt to recreate what we learned—all in the hopes of trying to change the outcomes.

We often believe we can change a cold person and transform them into a warm and caring soul.

Or convert a selfish person into someone who wants to give us everything they have.

But here’s something you need to know…

Life is way too short to change the ending—you need to change the beginning.

So what do I mean by that?

You can change the beginning by not entering new relationships with partners that resemble what you find familiar—if that’s already proven to result in an unhealthy, unsuccessful, and unhappy relationship.

Run away from the familiar and run towards what is unfamiliar instead.

You need to make what is unfamiliar, familiar. 

Questions You Need To Ask Yourself

So if you want to overcome a fear of intimacy, ask yourself these questions: 

What did I learn about love growing up?

Where did I learn about love?

How bonded was I to my mother?

How bonded was I to my father?

What did they show me in actions and words that were destructive, damaging, or limiting? 

Why do I believe that their relationship is the template I am forced to follow?

Answering these questions thoughtfully will help you realize that just because you learned what love and intimacy looked like from your parents, it doesn’t have to be how they look in your own life.

Love should not be earned, run after, bought, or worked for—it should be just there.

So remember this pattern, and stop trying to change your partner in the hopes of correcting the path your parents took because life is too short.

Instead, change the beginning (where your fear actually started), and you can overcome all your fears and limiting beliefs about intimacy.

Why Is Self Love So Powerful?

When you do find someone who is wonderful, caring, and loving—you can think they’re going to make you feel amazing. 

“I’ve found this perfect person and they’re going to make me feel so good about myself.”

But if you give someone the power to make you feel good—to complete you—then you also give them the power to take that away at any time they like. 

This can make us feel incredibly vulnerable because this person could take love away from us, whether it is intentional or not. 

It can make us feel as though we would be nothing without them, and if they left us, it would be the end of the world. 

So you have to love yourself, believe in yourself, love your relationship and know that if it ended you’d be terribly sad, but you would be able to continue.

Because the only person who can complete you, is YOU.

How To Accept Your Partner’s Flaws

Learning to love ourselves can be difficult sometimes. Especially if you’ve grown up with parents who didn’t show you the love you deserved. 

But the truth is, the best you can be is a real flawed person, having a flawed relationship with another real flawed person.

I call it “being flawesome.”

I want you to understand that I’m flawed, my husband is flawed, our kids are flawed, and our relatives are flawed. Knowing this makes it so much easier to love them and accept them—because we all have flaws.

In fact, it would be an awful thing to have a partner who is perfect because it would make you feel totally inadequate. 

This is why people don’t like perfect, glossy, shiny, and amazing people. Although we often try to present a perfect image of ourselves to others, we actually choose people who share our vulnerabilities because they allow us to bond and connect with one another. 

Those who are determined to appear perfect are very often alone and unhappy because they’re pretending to be something that doesn’t exist—nobody can be perfect.

So forget about trying to be perfect, and just be yourself. 

Let the person who loves you love the real authentic you. Let them see your flaws, just as you also see their flaws. 

How Do I Stop Comparing Past Relationships?

Your parents may not have been the greatest, and they may have done you a disservice—but they were victims of their childhood too.

If you recognize this, then you free yourself from having to follow the same pattern. 

You have the power to choose to no longer carry this around with you anymore. 

Don’t hurt yourself and others by rejecting love and intimacy. You have remarkable resilience, and to be happy, you have to forgive and forget the past. 

So be grateful for the present, be excited about the future, and love yourself so powerfully and unconditionally that you attract and accept the same from others.   

Overcome Your Fear of Intimacy for Good

Many of us are anxious about the thought of being vulnerable, and indeed love can put us in a vulnerable position.

But remember the expression, “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”

You can have deep, intimate love, a fantastic sex life, great friendships, and it can have nothing to do with how you started in life. 

It doesn’t matter what or where you came from—it’s where you’re going that counts.

You can certainly go to love, stay in love, and enjoy the joys of intimacy in all forms. Because love is available to you—it really is all around you. 

But if you could do with some help in overcoming your fear of intimacy and achieving deep connections through loving relationships, then I want you to check out my best-selling Lovability self-hypnosis audio course. 

This self-hypnosis audio course helps to powerfully reprogram your mind, so you can feel like the lovable person you really are. When you feel lovable inside, the shift is transformative and the world falls in love with you too. 

People start to experience results within the first 21 days, so make sure you listen every day to benefit from its maximum effect. 

I highly recommend it—fall in love with yourself, become intimate with who you are, and find out how easy it is to do it with others too. 



Marisa shares her 30 years of experience as a multi-award-winning therapist to celebrities, top athletes, and even royalty. She is the founder and creator of RTT®, the cutting-edge method and hybrid solution-based approach that can deliver extraordinary transformations.



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