Questions to ask yourself if you are afraid of intimacy

So if you are afraid of a committed relationship, if you recognize yourself in one of the descriptions what steps might you take? How do you go about teasing apart the nature of your fear of intimacy?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What about an intimate relationship do you feel might be hurtful?
  2. What is your worst fear?
  3. How did your parent's relationship work? In what ways was it successful? In what ways was it hurtful?
  4. What were your relationships with your parents like when you were a small child? In what ways were they loving and supportive? In what ways were they hurtful?
  5. Are you, in some way, repeating a script of what you observed with your parents? For example, do you find yourself doing everything and feeling "walked on" like your mother?

The answers to these questions may give you some insight into your fear of commitment. Talk them over with a trusted friend. Sometimes talking with a friend can help us to learn more about ourselves. However, if selecting unavailable people as prospective partners has been a recurring problem for you, seriously consider seeking an evaluation with a psychoanalyst or a psychoanalytically-oriented therapist. These intensive treatments allow individuals to develop the requisite trust to deepen their understanding of themselves so that they can make real and enduring changes. Inability to afford treatment should not be a deterrent as there are a plethora of low fee services in the Greater Washington area.

Why do some people have profound difficulties with commitment while others seem to embrace it? True commitment can come about only when one has a clear sense of oneself. That is, a person knows who they are and what they want and need is more available for a committed relationship. Many single people intuitively recognize this and choose to work on themselves prior to entering into a committed relationship. Also, a committed relationship isn't for everyone. Some who know themselves well find it deeply enriching to take a solo flight. The key here is: just as individuals can remain un-partnered as a way of avoiding a host of painful experiences, they can marry or partner for a host of defensive reasons, such as avoiding aloneness or self-discovery. Self-understanding can help one to recognize when marriage or partnering is a growing experience and when it is a way of avoiding knowing oneself.

The column above, by Dr. Lynn Friedman, was originally published on the DC Web Women site

If you read this column, you may find this article on, Why do people engage in self-destructive and self-sabotaging behavior, to be interesting.

Also, you may find this column on, Self-concept and self-esteem self-destructive and self-sabotaging behavior, to be interest.

Seeking a consultation with Washington DC psychologist Dr. Friedman? Feel free to give her a call at: 301.656.9650

5480 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD, 20815
(1/2 block from the redline, Friendship Heights Metro)


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