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8 Signs You’re Afraid Of Intimacy & What It Says About Your Attachment Style

If you have a fear of intimacy, it’s helpful to get to the root of it. “Taking the time to explore and understand one’s attachment style and relationship patterns is likely the first step,” Lurie says. “Once there is a clearer understanding of one’s attachment style and how they engage in their relationships, they can be more thoughtful about how they want to engage in the future and slowly challenge themselves to seek out safe relationships to be vulnerable.”

If your partner has a fear of intimacy, healing can happen. But not until they can practice what it’s like to communicate their thoughts out loud safely.

“The most important thing is safety. If you’re going to talk to your partner about how you want to be intimate, you need to make sure to leave your judgments, assumptions, accusations, and problem solving at the door,” Gomez advises. “It’s about being open and honest with your feelings, having compassion for yourself and your partner, and listening.”

As you listen, hold them with generosity and try to avoid personalizing what they’re telling you. “It takes time to build that trust. It doesn’t necessarily say anything about you if they have trouble being intimate,” she adds. “This is not the time or place to convince them why it’s safe to be open because that will lead to ‘yeah but…’ or them shutting down if they’re not ready. If you’re even able to get to this part in the conversation, that is already a new level of intimacy.”

In self-examination, Lurie recommends looking at the overall patterns. “Attachment theory creates the illusion that we all fit neatly into these boxes [when] in reality, many of us display some different attachment traits in personal relationships or at different times of our lives,” she says. If you’re feeling blocked in your introspection, she suggests finding a therapist who can help you compassionately connect the dots and create new healthy patterns.

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