Everyone longs for love but many people fear it at the deepest levels because of pain experienced in past or even a current relationship. This keeps the ego on the lookout for perceived threats to try to defend against them so that type of pain is not experienced again. But experiencing true satisfaction and fulfillment with your beloved isn’t going to happen if you don’t know how to recover from fear of intimacy.
Simply put, if defenses don’t go, love won’t flow. That feeling of safety of keeping your guard up will become a prison and your loved one will feel the pain in ways that could seriously damage, or even end what could otherwise be a beautiful relationship. Not to mention the ill effects it will have on you as you stay in a defensive posture against the one thing that could bring the greatest rewards. Here are a few tips that can help you break through those blocks and open up to giving and receiving the deepest levels of love.
How to Recover from Fear of Intimacy
1. Forgive past transgressions. This doesn’t mean you have to forget or say what happened was okay, it just means that you let go of the negative feelings and focus on feelings you prefer to have. This does not “just happen”, it’s a process, but work at it and eventually you will get there.
2. Become aware, very aware. Of yourself that is. This means pay attention to your thoughts and feelings as they come up. You will notice when you are starting to feel defensive or guarded and can work through those feelings in a way that doesn’t alienate your partner or cause you to withdraw behind the drawbridge of defenses. Remind yourself that you want to feel close and loving and feelings do not have to be reacted to. Choose a kind and loving response instead to ask for clarification if you need it or to resolve a conflict.
3. Go out of your way to share some fun with your partner. It doesn’t have to be all serious and heavy all the time. Get silly, joke around and really work on enjoying each other in new ways to breathe a breath of fresh air into your relationship. This will allow you to see each other with new eyes and past problems will be easier to overcome.
4. Work on giving your partner the benefit of the doubt. Oftentimes being on your guard creates a hostile environment where you automatically jump to bad conclusions about something your partner did or said. But if you remember they are basically a good willed person, then you can create some space to respond to them in that manner instead of reacting from a fearful ego.
5. Seek help if you need it from a personal Life Coach or marriage and relationship counselor. A trained neutral third party can help you realize things about each other that will help you work through blocks, create a deeper understanding and have healthy tools to work through conflicts.
6. Refrain from talking about your relationship problems with others who are not trained professionals. Friends and other family members are not neutral and even if they are respectful and supportive of your relationship, they can still have a tendency to offer either bad advice or be one sided and keep resentments brewing. You will also put your partner in the position of being in awkward situations with whoever you aired your “dirty laundry” to and that is hurtful for them and disrespectful of you. A spiritual leader, life coaching services, or counseling is always the best alternative.
If you follow these six steps, you should realize you are learning how to recover from the fear of intimacy and feeling deeper satisfaction and joy in your relationship. Your partner will be able to feel this new-found confidence and will respond in admirable ways. The defenses will go and love will flow and nothing is more beautiful than that.