Fear of connection, fear of loss
September 28, 2010 11:35 AM Subscribe
Extreme fear of intimacy... how do you get over it?
posted by 3491again to Human Relations (10 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm not very close to my parents and I was in an abusive relationship with a much older man for most of my teenage years and into my mid-20s.
I resent that my family did not do more to take care of me as a child, to protect me from my parents' abuse, and to help me get out of the abusive relationship when I was so young. I feel like I've never really been able to count on anyone and have a hard time trusting people.
I have wonderful friends that I'm very close to and a lot of love in my life. But I have a terrible time getting close to people romantically. I desire love so desperately and at the same time am terrified of it. When I get close to someone, truly intimate, I get all "I hate you, don't leave me" -- terrified they'll leave me and pushing them away out of fear that they'll take advantage of me.
I've dated several "nice guys" and while things went all right, I never felt much passion and they all eventually dumped me. I dated them because it felt safe and I definitely didn't want to get involved with an abusive person again.
The last person I dated triggered all kinds of feelings in me that I had not experienced since my abusive ex, who I thought was the love of my life. I broke up with him out of fear that there were too many "red flags" that he might become abusive. I'm still not sure if this was a good idea or not at this point. He was a bit self-centered and immature but he really loved me and accepted me despite my flaws.
My deepest longing, since childhood, is to love and be loved by someone amazing. I am a very devoted, submissive sort of person, and am happiest when I make a man the center of my world. On the surface, I am an ambitious, driven career person, but I don't really care about any of it. I just want a great relationship more than anything. This contributed to the abusive relationship, as I let him abuse me and stayed with him out of misplaced devotion and love. Now, I struggle between wanting to surrender fully and being terrified of it.
I'm not a red roses and picket fence kind of person and I don't dream of a white dress and all of that. I just want to have the real thing, to love someone that I respect and admire, and have him love me back.
I am in therapy (of course), but I am wondering if you Mefites can tell me what worked for you in getting over fear of intimacy and getting into healthy, loving relationships, with real passion and abandon, but safe enough so that you can trust the person and know that you will be taken care of.
Please share your stories of how you got over this, how your relationships work, anything. It's the thing I most want to do in this life... please help me.