Men are better known for their fear of commitment, but a fair number of them also suffer from fear of intimacy. That might sound ironic since guys are often considered to crave physical intimacy all the time, even when they have crippling commitment issues.
But intimacy takes many forms. In fact, there are four types of intimacy. Besides sexual intimacy, there's also emotional, intellectual, and experiential intimacy.
The worst thing that a man can have is intimacy issues and not know it.
But why would a man avoid intimacy? For starters, trauma or deep-seated emotional issues can be a reason.
And the fear of intimacy is very different from avoidance of intimacy. People who fear intimacy can still crave it, but they don't usually know what to do to get it.
Signs of fear of intimacy in men include low self-esteem, trust issues, and anger. Heightened sexual desire, social isolation, and even the inability to express deep emotions are signs of fear of intimacy.
So how do you know if a guy has intimacy issues? Here are the symptoms of fear of intimacy in men in greater detail.
If you feel that your man is avoiding you in some way or another, then he may have serious intimacy issues. Some people push away those they love because they fear rejection.
On some level, they believe that they are not good enough and that anyone who sees who they really are will reject them.
While all people fear rejection, most can handle it and see it as part of life. But people with the fear of intimacy problems are not so willing to take the chance.
If you see your man avoiding sexual, emotional, experiential, or intellectual intimacy, it has something to do with the fact that they cannot handle any rejection or criticism on these aspects of themselves.
Fear of intimacy can also manifest in people who are afraid of losing themselves in the relationship. When someone got vulnerable in the past and got abused for it, they can avoid getting into a similar situation by avoiding the temptation to get intimate.
Anger is one of the most common symptoms of fear of intimacy in men. Usually, this happens when the man is confronted with a situation that requires some form of intimacy.
A man with sexual intimacy issues will usually get upset whenever their partner suggests that they might have to get physical.
Having anger episodes when called upon to express their emotions is also a sign and symptom of fear of intimacy. More often than not, any man who has unexplained anger issues has intimacy problems. The anger acts as a way for him to keep anyone from getting too close for their comfort.
Anger is usually a very good way to mask vulnerability while also making it look like these vulnerabilities don't exist.
3. Low Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem is one of the clearest signs that a man has fear of intimacy issues.
A partner who has a fear of intimacy does not usually think very highly of themselves or their abilities. That is why they have problems letting people understand their emotions and thoughts.
Someone who does not think they are good enough in bed will usually try to avoid sexual intimacy. Similarly, when a man feels intellectually inadequate, he will avoid intellectual conversations.
So, if the man does not think himself good enough for a certain form of intimacy, that can seem like low self-esteem.
Typically, low self-esteem comes from childhood trauma, whereby the person was ignored by the parents as a child. Abusive relationships can also cause this problem.
If the man faced emotional abuse at the hands of a former partner, the chances are that he will have emotional intimacy issues with subsequent partners. Yes, including you.
4. Heightened Sexual Desire
Unusually strong sexual desire can seem like a sign of a strong desire for physical intimacy. But it can actually suggest a strong fear of intimacy.
People with fears often do something to cover up their insecurities. Increased demands for more sex is one of the ways men do it.
Generally, sex is used to mask a strong fear of emotional intimacy. To avoid feeling vulnerable emotionally, such men try to make it seem like they have nothing to fear by focusing on physical intimacy.
Some men would rather have sex than deal with their deep emotional issues.
Constant needs for sex can be an effective way for the man to keep his partner from knowing the real him.
Instead of addressing the issues that keep them from enjoying full intimacy, they would rather hide behind sex, exercising, or excessive partying.
On the outside, these behaviors can look normal and healthy, which is why they can so effectively hide serious intimacy issues.
These activities can also be an effective way to ensure the person does not spend as much time with the partner. That would risk them revealing who they truly are.
5. Sabotaging Relationships
Serial monogamy is usually a sign of fear of intimacy in many men. As soon as things start getting a little serious, these men try to ruin the whole thing because they are afraid of going too deep.
As a relationship progresses, the need for deeper levels of intimacy grows. Consequently, men who have certain intimacy fears will try to back off or find ways to get themselves out of the situation as soon as this starts to happen.
To avoid letting their partners know them on a much deeper level, such guys would rather destroy the relationship than make themselves emotionally vulnerable.
However, the sabotage does not usually happen consciously. These people are simply acting out of their fears without even realizing it.
Fear of intimacy makes people protective of themselves to avoid getting hurt. In most cases, past trauma is to blame for this behavior.
The list of symptoms of fear of intimacy does not obviously end here. Other problems that signal the presence of intimacy issues include having trust issues and an inability to express emotions.
Fortunately, there are ways around it. And if your partner has intimacy issues and they don't know about, you might be in a position to help them deal with the problem.
There are many ways to help a man with intimacy issues. First of all, you can teach them to accept uncertainty, understand their past, and teach them to accept their past.