Are you afraid of loving? Do you have issues with intimacy or closeness in relationships?
From psychological research and practice, men do. But it’s not just the men. Women too have this kind of fear.
A wise man once wrote, “The most courageous act you can perform is to truly love someone.”
“I gave all to him, Doc. Why, he still left me for another woman?” cried Nerie during a Skype session.
She’s one of many who gave themselves fully to a partner because they wanted intimacy.
They made themselves vulnerable and emptied for the other person. Only to lose that love.
And now, Nerie, along with others who experienced the same pain, has become afraid to love again.
Noted psychotherapist Dr. Bob Huizenga writes on this topic of “afraid of loving”,
“To entrust yourself to another means you stand a great chance of losing that love. You give your all. You become vulnerable …. You give yourself fully to a partner because you want to feel the intimacy in marriage, and yet you fear that one day that union will be gone in one way or another. Either you or the other will leave eventually, most dramatically as in death.”
Desire for intimacy is universal. It’s human. It’s how we’ve all been wired and designed by our Creator.
Women may differ a little from men. Not just conceptually but the way they handle it.
Yet the need for intimacy and closeness in search of fulfillment remains similar.
We deal with this “fear of loving” in psychotherapy as a type of psychological woundedness. “Philophobia,” as some experts call it.
But beyond this fear seems to be a bigger emotional fear – that is to be separate and alone.
As Actress Jennifer Lopez once confessed, “I’ve always had a huge fear of dying or becoming ill. The thing I’m most afraid of though is being alone … The fear of being alone drives my life.”