On the Fear of Intimacy

If ever there was a fear with a justified place in the human experience, it is fear of intimacy. This pen is not referring to sex. People have sex every day in this land and beyond without a single iota of emotional intimacy. Sex and love-making are two different worlds.

This pen is talking about emotional and intellectual intimacy. I’m talking about allowing oneself to be yourself with another person and trusting it is safe to do so. No relationship of any kind can be a healthy, flourishing place to be if both people can’t fully be themselves with each other. 

When you’ve absorbed enough wounds in life, such intimacy feels like an impossibility. However, because it feels like an impossibility does not mean it is one. For many of us, myself included, taking the risk of trusting is not a chump change endeavor – not by any measure. There is a close-to-my-heart saying I believe in. It’s okay to be afraid, don’t let it scare you. Meaning, if any of us wait for the fear to pass before we take the risk, we will remain stuck in place.

I have a relationship with my past wounds, my history. And, if there is one thing that gets my back up, it’s the very notion of giving my past wounds decision-making power. Yes, caution and patience are worthy allies. And with them at my side, I’ll be damned if I will allow my history to obliterate the possibility of a deeply loving relationship.


I love the idea of long walks, of holding hands, of leaning on each others shoulder, in play, and in tenderness. I love the idea of sitting quietly together, listening to music, laughing in-the-belly-hard at some comedy routine, or holding each other close if one or the other or both have been wounded in life. I think two people ought to draw close, not apart, when the road gets rocky. All these things are so deep-in-the-heart-and-soul important to me when it comes to the question of real love. And if I can’t answer this question honestly when I ask it of myself, how can I possibly answer it if I am asked by a woman?

And so it goes.