How to Help a Boyfriend Who Has Fear of Intimacy
A fear of intimacy can grow out of broken relationships with parents or the fear of getting hurt in love. Having a boyfriend who is afraid of intimacy can be challenging. He may have problems getting close and showing or receiving affection. At times, you may feel as if he is shutting you out. Helping your guy and getting more out of the relationship will involve being empathetic and going outside your comfort zone.
1 Talk Openly about His Fears
Be direct with your boyfriend. If you want to get to the root of why he may be shutting you out or not wanting to connect, try asking him about his actions and the feelings behind them, suggests clinical psychologist Seth Meyers in the article “Fear of Intimacy in Men: Cause, Relationship Problems, Tips.” Speak to him when you are both feeling calm and in a good mood. Try to be nonjudgmental in your attitude or he may feel cornered and shut you out even more.
2 Bond During Activities Together
Build intimacy by bonding with him in the same way that he bonds with other guys. Guys tend to interact and experience closeness by doing things together, suggests Helen Fisher, a researcher in human behavior. Participate in activities that you both enjoy. Compete with each other such through games such as tennis, cards or computer games. Try sharing intimate thoughts and feelings and listening to your guy during these activities. Fisher notes that he is more likely to open up when he is engaged in an activity and less likely to feel self-conscious.
3 Build Closeness
Closeness can foster intimacy. Do things that make you feel closer to each other. Help your boyfriend achieve some of his plans or goals. For example, if he hopes to get better grades this semester, be his study partner by helping him stick to a study schedule, quizzing him or working on assignments together. If he wants to increase his basketball skills, give him the time he needs to put in for practice. Support him by attending his games. Make yourself an integral part of his life so that he is comfortable in continuing to share his dreams and feelings with you in his own way.
4 Encourage Him to Get Help
If your boyfriend’s fears are more than he and you can handle together, consider suggesting that he talk with a professional therapist. A therapist can help him come up with strategies to be more responsive to the emotional needs of his friends and romantic partners. He may have to learn how to listen actively as well as how to share his feelings without being vulnerable. Ongoing fear of intimacy can be damaging to your current relationship as well as any other relationships that he becomes involved in.