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Could You Be Afraid of Closeness?

Vondie's Love Chats - Dating and Relationships Tips to Help You Find LoveDo you ever wonder why the men you’re really into aren’t that into you? (Or guys, why the women you’re really into aren’t that into you?)

Or why you don’t like the ones who are into you?

It might be that you haven’t met someone who’s right for you yet. And it could be that the guys who aren’t into you have trouble with intimacy and closeness. But, if ALL the men you like aren’t into you. And if you RARELY like the ones who are into you…

It might mean that at some level – you’re also afraid of closeness and commitment.

I know it sounds crazy! But, that might actually be why you find those unavailable guys attractive – because they aren’t into you. (I know they also probably remind you of your father or your family. That’s probably true. But, if that’s what your father or your family were like, why would you be comfortable with closeness?! You probably never had any closeness. And the closeness you did have probably wasn’t that great!)

Don’t get me wrong. I know you want love. And I know you need love. But, if you didn’t get the love you needed growing up. And if you haven’t had good loving relationships as an adult, intimacy and closeness can feel unfamiliar and overwhelming. You might even feel vulnerable and afraid without even realizing it.

So, what to do? Sometimes it helps to think about:

  • How would it feel if you had the kind of love and closeness you really want?
  • What about that kind of love and closeness would be scary? (fear of rejection, fear of getting hurt)
  • How could you get close and risk in little ways to see if the other person is safe before you get closer and risk more?
  • Would you ever want to share your vulnerable feelings and fears with the other person? (how they respond will tell you if it’s safe to share more)

When you only date people who aren’t really available, you play it safe. You might get hurt. But, you’ve been there before and you know what that’s like. It’s a bigger risk to actually get close to someone who won’t run away. Because then you’re in uncertain waters. But, if you go slow, you can test the waters to see if you want to go any further. You don’t have to jump in the deep end. In fact, it’s probably better not to. Instead you can start in the shallow end and just move forward one little step at a time.

Vonda (“Vondie”) Lozano, Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Hypnotherapist. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal and on KABC Talk Radio. Vondie offers hypnosis, counseling, and workshops in Ventura. Nearby cities include Camarillo, Ojai and Oxnard.

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