How to recognize intimacy issues

Written by philippa jones
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How to recognize intimacy issues
Recognise intimacy issues. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Being intimate with your partner is an important part of the bonding process as a couple. Cuddling, sexual intercourse, personal conversations and sharing each others' secrets are activities that build up the closeness between you. If you or your partner has a fear of these activities and is unwilling to disclose it, you can try and analyse actions and behaviours to recognise any intimacy issues that are present. Once you have recognised intimacy issues, then you can take steps to remedy them.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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  1. 1

    Assess whether you or your partner is having difficultly with commitment. For example, if your partner is not willing to be monogamous, or you do not want to marry, this could be symbolic of fearing to be with the same person.

  2. 2

    Review the history of your and your partner's other relationships. If there have been issues of commitment, evidence of this could include cheating, divorce or always being the person to break up with somebody just when things start to get serious.

  3. 3

    Write down any problems that have occurred in the bedroom. Sexual issues are the most obvious signs of intimacy problems. In men, issues such as erectile dysfunction or impotence could signal a problem. For women, the inability to reach orgasm or the lack of sexual desire might signal an intimacy problem.

  4. 4

    Recognise if you have had a large number of one-night stands, to identify an intimacy issue. If you move from one partner to the next, then it could mean that you fear being with the same person or being intimate at all. The casual nature of the sex indicates a lack of commitment to the same person for fear of getting too close, for example.

  5. 5

    Review how many arguments have occurred in the relationship. Tension is often released through bickering, and this could indicate that another issue is underlying the relationship, such as the fear of intimacy or not being intimate frequently enough. If you feel that there are too many small arguments over minor issues, then this could be an intimacy issue.

  6. 6

    Recognise a feeling of distrust towards other people, either in yourself or your partner, to identify an intimacy issue. If you prefer not to request help, or prefer to perform tasks yourself, then you could be afraid of allowing somebody close to you because you cannot trust him.

Tips and warnings

  • Speak to a relationship counsellor if you feel you have intimacy issues.

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