When many people hear about fear of intimacy in relationships or in general, the first thing that comes to mind is fear of sexual intimacy. This is also known as "genophobia" or "erotophobia". However, they are not synonymous. Intimacy is more than just a sexual connection. Before we can adequately address the fear of intimacy or why people fear intimacy, we need to understand intimacy. Because there are many cases in which the husband does not like sexual intimacy with his wife because he feels intimidated by her conquest or even the woman is very careful with her body and as such she fears intimacy.


Intimacy is that vulnerability and comfort that you feel around a specific person, but in this case your partner. Intimacy is also that closeness that you feel in your personal relationships. It can imply physical or emotional closeness, or even a mixture of both. But basically there are four main types of intimacy. They are;

1. Physical or sexual intimacy: It has to do with a sensual feeling of connection with someone.

(Video) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Abandonment Anxiety

2. Emotional Intimacy: This specific type of intimacy has to do with a deep emotional connection that you basically feel with someone. Emotional intimacy is not always easy to achieve, but it is not impossible.

3. Spiritual intimacy: This is a much deeper connection than the basic one. In general, it is about awakening and/or spiritual connection.

4. Mental Privacy: This is essentially seen insapiosexual. They connect through an exchange of ideas or deep and meaningful discussions in general.

If you are afraid of intimacy, you may be intentionally avoiding intimacy and not even realize you are doing it. However, fear of intimacy doesn't necessarily mean you don't want to be intimate. You may yearn for intimacy even though you can't seem to afford that vulnerability.



If you really want to work on your intimacy issues, there are some free online tests you can take. And your results are kept strictly confidential and are generally not shared with others. However, if you don't feel very well, you can consult a therapist to give you a personal assessment and find possible methods to solve your problems. But remember, if you take these quizzes and tests online and get shocking results, instead of doing something drastic or rushed, find a therapist to help you figure out what to do next.


In general, the fear of intimacy is the fear of being emotionally and/or physically close to another person, basically the fear of any type of intimacy, not just emotional or physical. This fear is also classified by the individual's inability to process intimate emotions and instead these emotions are basically replaced by fear. Additionally, fear of intimacy can also be defined as an expression of how you feel about the whole concept of love, of being loved. Also, the fear of intimacy arises due to many dysfunctional childhood experiences, bad heartbreaks, failed attachment theories from childhood to adulthood, etc.

Fear of Intimacy Scale (FIS) Test:

Note: If all or most of your answers are yes. So you are definitely afraid of intimacy.

1. I always feel comfortable telling someone about my past, but sometimes I feel ashamed.
Me too
B No

2. Do I usually feel very uncomfortable talking to friends or anyone in general about something that has hurt me deeply?
Me too
B No

3. I am very comfortable sharing my deepest feelings and thoughts with friends.
Me too
B No

4. When I am upset, I am sometimes afraid to show others how I feel.
Me too
B No

5. I am usually afraid to share my innermost feelings with someone close to me.
Me too
B No

6. I would feel free to tell people I care how much I care.

Me too

B No

7. In general, I feel a sense of complete unity with my family.
Me too

B No

(Video) LOVE EXPERT REVEALS Why 50% Of Relationships DON'T LAST! | Esther Perel & Mark Hyman

8. In general, I feel very comfortable discussing important issues with those around me.
Me too
B No

9. A part of me is always afraid to make a long-term commitment to friends, family, and people I know in general.
Me too
B No

10. I would feel comfortable when there was a real need to tell everyone about my experiences, even sad ones.
Me too
B No

11. I feel nervous when basically showing strong feelings of affection or any form of emotion.
Me too
B No

12. I always find it very difficult when I try to be open about my thoughts.
Me too
B No

13. I feel uncomfortable with friends who depend on meemotional support.
Me too
B No

14. I am not afraid to express my opinions or thoughts about what I don't like about myself.
Me too
B No

15. I am always afraid of taking risks and I don't like to risk hurting myself in order to build a closer relationship with someone I love very much, or even just a friend.
Me too
B No

16. I feel very comfortable giving out very personal information about myself.
Me too
B No

17. I am not nervous or embarrassed to be spontaneous with people.
Me too
B No

(Video) Pearson Business Book Club - How to Do What You Love and Get Paid For It with John Williams

18. Sometimes I feel very uncomfortable telling someone things that I don't normally say to other people.
Me too
B No

19. In general, I would feel comfortable confiding my deepest thoughts and feelings to my boyfriend.
Me too
B No

20. I don't know what to say or how to feel when my friend or family member says something very personal to me.
Me too
B No



If you're trying to study fear of intimacy, it's considered synonymous with intimacy anxiety disorder. What do we mean when we talk about anxiety disorder in intimacy? Well, intimacy anxiety disorder (IAD) is a type of anxiety disorder categorized by immense fear or anxiety of being sexually intimate with your partner. However, the order of intimacy anxiety is not limited to fear of sexual intimacy only, but also addresses fear of social interactions, etc. Furthermore, these partners tend to interfere with the ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. Some sexual interactions, such as kissing, foreplay (sexual touching), and other forms of sexual attraction, often seem unnecessary to you. The cognitions behind intense anxiety include fears of being incompetent, unqualified, and fears of being judged for how one conducts sexual interactions in general. In addition, the fear of social interactions such as romantic interest or invitations to dinner or lunch, hugging, holding hands, and any other emotional form of intimacy seems to scare him. Basically, this becomes your scale to assess yourself, and if you feel like you need professional help, don't hesitate to seek one.


1. Is it hard for you to trust your loved ones?

Me too

2. Have you had trouble forming or getting into relationships?
Me too

3. Are you very afraid of being rejected or hurt when you are with your partner?
Me too

4. Are you living in self-imposed isolation?
Me too

5. Does physical contact cause discomfort?
Me too

(Video) Attached Part 4 | Chapter 4

If all or some of your answers are "a", then you definitely have a fear of intimacy. Although in most cases the fear of intimacy is a defense mechanism. However, if you want to get over it, try to see things from your partner's point of view.


In general, the Fear of Intimacy Scale (FIS) is a 35-item self-report that can determine your level of fear of intimacy. Furthermore, this test also helps you determine the level of your fear of intimacy, even if you are not necessarily in a relationship. If you score high, it simply means that you have a very high level of fear of intimacy. But if the score is very low, then do not be afraid of intimacy. Also, fear of intimacy is the result of many things, childhood experiences, rape and/or sexual abuse, so visiting a professional can go a long way in solving your problem.


Generally, thThe fear of intimacy these days is always greater than you might think. It's a growing problem because 3 out of 5 people have experienced some form of abuse. And abuse, emotional, domestic or physical, in general, is the main cause of fear of intimacy. But no matter what, you can do it, you are stronger than you can imagine. It is possible to be cured of this. Seeing a therapist can help you on your road to recovery.


What is Universal FIS?

It is a 35-point self-assessment scale. The higher the score on the scale, the greater your fear of intimacy.

What is FIS?

FIS simply stands for Fear of Intimacy Scale.

Are fear of intimacy and intimacy anxiety disorder the same thing?

Well, I would say yes, because they both speak to an individual's fear of intimacy.

What triggers the fear of intimacy?

It can be for many reasons, but especially when the person has gone through a very dark and uncomfortable past that makes them feel that way.

Are fear of intimacy and being dead inside synonymous?

Well, no. Because being dead inside is a numbness that you feel inside, but you don't necessarily feel any form of intimacy. For example, someone who is dead inside may be open to one-night stands, but someone who fears intimacy is not.

(Video) Direct Examination of Amber Heard's Witness Psychologist Dr. Dawn Hughes (Johnny Depp v Amber Heard)



How do you score fear of intimacy scale? ›

The fear of intimacy scale uses data from a 35-question self-evaluation, which returns a score between 35 and 175, to establish whether the participant fears intimacy and how prominent their anxiety is. A high score indicates a high level of fear.

Is the fear of intimacy scale reliable and valid? ›

Two independent studies showed the Fear-of-Intimacy Scale (FIS) to be a valid and reliable measure of individuals' anxiety about close, dating relationships. Item–total analyses yielded a 35-item scale with high internal consistency and test–retest reliability.

What is the fear of intimacy test? ›

The fear of intimacy test is essential to assess the condition of a person when fear of commitment is one of the significant reasons for breakups in relationships. This test helps to diagnose and understand a person's mindset and the underlying reasons for their fear of forming close relationships.

What are the famous 36 questions? ›

The 36 questions
  • Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
  • Would you like to be famous? ...
  • Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? ...
  • What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
  • When did you last sing to yourself?
Mar 25, 2017

What are signs of intimacy issues? ›

Someone who fears intimacy may:
  • have low self-esteem.
  • have trust issues.
  • experience episodes of anger.
  • actively avoid physical contact.
  • have trouble forming or committing to close relationships.
  • have a history of unstable relationships.
  • be unable to share feelings or express emotion.
  • have insatiable sexual desire.
Jan 10, 2019

What is the normal amount of intimacy in a marriage? ›

Once a week is a common baseline, experts say. That statistic depends slightly on age: 40- and 50-year-olds tend to fall around that baseline, while 20- to 30-year olds tend to average around twice a week.

What is the root of fear of intimacy? ›

Fear of intimacy can also be due to childhood trauma, such as the loss of a parent or abuse. This causes the person to have difficulty trusting others. It could also be because of a personality disorder, such as avoidant personality disorder or schizoid personality disorder.

What does avoidant attachment look like? ›

Avoidant attachment types are extremely independent, self-directed, and often uncomfortable with intimacy. They're commitment-phobes and experts at rationalizing their way out of any intimate situation. They regularly complain about feeling “crowded” or “suffocated” when people try to get close to them.

What are the 12 forms of intimacy? ›

The 12 types of intimacy include sexual, emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, creative, recreational, work, crisis, commitment, conflict, communication, and spiritual.

What are the 4 types of intimacy? ›

To strengthen your relationships you may want to work on four types of intimacy: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual closeness.
Not all relationships involve all types of intimacy, but these four are the most common to share:
  • physical.
  • emotional.
  • mental or intellectual.
  • spiritual.
Dec 9, 2022

What are the 8 types of intimacy? ›

Volker and her women's group together developed a framework for eight types of intimate connections: affectional, emotional, social, intellectual, physical, aesthetical, sexual and spiritual.

What lack of intimacy does to a woman? ›

Self-Esteem Issues

Where physical intimacy is lacking, this can cause self-esteem problems. If your partner shows no interest in you physically, you might feel like they're not attracted to you anymore, and this can cause you to question yourself.

What is the strongest intimacy? ›

Two of the most powerful types of intimacy are emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy. Emotional intimacy is being able to share your feelings. Being emotionally intimate with another person means being vulnerable and knowing that you're not going to be hurt by them.

What is the deepest level of intimacy? ›

Level Five: My Needs, Emotions and Desires

Level five is the highest level of intimacy. It is the level that requires the greatest amount of trust. If I can't trust that you won't reject me, I'll never be able to share my true self with you. Unlike the other levels, there is no escape at this level.

What age do boys fall in love? ›

And it turns out that for most people it happens when they're quite young, with 55 percent of people saying they first fell in love between the ages of 15 and 18! Twenty percent of us then fall in love between the ages of 19 an 21, so around the time you're at university or working your first real job.

What makes him fall in love? ›

Physical attraction, sexual compatibility, empathy, and emotional connection are key to making a man fall in love with a woman.

What makes people fall out of love? ›

Communication issues and unrealistic expectations are two of the main reasons people find themselves falling out of love. But there are things that can be done to stop the fall. Relationships are hard work; they should be viewed as investments, particularly if there is a marriage.

What are the three C's in a relationship? ›

Relationship dynamics will go up and down based on communication, compromise and commitment, the 3C's.

What ruins emotional intimacy? ›

Rage, disrespect, and emotional stonewalling may not be relationship-ending in and of themselves, but continuing patterns can wear people down. An inability or unwillingness to respect your partner's thoughts, beliefs, and feelings can destroy the trust and intimacy in any relationship.

What is sexless intimacy? ›

What 'Sexless' Really Means. Technically, a sexless relationship is defined as when a couple has sex less than once a month or less than 10 times a year, says Dr. Epstein.

Is sexless marriage adultery? ›

When it comes to relationships, a lack of physical intimacy is merely a symptom of other issues in the relationship, not THE problem. A lack of sex in a relationship doesn't automatically lead to infidelity either.

Is once a week a sexless marriage? ›

Generally speaking, a sexless marriage is defined as one where the married couple has sex 10 or fewer times per year. That said, people have very different definitions of what counts as a sexless relationship and how much sex they personally want.

Is once a month a sexless marriage? ›

A sexless marriage is one in which sex has not happened for 1 year or greater. A low-sex marriage is one that is having sex 10 times a year or less. So, a marriage that is having sex roughly once a month does not meet either of these definitions.

What lack of intimacy does to a man? ›

Anxiety, stress, and depression are also common sexless marriage effects on the husband. When a husband is denied sex at home for a long time, his mental health is likely to deteriorate from stress, overthinking, and inability to release the feel-good hormone from sex.

What is the purest form of intimacy? ›

To appear to someone naked is the truest and purest form of intimacy. Nakedness in this sense does not mean without clothes. It means that an individual is able to share their inner most thoughts and feelings without fear. This type of intimacy is not possible if individuals lack self awareness.

Which attachment style has fear of intimacy? ›

Fearful avoidant attachment is one of four adult attachment styles. Those with this insecure style of attachment have a strong desire for close relationships, but distrust others and fear intimacy. This leads people with a fearful-avoidant attachment to avoid the very relationships they crave.

Do Avoidants like physical touch? ›

People with a so-called avoidant attachment style have reported in previous research that they like touch less and engage in it much less than the average. Thus, they were the perfect candidates to investigate people who could benefit from less touch.

How do dismissive avoidants show love? ›

There are a few signs to know if an avoidant-dismissive person likes you. They will spend more time together with you though they may not reveal their emotions, or feel deeply. They may discourage you or move away when you share any negative emotions rather than inquire what they are really about.

Who are love Avoidants attracted to? ›

Love Avoidants often are attracted to Love Addicts — people who are fixated with love. One characteristic of both attachment styles is the fear of authenticity and vulnerability within a relationship.

What's the next step after kiss? ›

After the kiss, pull your head back slowly to give each of you some space. If you wrapped a hand around each other, you can lightly ease off, or hold each other close for a more intimate moment. Look your partner in the eyes and smile.

What is a sexless relationship called? ›

There is no proper name for it. Celibacy implies choice, and doesn't reveal whether both partners are happy. Anecdotally, there may be many more married or cohabiting couples than statistics show who are happily, or resignedly, not having sex. Another factor to consider, and something of a buzzword, is asexuality.

What of relationships are sexless? ›

According to one study, approximately 15 percent of married couples are sexless: Spouses haven't had sex with each other in the past six months to one year. I was once in a sexless relationship.

What questions build intimacy? ›

50 questions to build emotional intimacy
  • What do you think your younger self would think of our relationship?
  • What have you learned about relationships from your parents?
  • When was the last time you cried?
  • Have your friendships taught you anything about romantic relationships?
  • What does 'work-life balance' mean to you?
Jul 23, 2021

What does a lack of intimacy look like? ›

What Is A Lack Of Emotional Intimacy? Relationships that lack emotional intimacy are characterized by feelings of isolation, disconnection, and a lack of emotional safety. Even though there's time spent together, there's no real emotional connection or understanding between you.

What intimacy means to a man? ›

Broadly speaking, intimacy means deeply knowing someone, while also feeling deeply known yourself. It is something humans crave, and though at times, it may seem more difficult for men to express it, that doesn't mean they don't need or want it.

What does true intimacy look like? ›

It is a familiar and very close emotional connection with someone. This connection grows when we form a bond with someone that is based on knowledge of each other, and shared experiences. Genuine intimacy in relationships requires communication, honesty, vulnerability and reciprocity.

How do you create deep intimacy? ›

How to nurture intimacy in any relationship
  1. Make it a point to show your appreciation. ...
  2. Make an effort to learn about each other. ...
  3. Set aside time for each other. ...
  4. Unplug and focus on each other. ...
  5. Show physical affection (even without sex) ...
  6. Tackle a project together. ...
  7. Talk about what intimacy means to you.
Apr 16, 2019

What a sexless marriage does to a woman? ›

The truth is, there are plenty of adverse sexless marriage effects on women. Such effects include: Feeling a loss of emotional intimacy/connection/friendship to her partner. Low self-esteem.

Why do wives stop being intimate? ›

Common causes for a loss of sexual desire and drive in women include: Interpersonal relationship issues. Partner performance problems, lack of emotional satisfaction with the relationship, the birth of a child, and becoming a caregiver for a loved one can decrease sexual desire.

Can I divorce my wife for not sleeping with me? ›

Constructive Desertion, Defined

Your wife, on withholding sex from you (and other acts, to be explained below), is constructively deserting the marriage, so you can file for a fault divorce — it is her fault your marriage failed.

Can you be intimate without touching? ›

Intimacy doesn't have to be through direct physical touch, either. Eye contact is also very important. Many couples will go for days without looking directly into each other's eyes.

Do men feel intimacy? ›

Men may also experience difficulties achieving intimacy because of a lack of 'emotional vocabulary'. Men often feel less able to express the way they are feeling than women, and may feel uncomfortable with discussions about emotions. However, it is important to remember it is a skill, and as such can be learned.

How long does intimacy usually last? ›

The average therapists' responses defined the ranges of intercourse activity times: "adequate," from three to seven minutes; "desirable," from seven to 13 minutes; "too short" from one to two minutes; and "too long" from 10 to 30 minutes.

How do you measure your fear level? ›

Emotions like fear are difficult to measure. On the psychological level, subjective ratings can be biased and difficult to compare. On the physiological level, multiple techniques can be used to measure the level of fear, like fMRI's, skin conductance or heart rate monitors.

How do you score a passionate love scale? ›

106-135 points = Wildly, even recklessly, in love. 86-105 points = Passionate, but less intense. 66-85 points = Occasional bursts of passion. 45-65 points = Tepid, infrequent passion.

How do you measure romance? ›

One way to measure love is to look at behaviors that people engage in to express love. Chapman (1995) theorized that there were five broad classes of behaviors that people would engage in to express love: (1) words of affirmation, (2) spending quality time, (3) giving gifts, (4) acts of service, and (5) physical touch.

What are the three components of attachment measure by Rubin's love Scale? ›

The scale is designed to measure three components of romantic love: affiliative and dependent needs, a predisposition to help, and an orientation of exclusiveness and absorption.

What are the 7 types of fear? ›

According to Soukup's study, the fear archetypes include: The Procrastinator, the Rule Follower, the People Pleaser, the Outcast, the Self-Doubter, the Excuse Maker, and the Pessimist.

What are the 3 C's in love? ›

Relationship dynamics will go up and down based on communication, compromise and commitment, the 3C's.

What are the three 3 of the most common kinds of love? ›

The three loves that she came up with are the following: Lust, Passion, and Commitment. These three loves occur in different parts of the brain and occur independently from each other. For instance, you can be “in lust” with someone but have no perceived commitment to them (e.g., one night stands).

What are the 3 love dimensions? ›

Psychologist Robert Sternberg's theory describes types of love based on three different scales: intimacy, passion, and commitment. It is important to recognize that a relationship based on a single element is less likely to survive than one based on two or more.

What is the 5 1 rule in relationships? ›

According to relationship researcher John Gottman, the magic ratio is 5 to 1. What does this mean? This means that for every one negative feeling or interaction between partners, there must be five positive feelings or interactions. Stable and happy couples share more positive feelings and actions than negative ones.

What is Rubin's love scale? ›

Rubin suggested that romantic love was composed of attachment, caring, and intimacy. Based on his research, he developed an assessment designed to measure whether a relationship involved liking or loving.

What are the 4 types of attachment theory? ›

Bowlby identified four types of attachment styles: secure, anxious-ambivalent, disorganised and avoidant.

What is an example of empty love? ›

Empty Love: An example of this is an unhappy marriage, where the intimacy or the liking for the spouse is gone, and the flames of passion have already been put out a long time ago; nothing left but the contract of marriage itself.

What is the triangulation theory of love? ›

The triangular theory of love holds that love can be understood in terms of three components that together can be viewed as forming the vertices of a triangle. The triangle is used as a metaphor, rather than as a strict geometric model. These three components are intimacy, passion, and decision/commitment.


1. EP 170: Finding Your Soulmate and Leaving Toxic Relationships Ft. Laron Profit
(Pivot with Purpose with Carla Wilmaris)
2. Community Practice: The Three Pillars of Sacred Intimacy
(John Wineland)
3. What Is Your Attachment Style?
(The School of Life)
4. Covert Borderline, Classic Borderline - Psychopaths?
(Prof. Sam Vaknin)
5. WCUS 2022 - Sun Track - Friday
(WordCamp Central)
6. What Mental Health Disorder Did Amber Heard Have? Exploring PTSD, BPD, & Complex PTSD
(Psychiatry Simplified)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Zonia Mosciski DO

Last Updated: 06/23/2023

Views: 6414

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Zonia Mosciski DO

Birthday: 1996-05-16

Address: Suite 228 919 Deana Ford, Lake Meridithberg, NE 60017-4257

Phone: +2613987384138

Job: Chief Retail Officer

Hobby: Tai chi, Dowsing, Poi, Letterboxing, Watching movies, Video gaming, Singing

Introduction: My name is Zonia Mosciski DO, I am a enchanting, joyous, lovely, successful, hilarious, tender, outstanding person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.