Fear of intimacy is generally a social phobia and anxiety disorder resulting in difficulty forming close relationships with another person.The term can also refer to a scale on a psychometric test, or a type of adult in attachment theory psychology.In order to meet the criteria for Intimacy Anxiety Disorder, either high anxiety in partner-social interactions and/or high anxiety in sexual interactions are present.You know a commitment-phobe when you see one on TV, or you wouldn’t have groaned every time Carrie and Mr. But in your own life, spotting that commitment-phobe in between all the “I’m not sure when I’ll be free tonight’s” is a tougher challenge. Berit Brogaard, Professor and Director of the Brogaard Lab for Multisensory Research at the University of Miami, explains how to spot avoidant attachment in the wild. But a commitment-phobe, according to Brogaard, will have “a tendency not to continue a text message thread, by replying briefly or submissively with 'K,' 'Sounds like fun,' 'Wow,' 'IDK' and so on.” So before you let them off the hook for bad texting, consider the fact that they could be emotionally unavailable. Even after a great date, you won’t hear from them anytime soon.The results of this study showed that “the rape survivors differed from the controls in reporting higher fear of intimacy…[suggesting] that the experience of rape is related to women’s discomfort in close relationships”.Fear of intimacy has three defining features: content which represents the ability to communicate personal information, emotional valence which refers to the feelings about personal information exchanged, and vulnerability signifying their regard for the person they are intimate with.
…The attachment dimensions and the FIS were significantly correlated in the predicted direction with trait anxiety”.In the study, they used the FIS and other methods to compare rape survivors with other non-abused controls.When trait anxiety was ruled out, it was found that there was “no significant differences on fear of intimacy, confidence in others’ dependability, and comfort with closeness”.Because of their experience, “intimacy feels…very frightening to most CSA survivors…To feel close to another again is to remember that this position is a dangerous one, one that might lead to being taken advantage of”.