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Could your fear of intimacy be sabotaging your relationships?

By: Natasha Archary


The numbers are in. Most people around the world fear intimacy. Many would opt for casual sex with multiple partners than get involved in a stable relationship with real feelings and intimacy.


In Western culture, 17% of adults have a deep fear of intimacy, which scientists link to an emotionally troubled childhood. The attachment theory and parenting come into play in early to late adulthood when many young people find themselves in relationships or contemplating one.

Fear of intimacy
Attachment theory and separation anxiety

Research suggests that a parent’s inability to safeguard, reassure and be present during the early childhood development stage (3 to 8 years), sets the tone for any future relationship the child may try to foster.


The attachment theory is when a child’s natural instincts is to remain close to their primary caregiver or parent at all times. Becoming emotionally distressed when a parent leaves for work or the room for that matter. In most cases, the parent returning is enough to reassure the child that they are not being abandoned.


A lack of communication and a parent who focuses on belittling and scorn instead of praise and empowering the child is also a factor. Either building a bond of trust and love or one that is forged on abandonment issues and yup, you guessed correct, a fear of intimacy. Children who go through their childhood in the absence of a parent may also have deep rooted anger issues. Brought on by questioning their worth and importance.

Fear of intimacy
Fear of intimacy in your relationships

We take this into our adult relationships, intimate or friendships, and as a result we hold everyone in our lives at arms-length. Relationships then fizzle out because one is not familiar with that deep level of intimacy.


Opening up and sharing anything that may be frowned upon is an isolating fear. And if you’re in a relationship but are terrified of letting your partner in and revealing too much, this is the first sign to take heed of.


Physical intimacy is the next. You’re either not having sex or if you are, your body’s present but you’ve mentally checked out. It’s not uncommon for people with intimacy issues to use sex as a coping mechanism. Sex makes you feel momentarily in control. It gives you a temporary high and people who are afraid of intimacy use sex to mask the pain.


For those not partaking in sex, not wanting to be touched or to get intimate with your partner is a power play of emotional ups and downs. Not many are patient or tolerant enough to accept a committed relationship minus sex.


It all boils down to insecurity 

In the end, a fear of intimacy is deeply rooted in your insecurities and where or what it stems from. You may have a fear of intimacy because you have body dysmorphic disorder and don’t want anyone to see you naked, let alone have intercourse with. This is something you need to deal with, overcome and resolve to put behind you if you want your relationships to go the distance.


At some point the mask that you’ve got it all together has to fall off. Allowing people in is not a sign of weakness. It is an indicator of a person’s ability to build stable relationships by allowing someone to invade the very core of your being. No, relationships are not easy but nothing worthy ever is.


Are you willing to let your fear of intimacy ruin your relationships?

Written by: Natasha


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Privacy Policy


POPIA ActTo promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies; to introduce certain conditions so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information; to provide for the establishment of an Information Regulator to exercise certain powers and to perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000; to provide for the issuing of codes of conduct; to provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making; to regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith.


  • section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that everyone has the right to privacy;
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  • consonant with the constitutional values of democracy and openness, the need for economic and social progress, within the framework of the information society, requires the removal of unnecessary impediments to the free flow of information, including personal information;


  • regulate, in harmony with international standards, the processing of personal information by public and private bodies in a manner that gives effect to the right to privacy subject to justifiable limitations that are aimed at protecting other rights and important interests,
  1. Definitions and Interpretation

1.1.“Personal Information” means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person and where it is applicable, identifiable, existing juristic person, including all information as defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. 

1.2  Parliament assented to POPIA on 19 November 2013. The commencement date of section 1Part A of Chapter 5section 112 and section 113 was 11 April 2014. The commencement date of the other sections was 1 July 2020 (with the exception of section 110 and 114(4). The President of South Africa has proclaimed the POPI commencement date to be 1 July 2020.

1.3. “Processing” means the creation, generation, communication, storage, destruction of personal information as more fully defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.  

1.4. “You” or the “user” means any person who accesses and browses this website for any purpose. 

1.4. “Website” means the website of the KAYA 959 at URL or such other URL as KAYA 959 may choose from time to time.   

  1. Status and Amendments

2.1. KAYA 959 respects your privacy. This privacy policy statement sets out KAYA 959’s information gathering and dissemination practices in respect of the Website. 

2.2. This Privacy Policy governs the processing of personal information provided to KAYA 959 through your use of the Website. 

2.3. Please note that, due to legal and other developments, KAYA 959 may amend these terms and conditions from time to time.  

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3.2. Where you submit Personal Information (such as name, address, telephone number and email address) via the website (e.g. through completing any online form) the following principles are observed in the processing of that information: 

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3.2.2. KAYA 959 will only process personal information in a manner that is adequate, relevant and not excessive in the context of the purpose for which it is processed. 

3.2.3. Personal information will only be processed for a purpose compatible with that for which it was collected, unless you have agreed to an alternative purpose in writing or KAYA 959 is permitted in terms of national legislation of general application dealing primarily with the protection of personal information. 

3.2.4. KAYA 959 will keep records of all personal Information collected and the specific purpose for which it was collected for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

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3.2.6. If personal information is released with your consent KAYA 959 will retain a record of the information released, the third party to which it was released, the reason for the release and the date of release, for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

3.2.7. KAYA 959 will destroy or delete any personal information that is no longer needed by KAYA 959 for the purpose it was initially collected, or subsequently processed. 

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4.2.2. The following classes of information may be collected in respect of users who have enabled cookies: The browser software used; IP address; Date and time of activities while visiting the website; URLs of internal pages visited; and referrers. 

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  1. Queries

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