Does Your Potential Partner Fear Intimacy? (Part 3 of 3)

by Jen Girard

Once you begin dating, assess whether or not the men you’re seeing are emotionally self-aware and available. You cannot force someone to open up to you, but you can be smart about being aware of signs of this and choose whom you become involved with.

Below are some signs a man might be afraid of intimacy. Typically you will notice the signs below early in the dating process.


  • He admits that he gets involved with women who are wounded or who end up hurting him.
  • He pursues you aggressively, almost desperately. He seems head-over-heels in love from date one. Then he starts to pull away or distance himself once you like him.
  • He keeps you guessing. He’s present and attentive, then he disappears. At first you think he’s into you, but then you’re not sure and you feel confused.
  • He has no track record of long-term relationships. He might be a serial monogamist who jumps from one short relationship to the next. When you count up the years he’s been single, they outnumber the years he’s been in relationships.
  • He admits his best friends are his two dogs and one cat. His pets seem to be the center of his world, and he cares more about them than anything else. Or his favorite pastime is to read alone, hike alone, go to his cabin in the woods alone every other weekend.
  • He talks about how important his work and career are to him, and he’s canceled on you more than once because of it. His work defines who he is as a person and he doesn’t know what to do with himself when he’s not working.
  • He drinks or smokes too much, or he tries to cover it up or lie about it. Even though he has a solid job, he always seems to be short on money or admits to having gambling or financial issues.
  • He spends so much time on one activity that it leaves little room for anything else. He might be obsessed with exercising, training and diet, and his free time revolves around these activities.


Below are behaviors that you and he might be able to work through with time and discussion.

  • He withdraws a lot. Whenever you disagree with him, interrupt him or do something that he doesn’t like, he gets silent and retreats. Or he might blow up in anger and then withdraw.
  • He uses excuses and lies to cover up his bad behavior. When you call him on it, he denies it. He won’t accept responsibility and won’t be honest about it. Then he’ll suddenly be open and honest about something else, and you wonder what’s going on.
  • He’s the life of the party and always has to be the center of attention. He might become bossy and loud, or share personal things about himself or you in front of strangers. You find yourself wondering why he’s so open and fun with everyone else, yet he acts like a stranger with you.
  • He’s generally negative or critical, or he blames his problems on others. He might be rude to waitstaff, or tease you or others in a mean way. He might overuse sarcasm, thinking he’s being funny.
  • He seems too perfect. He’s good-looking, successful, has a beautiful house and car, and seems like the perfect package. But you notice a lot of rules, such as you can’t bring a drink in his car, or he can’t adjust his workout schedule to meet you a bit earlier.

Understand that you cannot change your partner. Once you are in the relationship, you can share how his behavior is affecting you, describe how it makes you feel, and encourage open and honest communication. You cannot change his habits, patterns, personality, or his fear of intimacy. However, he may choose to change himself for the sake of you and the relationship.

The DateWise program provides tools to help you address intimacy issues in a direct and honest way with the men you are dating.

Ready to start your journey to love?