By Seth Myers, Psy.D.
Generalization caveat: Not all men are afraid of relationships, but many men are terrified of them. Before I get into the reasons why they’re so afraid, let me first address the question of whether men are more afraid of relationships than women.
The debate about whether men and women are extremely similar or extremely different doesn’t seem to go away, and it’s largely because we have little way of proving much within the psychological arena. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll learn so much about the brain that we can definitively answer the question. Odds are, however, that the day may never come: Perhaps the social influences shaping males and females are so powerful that it’s primarily the social part, and not the biological part, that makes men and women who are they are.
Do men fear relationships more than women? The truth is that it’s hard to tell. Measuring fear of intimacy among men and women in a research sense is tricky, but one study (Thelen et al., 2000) attempted it and found that men scored higher on a Fear-of-Intimacy Scale. To women who have known men terrified of relationships, this research will come as no surprise. Continue Reading