I’m afraid to be alone with men, specifically those who have an interest in me. It’s like an anxiety type of fear. The one time I was alone with a guy (who was a friend that ended up liking me and I kind of liked him) I felt very shaky in my heart and my breathing and the only thought on my mind was trying to escape the situation. He asked me to prom, and I eventually had to cancel on him because I panicked. There is no explanation for it. I haven’t suffered any trauma. I can’t go on dates. Every time I plan one I end up panicking (often to the point of tears) the day before or the day of, and I cancel and then drop contact with the person out of shame. I also have a fear of commitment. I’ve never been in a relationship as a result of this. Could my sexuality be a factor of my fear? I’m likely asexual (autochorissexual) and I feel a sense of embarrassment of me being romantic and flirty with someone. What’s wrong with me? I don’t like being this way. I hate myself for it. (age 18, from US)Afraid to Be Alone with Men
Afraid to Be Alone with Men
A: I think you are describing two separate things. Asexuality is a lack of sexual attraction and desire for another person but is not based on fear. You are describing anxiety, fear and panic when you are around someone of the opposite sex. Even though you say you haven’t suffered any type of trauma, there may be some event from your past that is triggering this, but not necessarily. Some phobias don’t seem to be tied to a particular negative experience, but either way, they are very treatable.
Given the severity of the anxiety you experience related to dating, I think it is time to pursue therapy so that you can learn to feel more comfortable around others. Only by getting to the bottom of your fears will you be able to explore your true sexuality. There is no shame in being asexual, but living with fear and anxiety is unnecessary.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts