You might not even realize it, but you might be the one holding yourself back from a relationship. You’ve had your heart broken, you’ve lost trust in people, and you’ve been screwed over more times than you can count.
So now you’ve created all these walls to protect yourself, which makes it harder to let anyone in. Here are the most common fears that are keeping you from finding love.
Fear Of Commitment
This is one of the most common fears, as commitment requires a person to completely put their trust into someone else and give themselves to a relationship. People fear losing part of themselves and their freedom only to get hurt. However, love is a risk, and you’ll never experience love if you’re not willing to risk committing.
Fear Of Abandonment
This fear usually stems from experience, and it can go all the way back to childhood. The overwhelming fear that people close to you will leave is often dealt with by not letting anyone close to you in the first place.
Which sounds very lonely, doesn’t it? The thing is, yes, some people will leave and others will stick around, and those who stay will make it all worthwhile.
Fear Of Intimacy
Fear of intimacy doesn’t mean you don’t long for it. Rather, it’s a defense mechanism where you fight against getting close to another person. This can be overcome as your trust grows and you build a sense of comfort around them.
Fear Of Never Meeting Someone
Your fear of never meeting someone could be preventing you from actually meeting someone, because you will act according to that mindset and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. This might make you more standoffish, it might prevent you from putting yourself out there and giving it a chance. You can’t just stay home and expect love to come to you.
Fear Of Heartbreak
This fear only really starts once you have truly experienced a heartbreak. It caused you so much pain that you can’t imagine going through it again.
Don’t live in your past. The last heartbreak taught you lessons that you can now take into the next relationship, and they might not break your heart.
Fear Of Rejection
No one likes to be told no, but if you never ask you will never receive. Isn’t better to do it and get rejected than to never do it and always wonder what if?
Sure, some people might reject you, but this will show you that they were just never right for you in the first place.
Fear Of Not Being Ready
No one is ever “ready” to be in a relationship. Sure, there are some things you should figure out alone, but part of a relationship is supporting one another in achieving your goals and being the best version of yourself anyway.
Fear Of Being Smothered
People who are afraid of being smothered are actually afraid of losing the freedom they have known while single.
The idea of partner being their “other half” and the pressure of spending so much time with them is scary. However, this can be eased by communicating with your partner and realizing that you can still take time alone, even when dating.
Fear Of Not Finding Someone Like Your Ex
Having an ex on a pedestal will leave you comparing every potential match to them. Even if you feel like someone got away, it doesn’t mean you won’t find a meaningful connection with someone else who has their own unique qualities. Different can be good. After all, things didn’t work out with that ex for a reason.
Fear Of Losing An Ex
Many people keep a close friendship with their ex after a breakup. They can’t completely let go of someone who they spent so much time with. However, such friendships can hold you back from completely moving on and may prevent suitors from approaching you.
Fear Because They Don’t Check All Your Boxes
You have a list of boxes that you expect a partner to fill. However, nobody is perfect, and that list should be rewritten and edited the more you meet people. Some people might even be the reason you add things to your list that you didn’t even know you wanted.
Fear They’ll Leave You For Someone Better
This fear is rooted in self-esteem. In RuPaul’s words, “if you don’t love yourself, how are you gonna love anybody else?”
If you feel like you are enough, then this fear will diminish and you will begin to realize that even if your partner leaves for someone else, it’s because they weren’t meant for you.
Fear Of Vulnerability And Falling In Love
With love comes vulnerability. It’s scary to completely open yourself up to someone and let them see the worst parts of you. What if they stop being attracted to you because of it?
However, it’s also the best and most rewarding feeling when you can finally be completely yourself around someone who you trust wholeheartedly and who knows you fully.
Fear You’ll Waste Time On The Wrong Person
The years are just fleeting by, and you wasted three years on a man who wasn’t worth it. You really don’t wanna lose more time. This is a fair concern, but instead of looking at failed relationships as a waste of time, look at them like lessons that make you the great person that you are. Each relationship gets you more ready for the next one.
Ironically, Fear Of Being Single
Past failure can get you stuck in a negative mindset. Wondering “Why would I go on a first date when it’ll end badly?” sets you up for the date to for sure end badly.
Instead of fearing failure in every corner, think of strategies. Make a list of your past failures and write down why you think they occurred. This will make you feel prepared to face them all over again.
Fear Of The End
You can’t go into a relationship anticipating its end. You will always have one foot in and one foot out, and you will constantly be living worst-case scenarios. Instead, allow yourself to live in the moment and enjoy the excitement of the present when things are going well with someone.
Fear They’ll Turn Out Like Everyone Else Who Hurt You
Chances are you’ve seen common traits between all of your exes, and so you’re on guard with the next person. This fear is especially present in the beginning, when you know that person is only showing their best side.
You worry that you’ll fall for them only for them to show you their true colors. Be careful not to expect the worst of someone who has never done your harm just because of someone else’s wrongdoing.
Fear You’ll Have To Settle
You’re afraid that with time, you’ll settle not only for your partner, but more generally in life. If you have high expectations for yourself, you’ll naturally have high expectations for your partner, so just believe that there are people out there who share the same ambitions and values as you, and you will find them.
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
You’re afraid you won’t be able to travel or take a new job in a different city. However, think of a partner as a sidekick who will complement your adventures rather than take them away from you. Plus, you can still do things alone, even when you are in a relationship.
Fear You’ll Get Too Caught Up, Too Quickly
If you are the kind of person who gets caught up too quickly in relationships, that’s okay. Just enjoy the ride, and the right person will never think you’re too much for it. There’s a person for everyone, so just be yourself and take a chance.
Fear They’ll Think You’re “Too Much”
This fear often stems from experience. We are often blamed for being “too much” just for having a nuturing, loving, and generous nature. We tend to forget that the right person will not only appreciate it but especially love that about us and want to return it. They will not make us feel bad about it.
Be as “much” as you want!
Fear Of The Unknown
This is a fear that doesn’t apply just to love, but to every aspect of life. The unknown is every moment that comes after the current one…so what are we going to do, stop living?
There is no avoiding the next moment, or the one after, so we might as well embrace it and make the best of it. One moment at a time.
Fearing That You’ll Get “Stuck”
You don’t want to get stuck in a boring life and wake up one day feeling like you’ve wasted all your years on a 9–5 job just to come home, cook for your spouse, do laundry, and tidy up, just to do it all over again the next day.
A relationship doesn’t mean a boring ’50s routine. Although you’ll need those productive days, love can be its own adventure.
Fear You’ll Get Too Emotional And Anxious
Love can bring out your biggest demons and resurface your deepest buried baggage. Why? Because it requires you to cave to your most vulnerable state. To be loved, you expose yourself and to love your risk rejection.
So you often overdramatize situations, read into the little things, or even become obsessed with another person. Anxiety alert!
Fear You’ll Lose Your Autonomy
There is a lot of freedom that comes with the single life. It’s completely up to you what you prioritize and how you spend your time. A relationship threatens to take away that independence, space, individuality, and autonomy.
It requires a lot of compromise and sacrifices, and it can be scary to give some things up.
Fear Of Fear
Fear itself is scary. It’s normal to be afraid that you are or will be afraid. The key here is to remember that fear can be healthy. Fear is what teaches you not to touch fire, it warns you against toxic people and helps you see the red flags.
Trust that your fears will enhance your intuition rather than let them govern your openness.
Fear Of A Reality
We live in a culture where so much of our identity lives in a cloud and social media. Not everyone gets to see who we really are, they only see a small presentation of ourselves.
Because of this, we create a superficial fear that we won’t be good enough for the person who gets to see beneath the artificial self and really gets to know us.
Fear Of Being Seen
This is a fear of being really “seen” for who we are, not just at our best, but our complete worst. Having a partner is having someone who gets us to see us cry, be angry, be annoyed, be stressed, and even be afraid.
Let’s just say we don’t look or feel our best during those times, so we fear that this will drive them away.
Fear Of Losing Touch
You like the people you’re close to now, the activities you’re investing your time in, and the healthy lifestyle you’ve taken on. It can be scary to feel like you might have to give up or at least alter all of that for someone else.
What if you lose yourself in the process and lose touch with the people you care about and the things that made you “you”?
Fearing You’ll Choose Wrong
Why can’t love be like multiple-choice exams where you know there’s a right and a wrong answer? How are you to know the person you date next is the right one?
It’s really scary to think that you might spend a lifetime and look back on it and wish you had chosen differently now that it’s too late.