“You always have two choices: your commitment versus your fear.”
~ Sammy Davis Jr.
If you find yourself liking that new someone in your life, but are afraid of a relationship, it is important to explore why. I encourage you to befriend your fears and get curious.
Below find some common reasons why you may feel scared about entering a new relationship.
1. You Are Afraid of Being Hurt (AGAIN)
If you feel like you have not let go of a previous relationship, you may be hesitant to start a new one due to lingering pain or grief.
Something you may want to try is to write a letter (that you don’t send) to your ex or the person who hurt you to address the situation and put ALL your thoughts and emotions on paper.
Then do whatever you want with it to symbolize letting go and moving forward. You can crumple up the letter and throw it out, cross everything out, rip it to shreds, bury it in a shoebox, throw it into your bonfire in the backyard, etc., and like Elsa, let it go.
2. Fear of Emotional and Physical Intimacy
Typically, when there is fear of intimacy there is something that contributed to forming this fear early in life. This can refer to neglect, such as minimal physical contact or emotional response to us as a child. It could also mean that you experienced trauma around your physical and/or emotional boundaries.
Your experiences impact your perspective on what a “normal” relationship looks like and you may need to check if those expectations line up with the healthy partnership you desire.
Explore your attachment style for further insight and see what patterns you notice and how this has impacted your approach to relationships.
3. Fear of Commitment
So, you really like him, but you are afraid of what the commitment means. Fear of commitment is a defense mechanism, designed to protect yourself likely due to the above two reasons around past hurts or fear of losing parts of your singledom that you enjoy.
Maybe you fear losing yourself in the relationship or being rejected.
It Is important to ask yourself here:
- What do you need for a relationship to be loving, supportive, and to foster growth both as partners and as independent human beings?
That can look a little different for everyone and that’s ok.
4. Low Self Esteem
Having low self-esteem, confidence or body image can contribute to or be involved in all the fears listed above. Sometimes it can also indicate anxious and worry based thoughts.
If this is the case, explore your strengths and challenge those anxious thoughts.
What are you good at and what do you like and love about yourself? You may fear the relationship not going well, but what if things go well? That could happen, too.
If you need further help with any of the above, there are mental health professionals like me ready to help you and assist you on your journey.
Samantha Murphy, LPC – www.westhartfordholisticcounseling.com
What happens when you are scared of a relationship, and you meet someone you like?
Being afraid of a relationship does not necessarily mean that you shouldn’t have one.
We all go through many experiences in life in our various relationships-some good, some not. Each relationship that we have changes us and teaches us something about ourselves and others.
Fear is part of the human condition. and we will all experience it at times, especially when it comes to emotional risk.
There’s nothing more scary than liking or loving someone, putting your heart out there, and being vulnerable. Fear of intimacy is a very common issue. We don’t want to open ourselves up because we are afraid of being rejected or getting hurt. But getting hurt will not kill you, even if it feels that way.
When we get hurt, we can become stronger and develop more resiliency.
Resiliency is a key factor in strengthening our inner self and our psychological growth. We have a choice about whether to become bitter or better.
If you are scared of a relationship because you have not had many of them, maybe it is time to risk and get up and off the sidelines of life.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The greatest risk in life is to risk nothing and do nothing. As time goes on, most of us like people less often.
We become more picky, we know who we are, and we are able to read people more quickly and see-through false masks. So if you really like someone, seize the opportunity, because it may not come again anytime soon.
If you are scared because of painful past experiences, don’t let that hold you back from having a future.
Your future does not have to be determined by your past. Seek professional help and learn more about yourself. You can gain tremendous insight about why you pick who you pick, and your role in relationships and how they develop.
If you want to attract a healthier person, work on becoming a healthier person.
There is no limit as to how much we can grow.
If you have met someone you like, give it a chance.
We learn how to have healthy relationships by being in them, not by just thinking about them. If he doesn’t like you back the same way that you like him, oh well, at least you were in the game of life.
Most people regret the things they never did in life, not the things they did that didn’t work out. Almost every time something doesn’t work out, there’s a good reason for it and there’s something better ahead out there for you.
Step up, take healthy risks with healthy people, and open yourself up to love.
When you truly love another human being, it will be the greatest thing that ever happened in your life.
Anita Gadhia-Smith, PsyD, LCSW-C, LICSW – www.drgadhiasmith.com
You’ve found someone who interests you and that you want to get to know them more, but you’re anxious of what can come.
As we pursue new relationships, we face anxiety about the future and the past relational dynamics we have experienced.
It is perfectly normal to have anxious feelings and thoughts about the relationship and there are ways to help yourself navigate the anxiety.
We have to identify and name the anxiety we are feeling.
Take some time to write down the anxious thoughts and feelings so that you can have self-awareness of what is going on internally.
Reflect on where these anxious feelings come from-past relationships, desire to control, wanting to have the perfect relationship?
We also need to give him a chance to support you in these anxieties. Share with him your worries and concerns.
Take a chance to be vulnerable and see how he responds.
So often we let our anxiety decide the outcome instead of taking action for ourselves and seeing if the outcome we are scared of is realistic or will even happen.
By sharing it with him, he can express how he can support you or even share that he has the same concerns. It’s a risk, but the reward can outweigh the risk sometimes.
Another way to deal with the anxiety is to connect it to your inner critic.
We all have an inner critic within us. It’s the anxious, negative part of ourselves that tries to control us.
I want you to give your inner critic a name, then I want you to draw what your inner critic looks like, and last, write out the anxious and negative things your inner critic says to you or thinks.
Take a look at your inner critic and ask yourself if this person is you.
The goal is to separate your inner critic from your identity and sense of self.
The inner critic can be removed, you just need to make the decision to remove them.
Once you’ve tackled your inner critic, you have a better chance of making decisions and commitments that reflect what you truly desire and want.
Rachel Elder, LMHC, MHP – www.rachel-elder.com
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