The beginning of the year is often said to see a spike in couple splits, with various sources claiming that January hosts most divorce filings and couple separations. No matter what the timeline, the story of lost love is one most of us can tell.
The answer for many of us can be found within. Whether we know it or not, most of us are afraid of really being in love. While our fears may manifest themselves in different ways or show themselves at different stages of a relationship, we all harbor defenses that we believe on some level will protect us from getting hurt.
7 reasons most people are afraid of love
These defenses may offer us a false illusion of safety or security, but they keep us from attaining the closeness we most desire. So what drives our fears of intimacy? What keeps us from finding and keeping the love we say we want? Real love makes us feel vulnerable. A new relationship is uncharted territory, and most of us have natural fears of the unknown.
Letting ourselves fall in love means taking a real risk. We are placing a great amount of trust in another person, allowing them to affect us, which makes us feel exposed and vulnerable. Our core defenses are challenged. We tend to believe that the more we care, the more we can get hurt.
New love stirs up past hurts. The ways we were hurt in relationships, starting from our getting, have a strong influence on how we perceive the people we get close to as well as how we act in our romantic relationships. Old, negative dynamics may make us wary of opening ourselves up to someone new. We may steer away from intimacy, because it stirs up old feelings of hurt, loss, anger or rejection.
As Dr. Love challenges an old identity. Many of us struggle with hurt feelings of being unlovable. We have trouble feeling our own value and believing anyone could really care for us. This coach is shaped from painful childhood experiences and critical attitudes we were exposed to early in life as well as feelings our parents had about themselves. While these attitudes can be hurtful, over time, they have become engrained in us. As adults, we may fail to see them as an enemy, instead accepting their destructive point of view as our own.
When another person sees us differently from our voices, loving and appreciating us, we may actually start to feel uncomfortable and defensive, as it challenges these long-held points of identification. With real joy comes real pain. Any time we fully experience true joy or feel the preciousness of life on an emotional level, we can expect to dating a great amount of sadness. Many of us shy away from the things that would make us happiest, because they also make us feel pain.
The opposite is scared true. We cannot selectively numb ourselves to sadness without numbing ourselves to joy.
In this Webinar: What prevents most people from being able to sustain romantic, meaningful relationships that satisfy their needs and desires? Why do…. Love is often unequal. The truth is that love is often imbalanced, with one person feeling more or less from moment to moment. Our feelings toward someone are an ever-changing force. In a matter of seconds, we can feel anger, irritation or even hate for a person we love.
Worrying over how we will feel keeps us from seeing where our feelings would naturally go. Allowing worry or guilt over how we may or may not feel keeps us from getting to know someone who is expressing interest in us and may prevent us from forming a relationship that could really make us happy.
Relationships can break your connection to your family. Relationships can be the ultimate symbol of growing up. They represent dating our own lives as independent, autonomous individuals. This development can also represent a parting from our family. Love stirs up existential fears. The more we have, the more we have to lose. The more someone means to us, the more afraid we are of losing that person.
When we fall in love, we not only face the fear of losing our partner, but we become more aware of our mortality. Our scared now holds more value and meaning, so the thought of losing it becomes more frightening. In an attempt to cover hurt this fear, we may focus on more superficial concerns, pick fights with our partner or, in extreme cases, completely give up the relationship. We are rarely fully aware of how we defend against these existential fears. Most relationships bring up an onslaught of challenges. Getting to know our fears of intimacy and how they inform our behavior is an important step to having a fulfilling, long-term relationship.
One day after saying yes to dating a really nice guy I abruptly ended it. I freaked! This article says a lot and has given good explanation on why I may be sabotaging it…. Express your thoughts and feelings to him so that he is aware. In the end, what really matters is knowing yourself and that you tried your best at being a good person who is only getting and trying to live a well life. Good luck! How about the obvious elephant in the room.
The social norms are still the man pays. So I am very hesitant to date anyone knowing that most women expect the man the pay for their time which is just wrong.
Not the way to start any sort of relationship as unequal. If only women were more progressive in this topic like they are about equal wages. Both times it was so stressful and emasculating. They were so unrelenting in their criticism.
They made me feel so bad, what tiny self worth I had disappeared altogether. They constantly expected me to solve all of their problems- they wanted me to take responsibility for everything. How could I do this when they made me feel so terrible?
He loves me but is scared of getting hurt – what should i do? – 5 relationship experts share their tips + insights
How can I solve any problems when they have stripped me of my confidence? When I stood up for myself I would be met with violence. I am very old now and I have never been loved by a woman. I am a peaceful caring man I would sooner cut off my hands than hit a woman but the violent men I have known have woman dripping off them. I am physically unattractive but I deserve better.
Or do I? I know that entering into another relationship will the start of another descent into hell. This was a nice description of the problem faced in your relationship.
Why you shouldn't sabotage new relationships in fear of getting hurt
I was critical to my partner as well for not taking responsibility. Well she left ME. I wish he could meet a sensible, kindhearted, loving and insightful woman who saw what precious soul he is. And who proved it. That together they proved that entering into another relationship will not be the start of another descent into hell. And I wish the same for myself. My thing is that I attract the wrong men into my life. Bc I want to feel love and affection any guy that comes my way and gives me good attention, I fall for but sooner or later Ihe hurts me.
Like currently I like a guy who is dating someone else and bc he gives me attention even tho he ignores me at times and treats me like a slut I just focus on when he does treat me well and ignore the bad. I know I should love myself to walk away but I feel that I crave feeling wanted and love. My ex dumped me after promising me the world and showing me so much love and attention. He even told his parents that he loved me and wanted to marry me.
Just out of the blue, he feels this way then gives a vague explanation?! I hope you are doing alright Mandy. But yes, I have been betrayed by close family. You, me, nobody.
You just have to roll with the punches until you get a knock-out. What is wrong with you, is that you are asking what is wrong with you! Nothing is the answer to your question.