Are you afraid of relationships or falling in love? Have past experiences hurt you to the point that relationships and love scare you?
If so you are certainly not alone. As we get older fear can stop us entering a new relationship because experience tells us it ends badly and we get hurt.
Pain is not something many of us volunteer for, either physical or emotional but in the same way a fear of flying can stop us travelling and enjoying holidays, a fear of emotional pain can stop us enjoying all that relationships and love have to offer.
It can become a phobia, standing on the precipice afraid to look down, all our limbs rigid with the fear of letting go .. so we choose the safe option and step back to our comfort zone of opting for just friendship.
You can tell yourself that you are happier in your safe little bubble but isn’t that how agoraphobia starts? You are not keeping yourself safe but shutting yourself off.
Some people can be quite happy single but many people just find ways to replace the human affection they miss. Getting a pet for hugs, joining a club so they have someone to chat to or leaving the television on even when they are not watching it, just for the company.
To deny yourself love is to deny being human and can lead to many safe but lonely years. What people are afraid of is not love or relationships but of losing it.
Whether you have lost your partner through death, betrayal or they simply stopped loving you, the hurt can be too much for some people and they would rather avoid a repeat performance. Check out these 5 tips for dating after divorce to help you prepare for getting back in the dating game.
Another problem after a long term relationship is you lose the ‘dating’ habit and tend to talk, think and act like one half of a relationship. This can be quite offputting both for the person you are dating and yourself, as dating seems less light hearted and fun.
It may be that you meet someone really special, someone you could easily fall in love with but the fear makes you keep them at arms length, suggesting ‘just friends’ would be better.
This really is not the answer because at some point you are going to need to get back in the game and then you will think back on those lost chances.
You may avoid the hurt that may or may not come but you will definately miss all the good times that come with falling in love and being in a relationship. So why give up a definate because a maybe might one day happen?
If your ‘friend’ starts dating someone you then have to deal with those emotions, perhaps jealousy or loneliness will become a problem for you.
I am not suggesting that the first opportunity that comes along you jump in with both feet, a blindfold on and hope for the best but at some point you are going to need to open up and let someone in .. just a little.
Friends is a good way to start and it is better to let the person know you have feelings for them but are afraid to take it further. This way if they also have feelings for you they are less likely to start dating someone else until you feel confident enough to go that one step further.
Don’t take it too slowly though or they may get bored and look elsewhere, keep them updated with your emotional progress so they know you are trying.
Remember, dating someone is not a proposal of marriage or a lifetime commitment, it’s just two people having fun and getting to know each other, so there is no need to be afraid of relationships or love.