How to overcome relationship fears?
Many people struggle to find long term love, because they share common relationship fears. Fear of getting hurt, or hurt someone, fear of abandonment or brake up, fear to start or get involved into a relationship or just to end one. Here, we discuss the most common cases of those fears and share our knowledge about how to overcome them.
What is the purpose of dating and relationships?
Simply said the goal of dating is for two or more individuals to assess each other’s suitability as a long-term partner or husband/wife.
What is fear?
Fear is one of the strongest human emotions. It can take over your life in some circumstances, interfering with your ability to eat, sleep, concentrate, travel, enjoy life, or even leave the house or go to work or school. This can prevent you from accomplishing things you want or need to do, and it can also have a negative impact on your health.
Some people are overcome with fear and seek to avoid circumstances that can make them fearful or nervous. Breaking the cycle can be difficult, but there are several options. You may learn to be less afraid and cope with fear so that it does not prevent you from living your life.
Most common relationship fears.
- Fear of being hurt;
- Fear of abandonment in a relationship;
- Fear of leaving or ending a relationship;
- Fear of starting a relationship.
Fear of being hurt.
This urge for self-preservation can keep us from making the same mistakes and feeling sorrow, but it can also keep us from fully experiencing life.
When this happens, you will be unable to have a future connection that will allow you to gain perspective or knowledge as to why the previous relationship was not a good fit in the first place.
Fear-based avoidance will not protect you from suffering, rather than avoiding sources of pain, seek out sources of joy.
Consider how your thoughts and actions may have influenced what happened to you. If you learn from the problem and take charge of your ideas about the issue, the past will not repeat itself.
Even if you don’t believe you played a part in the problem you faced, you can still accept responsibility for your thoughts and feelings about it. You have the option of continuing. Allow yourself to learn from your mistakes and then move on. Leave the hurt and pain in the past.
Fear of abandonment in a relationship.
When confronted with the prospect of losing someone they care about, some people experience fear of abandonment. Everyone has to deal with death or the end of a relationship at some point in their lives. Loss is unavoidable in life and that is why it is imposible to not have it into consideration when we talk about relationship fears.
People with abandonment issues are terrified of these losses. They may also engage in practices that encourage others to depart so that the loss is never unexpected.
This type of behavior has the potential to be harmful. It has the potential to destroy relationships over time. It can also obstruct the formation of healthy bonds.
Finding psychological treatment or therapy is crucial in treating abandonment issues.
Where does fear of abandonment come from?
People may suffer true losses, rejections, or traumas as children, leaving them feeling insecure and distrustful of the world. The death of a loved one, neglect, or emotional and physical abuse are examples of catastrophic losses and traumas. They can, however, happen on a far more subtle level in everyday interactions between parents and children.
When children are distressed, they need to feel safe, seen, and soothed in order to feel secure. However, even the finest parents are only fully attuned to their children about 30% of the time, according to studies. Individuals might gain insight into their concerns of abandonment and rejection by investigating their early attachment patterns.
Understanding how their parents interacted with them and whether they had a secure or insecure attachment can provide insight into how they view relationship fears now.
When parents are continuously present and attentive to a child’s needs, secure attachments develop. Breakups in these early connections, on the other hand, might cause youngsters to build insecure attachments. People learn from an early age how to act in such a way that their needs are supplied by their parents or caregivers.
A parent who is present and meets the child’s needs one minute, but is completely inaccessible and rejecting the next, or is intrusive and “emotionally hungry” the next, might cause the child to develop an ambivalent / anxious attachment pattern. Children who have this form of attachment have a tendency to be insecure.
In order to get their needs addressed, they may cling to the parent. They may, however, find it difficult to be calmed by the parent. They are frequently uncomfortable and hesitant in their relationships with their parents, who are inconsistent in their behavior, at times available and caring and at other times rejecting or invasive in ways that frustrate the child.
How to overcome fear of abandonment?
Self-compassion is a good general practice to embrace. Dr. Kristin Neff, a researcher, has conducted studies that have revealed the benefits of self-compassion. Because self-compassion does not place as much emphasis on judgment and evaluation, it is beneficial to self-esteem development. Rather, it consists of three primary components:
It refers to the belief that people should be friendly to themselves rather than judgmental. In principle, this appears to be a straightforward task, but it is far more complex in practice.
The more people who can have a positive, welcoming attitude toward themselves and their challenges, the more resilient they will feel in the face of adversity. Even if we have been mistreated or abandoned by others, we can all be better friends to ourselves.
Being conscious is beneficial because it allows people to avoid over-identification with their thoughts and feelings, which can lead to over-identification. When people are terrified of being abandoned, they have a lot of negative thoughts about themselves, which perpetuates the anxiety.
Consider what it would be like if you could acknowledge these ideas and feelings without allowing them to overwhelm you. Could you adopt a kinder approach toward yourself, allowing these thoughts to pass by like clouds in the sky rather than allowing them to carry you away from your sense of self and, often, reality?
The more we can accept that we are human, and that we, like other people, will suffer throughout our life, the more self-compassion and strength we will be able to build.
Individuals can help themselves from believing those nasty and inaccurate signals telling them that they will be abandoned or that they are undesired if they can remember that they are not alone and that they are deserving on a regular basis.
It’s just as crucial to avoid saying anything that may make your loved one’s anxieties seem unfounded. Avoid using terms that aren’t helpful, such as:
“It’s all right; just let it go.”
“Everything happens for a reason,”.
“You didn’t truly have that happen to you.”
“How come you’re making such a huge deal out of nothing?”.
“You’re lucky; things could be a lot worse.”
Fear of leaving/ending a relationship
Some of the reasons that you may be scared to take that decision might be that:
- You don’t want to hurt your partner
One of the relationship fears that prevents us from acting on our desires: we can’t bear to hurt another person, especially someone to whom we owe a gratitude, who has been good to us, who looks to us for their safety and future, and who has high expectations of us.
Sometimes it is hard to bear the idea that you will hurt someone close to you, someone that helped you multiple times and you just can’t stand the thought that you will be the one responsible for their agony.
- You are scared.
When someone can’t gather the strength to break up with their lover, it’s often because they’re terrified of them.
You’re probably thinking that this is the case in relationships where one of the parties has an anger problem or has acted violently. Surprisingly, we may feel terrified of our partner subconsciously, even if they are the type of person who would never hurt anyone.
- You are afraid that you are going to stay alone
“I’m never going to find someone else”
“I’m going to die alone and my cats are going to eat me’ thinking”
Many people are scared that they are going to spend the rest of their lives alone, that it is already too late for them, but there are a reasonable amounts of benefits of being a loner too.
- You won’t find someone better
May be you are afraid that nobody will like or accept you or even if something comes up, you will have to start everything over again, to expose yourself to yet another person and it will not be sure if it is the one that will be with you in the long run.
You know it’s time to end your relationship, but you don’t see any other possibilities when you look around at the people you already know. You assume you’ll never find love again, so you decide it’s best to stick with your current relationship.
Do you think that it is “Too late to start again” or that you live with “Emotional numbness“? If so you can take a look at our articles about these topics and find out the answers for yourself.
Where does the fear of ending a relationship comes from?
Childhood is the place to go to explain the origins of such terrors, as it always is when trying to explain disproportionate and unlimited fears. Perhaps we are the children of a vulnerable parent whom we adored and who we would have been heartbroken to disappoint. They could have been suffering from mental or physical illness, or they could have been abused by another adult. Maybe they were counting on us to save them from sinking into despair or to justify their entire existence.
We may have formed the feeling early on that we had to adapt to their perception of us in order to avoid causing them serious harm, that our desires and needs could easily have pushed them over the edge, and that by being more ourselves, we might have crushed their spirit. We simply loved them too much while yet believing they were too weak to ask them to take on our world. We can be three years old and have already absorbed such messages without even realizing it.
As a result, we may have learned to play quietly, to control our rudeness or misbehavior, our anger or cleverness, to be incredibly cheery and helpful around the house, and to be ‘no bother at all’ to a cherished adult who already looked to have far too much on their plate.
Alternatively, we may have spent our most vulnerable years in the company of someone who reacted angrily to any displeasure created by another person. It’s difficult to comprehend how terrible an irate adult might appear to a sensitive two-year-old.
How to overcome fear of ending a relationship?
- Consider the reality that, while being in a relationship is wonderful, being single has its own set of benefits.
Instead of staying at home, worrying about how lonely you are, you could use your newly acquired free time to do all of the things you couldn’t do while you were in a relationship.
Go out with your friends and watch all the movies you’ve been wanting to see but couldn’t since your partner didn’t like them. Spend some time alone with yourself, getting in touch with your inner feelings and thoughts. You’d finally have the freedom to do anything your heart desires.
- Continue to communicate with those that care about you or find a community that can give you support. Make sure you have a strong network of friends and family to lean on. Nothing makes the prospect of breaking up seem more terrifying than feeling entirely alone.
- The concern of not being able to find someone better than your current relationship is just psychological.
Like the majority of people, you’ve probably been dumped by someone for whom you still have feelings. Your first thought was probably something along the lines of “I’ll never find another person like them.” You may have even informed them of this.
But, after a few weeks/months/years, didn’t you find someone who was far better than them? There are billions of people on the planet; it’s not realistic to believe that there aren’t significantly better partners out there for you than your current one!
“It’s better to be happy alone than miserable with someone else”.
- Not every relationship is built to last.
Remind yourself that, no matter how unpleasant your breakup is for your partner, it will be better for them in the long term than continuing in a toxic relationship with you. You’d most likely become bitter, mean, sad, and even unfaithful to them as a result. Staying with them will just make things worse.
Short-term discomfort is usually preferable than long-term pain. For a few weeks or months, your partner may be furious, unhappy, or depressed, but they will eventually get over it and heal.
Fear of starting a relationship.
Here are several reasons that are possibly holding you back from starting a new relationship:
- You’ve been hurt before
When you’ve let your barriers down and allowed another person into your life and heart, and they hurt you or betray your trust, it’s difficult to let them down again.
After all, there’s no guarantee that a new individual won’t do you harm as well. The truth is that interpersonal connections are complicated, and there’s a chance you’ll get injured again. If this individual is truly kind to you, it’s more likely that any harm they inflict to you will be unintended rather than intentional.
You might even be the one to harm them – not because you’re a bad person, but because being human requires us to flail around, attempting to navigate various maelstroms, and other people may be harmed as a result of our mess at the time.
Sitting down with the person you’re dating and having a nice, solid conversation about your anxieties is one excellent method to address this.
If you feel at ease informing them about your past experiences, they may be able to have a better understanding of your potential triggers and this way to approach your relationship fears easily.
If/when a quarrel or insecurity emerges, you can also agree on an approach that works for both of you.
- You are afraid that you may hurt your future partner, just like you have been hurt before.
If you’ve been going through a difficult emotional period, you may be aware that you’re not the best partner right now.
Indeed, if you’re exceptionally self-aware, you may see that you’re poisonous to the wrong individual.
And that’s perfectly fine.
If you find yourself in this situation, this is an excellent time to conduct some serious soul searching.
Take out a journal and go over your former relationships to see if any patterns emerge. This isn’t the time to berate yourself for past mistakes, so be honest with yourself while also being gentle.
It’s likely that some patterns of behavior and experiences will emerge, which is a good thing.
By becoming aware of them, you can make a conscious effort to address them, breaking the pattern of them repeating itself.
If you meet someone with whom you have a strong connection but are frightened of hurting them, talk to them about it.
You could be astonished to learn that the person you’re interested in has anxieties that are similar to yours.
In such a situation, you can assist each other without any expectations. Just give things time and room to develop naturally.
- You have trust issues.
If you’ve been brutally hurt, you’ve probably built up some formidable defenses.
That pain doesn’t have to come from a romantic relationship.
In fact, those who have been abused by narcissistic or borderline parents may have the most difficulty with romantic relationships.
When all, it’s difficult to trust anyone new who comes into your life after the individuals who were supposed to love, support, and embrace you unconditionally treated you cruelly.
This type of severe trauma can – and almost always will – have an impact on nearly every part of your life.
It’s likely that you won’t be able to fully recover on your own.
If you discover that this type of trauma is preventing you from having a loving, real relationship, you should seek counseling to help you go where you want to go.
- You don’t think you are “good enough”
One of the main reasons individuals are afraid of relationships is that they know they can only keep up their well-kept façade for so long before it crumbles, yet they’re too afraid of rejection to expose their true colors.
If you have close friends who know you for who you truly are, talk to them about your concerns.
Inquire about what they appreciate about you – what they think are your best qualities, what they love about you, and why they think you’re a terrific person.
Although you may be extremely critical of yourself, hearing positive feedback from people you know and trust can do wonders for your self-esteem.
YOU ARE ENOUGH JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.
- You are not sure that you have space for someone else.
If you’ve been alone for a long time, you’ve probably grown accustomed to your own company, your own preferences and habits, and so on.
You may have a strict schedule that you prefer to follow, and you dislike the thought of compromising for the sake of another person’s demands and requirements.
You may have a strong desire for companionship or sexual closeness, but you’re not sure if you have enough space in your life for another person.
After all, having any form of closeness with another person would necessitate a certain amount of time and attention on your part, unless you have a very casual “friends with benefits” relationship.
Think about something. Maybe you’re more concerned about losing essential alone time or having someone else try to dominate you than you are about being “scared” to be in a relationship.
If you still have doubts about whether or not you are ready for a serious relationship, or if you wonder if it is “too late” or “too early” – take a look at our article on the topic “Serious relationship. Too late or too early?”
The most crucial thing you can do in a relationship, like in almost every other area, is speak with your partner.
You won’t know each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and boundaries until you talk about them openly, right.
And if you’re both aware of how the other feels or is concerned about, you may take actions to resolve the issues.
You’ll have a better understanding of where you can meet halfway if you negotiate these topics together.
See if you can relieve some of the stress by reaching out to your separate families or social circles, or perhaps seeking help from a counselor or therapist, in areas where you both may be overburdened.
Counseling might be especially beneficial if you’re struggling with unresolved childhood traumas or haven’t dealt with the agony of previous abusive relationships.
Therapists can provide insights that you might not have considered, see your blind spots, and recommend a variety of approaches to help you get out of a loop.
You may also find interesting to read:
- Is it bad to be a loner? 7 Risks and Benefits!
- What couses the fear of commitment? Origins.
- How to be happy alone and how to regain joy in your life.
- Best 12 online communities for lonely people!
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