The real reason why you’re afraid of love and getting into a relationship again.
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All human beings share the same deepest longings: to know and be known, to hold and be held, to love and be loved, to experience connection without walls and expression without censors. And yet, when real love is staring you in the eyes, when a loving partner stands before you, you may notice a disconcerting urge to withdraw, to put up walls, or even to run. Love is scary. Believe it or not, it’s normal to be afraid.
Why Are You Afraid Of Love?
So many people are afraid of relationships because they have a fear of love. What lives inside of this urge is the subconscious awareness that to love means to open yourself to the possibility of getting hurt by losing the one you love or being rejected by them. If you pull back from the relationship, you limit the intimacy and, consequently, hedge your bets against the risk.
We have so many defenses to protect ourselves from the risk of loss. Some of these defenses are obvious and well known: We use sarcasm or dry humor to diminish moments of vulnerability. We create distractions like work and all forms of busyness. We constantly check our smartphones or become addicted to screens. And sometimes we simply drive people away on purpose. We may not realize it, but these are all ways the fear of love manifests.
Fear Of Being Hurt
This seems like the most simple answer, right?
You’re of afraid of getting into a relationship, falling in love because you’re afraid of someone coming along and hurting you. This would be so much simpler if people were honest and didn’t lie about their intentions. You wouldn’t have a fear of love if people didn’t lie. If people didn’t go out of their way to hurt others.
You’ve ben hurt so many times that you’re just sick and tired of the heartache. Now you want to protect yourself from this pain. You refuse to let it happen again. You’re not afraid of love or relationships. You’re afraid of being hurt. As far as you’re concerned: Prevention is better than the cure.
But you can avoid this pain. You can overcome a fear of hurt, love and relationships. You just have to know what to do and what to look out for. Find out if you’re truly ready for another relationship, learn to spot and avoid the wrong types of people.
Too Afraid To Give A Relationship A Chance
We’ve all been hurt, experienced rejection, ridicule, teasing, abandonment, and other experiences that have led to heartbreak and the belief that “I am not enough.” It seems almost impossible to grow up in this culture without absorbing this lie about yourself. Few people make it to adulthood unscathed from the overt and covert forms of rejection by caregivers, peers, siblings, teachers, or first lovers.
The belief is also absorbed from the culture itself, for it cannot be denied that we live in a culture of “not-enoughness.” The cultural message says: You’re not thin enough, curvy enough, muscular enough, fit enough, healthy enough, successful enough; you don’t have enough style, friends, or fun. In short, you’re just not quite right because you’re not enough.
Once the belief of “I’m not enough” takes hold, it determines many of your decisions regarding intimate relationships. And when you finally do meet a partner who is available, loving, caring, honest, and every other quality you’ve been waiting for, this latent, silent belief kicks in and the self-protective thought, “You don’t love him enough” or “You’re not attracted to her enough” is quick on its heels.
Now, instead of addressing your core belief that you’re not enough, you’ve made your partner not enough. It becomes about power. Control. Instead of allowing the relationship to deepen in intimacy with an unknown end, your fear of losing control takes over. The need for power over your heart kicks in. So you convince yourself to run, thereby controlling the outcome.
How To Overcome Your Fear Of Falling In Love.
It’s an incredible act of courage to love fully, it’s our deepest longing, yes, but it’s also our deepest fear. It takes a lot of work and one must find patience, fortitude, and commitment. Being scared of love and scared of relationships is a deep fear that takes time to heal.
Replace The Lies With The Truth.
You may know immediately that you carry the belief of “I’m not enough.” But for others, even contacting this belief can take a long time. Once you’re aware of it, the healing work becomes replacing it with the truth, which is, of course, that you are enough.
You are not without flaws, but your self-worth is not dependent on being flawless. You are worthy of love because you exist. Knowing this in your head and knowing this in your cells are two different experiences, however. So be patient with yourself as you ferret out the causes and ramifications of believing that you’re not enough and find ways of replacing that lie with the truth.
Make Peace With The Risk & Fear Of Loss.
Ultimately, the only way to love with your whole heart is to make peace with the possibility that you might get hurt. It’s our lot as human beings: Our time here is finite, and we will, at some point, separate from everyone that we love (even if it’s after a 60-year marriage). The ego believes the loss will hurt less if we shut down the passageways of the heart.
But it doesn’t work that way: Loss hurts no matter what. So you may as well love fully while you have the chance, and trust that, somehow, you will recover from the shattering heartbreak of loss.
It’s an interesting paradox: The more fully you love, the more deeply you will grieve when you lose the one you love, and the more likely it is you’ll be able to love wholeheartedly again.
There is no greater risk than loving wholeheartedly, and no risk more worth the effort it takes to get there.