You want to be in a relationship, but you’re scared of falling in love. These reasons you’re scared to love will help you overcome your fears and take healthy risks in relationships.
From Fear to Love: Overcoming the Barriers to Healthy Relationships by Raymond Kane and Nancy Kane will help you learn how to recognize and destroy barriers to authentic love. Reaching out to another and falling in love has its risks – you’ll feel vulnerable because you’re open to rejection or worse. But, the blessings of falling in love outweigh the risks.
Below are the three most common fears that hold people back from falling in love, plus three ways to overcome those fears. One of the best ways to overcome the fear of falling in love is to remember that love gets easier over time! The more vulnerable you allow yourself to be, the more you get used to it…and the easier it is to let yourself love.
Well, in one sense it gets easier: you become more familiar with each other, and learn to trust and lean on each other more. But love does get more difficult over time, too. Remember the “familiarity breeds contempt” cliche?
Being happy and growing old together is about deciding you want to be happy and grow old together! But before you can build a long-term love relationship, you need to know why you get scared when you fall for someone…
For a more in-depth perspective, read He’s Scared, She’s Scared: Understanding the Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships. It tackles the issue of “commitphobia” – which isn’t something that only men face! I was scared to commit to my husband for years before we got married.
3 Reasons Why You’re Scared of Falling in Love
Many individuals – even those who are in long-term relationships – struggle with fear of intimacy, fear of change, or fear of abandonment.
Fear of Intimacy. Even in childhood, we fear being swallowed up by another person and losing our selves. We want to be independent with our own personalities, likes, dislikes, strengths, and even weaknesses. This is one of the most common reasons why people get scared to fall in love. Fear of intimacy can involve engulfment and emotional distance.
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Engulfment occurs when we lose who we are in our relationship. We not only lose our preferences – we may not even know what our opinions are anymore! People who have a fear of intimacy may be overly anxious about losing themselves, which makes them extremely guarded and hard to know. They may fear being trapped or suffocated, which can create relationship conflict.
Fear of intimacy was the reason I got scared when I fell for my husband. How did I overcome it? A year of counseling.
Fear of Change. Sometimes we get scared when we fall for someone because we’re afraid our partner will change; other times we fear he or she won’t change at all. Even good changes can be stressful to deal with! When familiar habits and routines are changed, we feel a sense of unease because we have adjustments to make, new routines to create. Our perception of our love relationship – and even our partner – changes. And, of course, couples go through different stages of love.
Talking honestly about changes is the best way to deal with this fear of falling for someone. Discussing relationship fears, hopes, motivations, and practical issues will make changes blend in with the daily routine in a much smoother way. Even fighting about your feelings is better than repressing or stuffing them down.
Fear of Abandonment. Most of us don’t want to be alone; we’re dismayed at the thought of being rejected or abandoned. Even the healthiest people have some fear of abandonment. We know we could survive alone, but life is better and easier with others (this is a primal instinct). We fear being left, rejected, or physically or even emotionally distant from your loved ones.
Becoming independent and emotionally healthy with your own life is one way to overcome this reason why you get scared when you fall for someone.
How to Overcome Your Fear
Be aware of why you get scared when you fall for someone. The best way to overcome fear is to identify why the fear exists – and what exactly the fear is. If you have a fear of intimacy, simply knowing that you’re afraid of losing yourself and being engulfed by your relationship could prevent it from happening.
When you know what you fear about falling for someone, you’re in a better position to overcome it.
Express yourself honestly, but be objective. If you’re afraid of being abandoned, try not to suffocate your partner with excessive attention or jealousy. Talk about your feelings, write them down – see a counselor if you’re really struggling. Don’t let your relationship fears dictate your behavior or wreck your relationship.
Learn about healthy communication in love. Do you have an extreme fear of intimacy or fear of abandonment? Find out how to cope with change and how to be supportive of the person you might fall in love with. Read books, seek support groups, or talk to a counselor about your relationship problems.
Perhaps you’re not ready to fall in love – perhaps you have issues you need to deal with. Read How to Know If You’re Ready for a New Relationship for tips.
If you have any thoughts about fear of falling in love, please comment below.