Simply Solo Spotlight: Not Letting Fear Ruin Relationships
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Not Letting Fear Ruin Relationships
You know, there is a lot of fear in the world. Fear of failure, fear of success, fear of people or dogs or even fear of going outside. Fear motivates us, protects us, hurts us, and drives us crazy. In relationships, fear can be a killer. Now, there is a big difference between healthy caution and unhealthy fear. Healthy caution says not to get in the car with a guy you just met. Unhealthy fear says that every time he doesn’t text back, he is dead on the side of the road somewhere or with another woman.
Unhealthy fear can literally strangle a relationship. No one can survive when their partner has to know where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing all the time. This insecurity is driven by fear of them leaving you, I know, but the fear is what will eventually drive them to leave you, no matter how much they want to love you.
Fear of your partner leaving is not the only kind of fear there is in relationships. Often, there is a fear of sharing your heart with another person. This fear is prevalent in both sexes and in all relationships, be they friendships, romantic relationships, or even familial relationships. Sharing is a crucial aspect of a strong and loving relationship, but often fear can hold us back from becoming as close as we would like.
“You can only be loved to the extent that you are known.” – Pete Wilson
This quote is very true. If you are holding something back from your relationship partner, then you are afraid. Of what, that is up to you. But the point is, as long as you do not share it, you will not be fully known and therefore not fully loved. It is not their fault. You will just have this little voice in your head that whispers when they tell you they love you that “If they only knew ________, they wouldn’t love me anymore, or as much.”
In my own life, I have struggled with communicating. You see, I was never the kind of person that had many relationships. I had one good friend at a time and my family. That was about it. When I entered the dating world, I found it terrifying to share my thoughts and feelings with strangers. I mean, would I sound stupid or frivolous to them? Would they use what I told them against me? Would they make fun of me? So, I never shared. Oh, I talked enough and listened well, but nothing ever went beyond the surface.
After a series of shallow and short-lived relationships, I gave up. I figured I was just un-dateable. I figured I was just the kind of person who would take on the world alone. And I did, for quite a few years. Eventually, I was unsatisfied and lonely. My friendships were as shallow as my romantic relationships and my siblings were getting lives of their own now. Taking a deep breath, I took my first hesitant steps into the world of online dating.
For some reason, I found expressing my feelings and thoughts via email so much easier than in person. I made a few friends and even went on a few dates, but never really felt that connection. I was practicing my communication, however, and every day I overcame the fear of sounding stupid. After all, it wasn’t like these were “real people.” It was more like a story.
Then one fateful day, I went on a date with a person that I had found amusing online. Shockingly, the attraction was immediate. Oh dear, this had just become real. I’d expressed myself through email and so had he, so our conversation quickly dipped into the serious. My immediate reaction was to slam on the brakes. This was a stranger, someone I hardly knew. Did I really feel safe sharing anything with him? He did not let me get away with it, however. With atypical intensity, he ferreted out my deepest thoughts and reactions, asking questions that I actually cared about. He paid attention to my passions and I found myself gesturing wildly as I described something I had experienced.
As the date wound to a close, my fear kicked back in and I realized what I had done. How had I let my guard down so far and so fast? I slammed down the proverbial curtain and eyed him with trepidation.
Now what? Would he disappear on me? Had I scared him off? Was I too weird and strange for him to handle? He had gotten a glimpse of the real me behind the polite mask I wore almost constantly. Now would he reward that with rejection?
You see, being rejected because of you are is much more painful than being rejected when you haven’t shown anything of your true self. In that case, the rejection is personal. They saw you and did not like what they saw.
I held my breath and waited for the brush off. Instead, he stared at me with unnatural intensity.
“I really like you. How would you feel about a second date?” he asked.
“S-sure,” I stuttered, shocked from my self-flagellation.
“Tomorrow too soon?” he asked with an embarrassed grin.
Take that, fear!
Copyright 2012. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.