These Underlying Fears Can Sabotage Your Love Life

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Most people would agree that modern dating can be tough and it’s not uncommon to feel discouraged or exhausted during the process. After a number of disappointing dates that lead nowhere, some people may mistakenly assume that all potential partners are “players, jerks, or unavailable.”

Yet these same people can witness friends who seem to meet people and have romantic relationships with far less tension. If this is you, you may think these people are lucky and you are not. Sometimes luck and chance happen (like people hooking up with their first match on a dating app – it does happen), but in other cases where someone is often dissatisfied with their dating experiences, there are usually underlying fears that run the show.

If you consciously want a lasting relationship but find that you always get a different outcome, you may subconsciously harbor the fear of losing your independence or the fear of being alone. Whether you found yourself single for long periods of time without success or had a series of relationships that weren’t right for you, chances are that if you look at your dating habits, one or both of these two fears drive you to results. Not sure what fear can impact your dating results? Keep reading to find out.

Fear of loss of independence

If you’re worried about losing your independence, you may find superficial reasons to eliminate suitable partners or walk away when you get close to someone. You may frequently be attracted to unavailable partners, or those with whom you know deep down that there is no future. Alternatively, you may be attracted to partners with an opposite fear (fear of being alone) and begin to drift away once the relationship becomes more intimate. As a result, you may find yourself continually keeping others at bay and staying single for long periods of time.

Those with this fear are more likely to have an avoidant attachment style. Once they begin to get closer to a partner, this fear may set in more strongly and they may mistakenly assume that their partner is the wrong person. This fear can manifest as thoughts such as “Something is missing,” “I don’t feel the sparks I’m looking for,” or thoughts idealizing an ex-partner and comparing their new partner to an ex. If you have this fear, you may begin to focus on the other person’s perceived flaws in an effort to bolster your argument and begin to emotionally distance yourself from the other person. You may even wonder why you’re still single and remember that you’re waiting for those sparks with “the one.”

This illusion can prevent you from deepening your own relationship patterns. Fear of losing your independence may result from growing up in a home where your emotional needs were neglected and learning to depend on yourself at an early age, or growing up in a home where your independence was compromised. muffled and often felt a lack of control. due to authoritarian guards. If either of these scenarios happened during your childhood, you may have learned that it’s hard to trust that other people will meet your needs. As a result, you may have developed an increased need for independence to deal with your environment as you grew up.

Afraid of being alone

On the other hand, the fear of being alone is a powerful motivator for staying in relationships beyond their expiration date. People who are afraid of being alone can give bad partners too many chances, jump from relationship to relationship, and have rare pockets of time when single.

If you fear being alone, you may overstrain yourself in your relationships and overcompensate for your partner’s lack of effort. You may find yourself attracted to unavailable partners or partners you need to save.

You might be more inclined to ignore red flags, fall in love with others quickly, and cling to a fantasy about a relationship’s potential instead of seeing the relationship for what it really is. This fear may manifest as thoughts such as “It’s just a temporary bad patch, we’re meant to be together” or “I know they can change”, even though they have shown you by their actions that they are unwilling or unable to change.

Those who fear being alone are more likely to have an anxious attachment style. Their early environment may have conditioned them to over-function in a relationship to keep their partner from leaving, often at their own expense. They may have grown up in a high-conflict household and have embraced the role of peacemaker or seen a parent take on that role. As a result, they may have learned to associate love with having to “fight for it” in order for it to be real and to prevent the relationship from ending. If one or both parents were absent, inconsistent, or emotionally unavailable, they may have learned to associate love with having to “earn it,” or they won’t feel worthy of receiving it.

Some people identify strongly with one of these fears while others experience both of these fears at different stages of the dating or relationship process. For example, someone may experience the fear of losing their independence during the early stages of their relationship with someone new, then once they become emotionally closer to their partner, the fear of being alone may take hold. greater influence.

When a person is unaware that they have these deep-rooted fears, they often show up in their dating habits or relationships. If one or both of these fears are present for you, it is important to know that they often develop as a form of protection that may have helped you cope with an environment over which you had no control. when you were younger. As a result, these fears may no longer serve you and could get in the way of the meaningful relationships you desire as an adult.

The first step to releasing these fears is to know which fear is most present to you and to recognize the ways in which one or both fears can impact your particular relationship patterns. If, after reflecting on your fears on your own, you find that you feel stuck, therapy can be a great way to help you overcome those fears and begin to change your relationship patterns.

Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. This message is not intended to replace professional or psychological advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your mental health professional or other qualified medical professional with any questions you may have regarding your condition or well-being.

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