Why many are Scared of Love

fear of love

Why many are Scared of Love

Did you know that most divorces and breakups happen at the beginning of the year? January seeks the most separations of couples. Why is that? Speculations abound but no real reason has been pegged. It could be that people want to have a new life in the New Year. Or perhaps they see Valentine’s Day down the road and run off before it gets there. But this begs the question, why do so many breakups and divorces happen at all? One reason, lots of people are scared of an emotion that should instead empower them, love.

These fears don’t always surface at the beginning of a relationship. They may lay dormant waiting for the right trigger to bring them forth. They all come down to one thing, a fear of intimacy. And even though initially this fear is seen as a protective quality, it ultimately keeps us from the intimacy and closeness we desire most. There are lots of ways to be scared of love. See if any of these describe you or someone you know. First is fear of vulnerability. This usually happens at the beginning of a relationship. Love means letting someone else in. You are suddenly dependent upon someone else for your happiness, not just you. And this fear of vulnerability can often affect or even end a relationship, the fearful partner driving the other away.

Falling in love also brings up old scars from the past. Childhood traumas are often brought forth. Anger, resentment, neglect, rejection and fear can all resurface in conjunction of finding love in one’s life. Love can oppose our old perceptions of ourselves. We may think we’re unlovable or undeserving of love. There are those who sometimes mistake their inner critic for how they actually feel about themselves. They let those negative voices become their opinion of themselves. The inner critic is an amalgam. It is nothing but a collection of negative messages we were exposed to when we were young by our parents and others, or those which our parents felt about themselves which we internalized and made about ourselves. Other negative messages from bullies and other peers may become part of this amalgam. Eventually it gets ingrained in the individual. Falling in love, and being validated by someone who loves you, throws a wrench in that perception. And since our biggest fear is that of the unknown, the person who is loved but doesn’t feel that they deserve it doesn’t know what to do.

Some people fear inevitable pain from the elation of love. That the breakup will hurt just as bad as the love now feels. But how do you know that it won’t work out? Lastly, some people fear that the other person loves them more than they love that person. They’re afraid that this dynamic will never change. Love changes over time and moment to moment. Do not fear love. Let it be a transformative force in your life, not a blast that forces you to crouch but an updraft that makes you soar. For more advice read, Love Me, Don’t Leave Me: Overcoming Fear of Abandonment & Building Lasting, Loving Relationships by Michelle Skeen, PsyD.

Closing Emotional Distance

emotionaldistance

Closing Emotional Distance

Emotional distance occurs when couples fail to communicate how they feel, what they’re thinking, their values, and what their needs are and how they should be met. Often they then substitute anger for their fear of intimacy or vulnerability. When their partner wishes to probe further they act passive-aggressively, change the subject or even shut down completely. Those who are emotionally distant are afraid that if they do open up and reveal their innermost thoughts, desires and needs, they will be misunderstood or judged harshly by their partner. Another problem may be that their partner isn’t responding to their needs in the right way. The partner for instance may offer advice for a problem instead of listening carefully and offering validation and sympathy, the things that their partner is truly looking for. Some people are scared of intimacy because of parental neglect, abuse, or loss at an early age. They may be uncomfortable with their own feelings and have difficulty communicating them. They may also have trouble dealing with the feelings of others.

In a relationship inhabited by emotional distance, the couple may start to lead their lives such like roommates, living side-by-side but failing to connect on a deeper level. They talk about the chores and routines of the household and other surface talk but fail to pierce a deeper level of intimacy. Over time sexual intimacy may recede. Loneliness, a hollowness or hurt are some emotions that one or both partners may experience. To have their needs met some people in this type of relationship jump into other activities with more gusto such as parenting or their career. They may obsess over their social status, become substance abusers or have affairs. Eventually the couple may split.

The first thing to do to heal emotional distance is to reveal your true self to yourself and your partner. Couple’s therapy could be beneficial in helping to recognize and reverse negative patterns. It could be that one or both people need individual therapy to resolve trust issues. Restoring sexual intimacy means making it a priority and focusing on getting both partner’s needs met, rather than one meeting the others needs at their own expense. Fear and neglect can make us build up walls, but love and commitment can help break them down again. For more advice read, Emotional Infidelity: How to Affair-Proof Your Marriage and 10 Other Secrets to a Great Relationship by M. Gary Neuman.

How to be More Loving

loving

How to be More Loving

Sometimes when we are in a relationship, we don’t let on how we really feel. And we definitely don’t let the other person know how into them we really are. That would be love suicide right? It can also sabotage the relationship. The truth is the secret to a sustained love is intimacy. How are we supposed to get intimidate with someone when we can’t open up to them? Being vulnerable is not a weakness, it’s actually a strength. Does that mean you should outline all of your shortcomings and all the embarrassing moments in your life on date number one? Of course not. Let it unfold naturally. What it does mean however is that, when the time is right, you should open up and show your lover how you love, and how you wish to be loved. If they are the right kind of lover and respond in kind then you’ve got a great relationship on your hands. Remember you can’t change other people. You can only change yourself. So find the best way for you to express your love. You’ll increase your chances of getting what you really want. You want to set the tone. Shed that inner critic and instead grow into a loving, open person. And through this display you may actually get a loving open person in return.

Talk about exactly how you feel with yourself. Practice and see how the words feel. How are they to take it? Don’t overanalyze or feel mortified if you say those three little words and get nothing but crickets. That’s how you feel and that’s alright. Just tell them that then change the subject. But at least you were honest and passionate and said how you felt. It may warm them up to you. They may just need some time. Or they may warm right up to you. Granted, don’t do it on the first date. But if things have been going spectacularly and it slips out on the sixth or seventh date, it’s no big deal. Don’t get caught up in a this-for-that mentality. If you feel it just say it and don’t worry about the next part. Be kind and loving but don’t attach strings. Be generous with your love toward your partner. Take part in shared interests to build your bond together. Whether it be a foot massage or letting them handle the remote once in a while, take part in acts that they will find loving. Make sure you are with the right person. Take your time and wait until you feel comfortable. But if you are with the right partner and it’s the right time. Open yourself up. Love more and show them how to love more. It will open up a whole new world for you. You’ll be so loved and feel so alive. For more advice read, Love is a Verb: 30 Days to Improving your Relationship Communication by Simeon Lindstrom.

Do you have a hard time Accepting Love?

acceptlove

Do you have a hard time Accepting Love?

Do you have someone in your life who is tired of you blocking them out? Have you come across real love which felt so unreal to you that you just can’t accept it? Do you have a hard time accepting love? Here are some clues that will let you know whether you are just suffering from a general anxiety or you have a specific issue dealing with accepting love. Once you identify the specific root of the issue, you can best cope with or solve it.

First, do you pursue romantic partners who are unavailable? If you have a trend of dating married people, those who clearly aren’t ready for a relationship or those who for some reason or another cannot commit in a normal relationship, you could have a specific problem accepting real love. Relationships are just surface relationships without any strings. Are you the type that believes that you yourself aren’t worthy of love? Do you believe you have to change yourself, or go through some sort of battle or difficulty in order to be worthy of love? If you feel uneasy because you are in a relationship where someone wants to love you, but you feel as though you haven’t earned that love, you may be having trouble accepting real love.

Do you hide from people when you have problems? If you hide problems, particularly from the person you’re dating, canceling plans in order to be alone and sulk, but say that you are fine you may have trouble having a healthy, loving relationship. You believe that you can’t lean on someone else and need to keep your coping skills sharp, than you aren’t looking forward to a future with this person. And if you aren’t seeing them in your life, it means you have a hard time seeing yourself with someone long term, ergo you have a hard time accepting love and your identity becoming part of a larger, long term relationship. Have you ever shared something with the person you’re dating, something personal, and then regretted it? Worse is when you’re frustrated by it. This shows that you have a hard time letting people in. You’ve thrown up walls in order to protect yourself, only to find yourself alone within. It’s lonely in there. But to let someone in, you have to let your guard down and be vulnerable. But if you can’t, or it hurts to or if you have an internal conflict about it than you have a hard time accepting love.

What do you do about it? Start taking little steps with someone you can trust, and love and who loves you in a committed relationship, and congratulate yourself when you succeed. Do trust exercises. Try couple’s counseling, or even a couple’s retreat. Or perhaps only personal counseling is needed. Heal your problems with accepting love and you will find a happiness you never knew you could have. For more advice read, Receiving Love: Transform your Relationship by Letting Yourself Be Loved by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D.

Signs your Lover is a Narcissist

BAD-DATE

Signs your Lover is a Narcissist

Sure, confidence can be sexy. But narcissism is way too much of a good thing. You can’t build intimacy with a narcissist. They refuse to let anyone in and be vulnerable. Without vulnerability there is no intimacy, what most of us call love. Usually narcissists take and take, without giving anything in return. They are the center of the universe and you are lucky just to be associated as their partner and should do everything in your power to keep them happy. Though there is a rumor that all narcissists are sex addicts or substance abusers, this is patently false. There are many who are not. Narcissism exists on a spectrum. This is the new way of thinking about lots of psychological disorders actually.

Narcissists have a grandiose sense of themselves. They are conceited, self-centered, who are completely unaware or disinterested in the needs of others around them, including those in their relationship. On the outer edges, narcissists lack total empathy. They are opportunists who will do anything to get ahead at others’ expense. Though they may seem vein and full of themselves, in fact narcissists use this façade to cover up a tremendously low self-esteem, self-image and self-worth. In this case, they will lash out ferociously at anyone who diminishes or goes against their opinion or wishes. Though someone may be conceited, these can have healthy relationships. Narcissists can’t. Here are the signs that your lover is a narcissist.

Narcissists need the focus to be on them, constantly. Any little thought, gesture or compliment is only to appease you in an effort to refocus on the narcissist. These can be very manipulative sorts. Once they get their hooks in you, you soon realize that everything is about them and every move you make, yourself or in your relationship, is to please them, or to make sure that they don’t become displeased. Anyone the narcissist is attached to is extraordinary. They are a reflection of them after all. So they must be. That includes you. It’s important to the narcissist that you reflect upon them appropriately.

A narcissist is forever demanding. They will control you in overt or covert ways to get what they want. They have an agenda that everyone must follow. If they feel they are challenged or contradicted in any way, they will explode. It is hard to have one’s true needs or feelings heard by a narcissist. Challengers will be cut to the quick, and the narcissist may feel repressed anger at this person moving forward. If you don’t feed their ego, you are no longer of consequence to them and they will cut you loose. If you no longer reflect their glory or perfection you will get tossed aside as a liability. For more get yourself a copy of, The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family by Eleanor Payson.