Fear and anxiety delay entering a relationship

When we are fearful and anxious about entering a romantic relationship, we construct many various excuses as to why we are single. Statements such as “I am too young to tie the knot” (even though one has already entered one’s thirties a long time ago), or: “I have a successful career and unfortunately, men fear strong, careerist women” are classic examples of disguised fears that prevent people from promoting inter-personal relationships into a long-term and strong romantic relationship.

When we are fearful and anxious about entering a romantic relationship, we construct many various excuses as to why we are single

Additional common reasons for fears/anxieties that delay entering a romantic relationship are:

  • Low self-esteem – “I am fat and ugly, so I have no chance of finding a successful partner”, or: “it is too late, who would want an old lady like me?”, etc.
  • Fear of failure and separation based on past experience- “two partners I loved betrayed me, so I lost trust in potential partners”.
  • Fear of making the wrong choice- “I have the ‘talent’ of choosing the wrong woman, this is why I don’t find the one”.
  • Fear of a misinterpretation of the messages one sends out: “the fact that I am nice to her when we go out does not mean that I regard her as ‘marriage-material’. I don’t understand what I did that led her to think that we are heading towards a wedding”.
  • Fear of losing one’s freedom and independence- “by living on my own, I don’t have to answer to anyone, sharing a home and being in a couple’s relationship will suffocate me”.
  • Fear of having intimate relations- “I didn’t have sex and intimacy for so long that I am worried I will not be good enough”.
  • Fear of unsatisfying sexuality- “ever since I separated from my wife, every sexual encounter led to a failure”.
  • Fear of the routine of a partnership- “I experience fear of a relationship just by seeing my married friends and their boring and unsatisfying lives”.
  • Fear of becoming attached to someone, of marriage and of having children- “in most cases, entering a stable romantic relationship means marriage and children and I am just not ready for all this”.
  • Fear of exploitation and loss of control- “in the past, all my former partners exploited me emotionally to the point that I no longer felt like myself and doubted my decision-making”.
  • Fear of losing one’s properties- “I graduated from the university, worked hard, and saved to buy an apartment and a new car, and now, if I have a partner, she will automatically have the right to share all that I accumulated through my hard work”.
  • Fear of changing one’s personal status- “I don’t define myself as ‘in a relationship’, even though I have a good time with him and we are together for over two years”.
  • Fear of a possible separation and immense pain- “I see so many people around me getting a divorce, that I lose my trust in the marriage institution”.
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