Whether you’ve had your heart broken or you watched your parent’s marriage fall apart, you probably have some kind of relationship baggage — we all do. After all, romance complicates every aspect of our lives. You should never let fear hold you back, but that doesn’t mean falling in love isn’t scary AF.
- You have to be vulnerable. Connecting with another human being means opening yourself up to them. It’s natural for you to fear the unknown. You never know how much you’ll end up caring about the other person, and the more you care, the greater chance there is of getting hurt.
- You’re letting someone in. A romantic partner will see you at your very best and your worst. That can be pretty terrifying, considering he has the potential to break you. If you want a real relationship, you have to let down walls and you’re going to feel exposed, never knowing which flaw might make him run.
- You’re opening yourself up to heartbreak. The risk of getting hurt can be enough to swear off dating altogether. Just remember that everyone is afraid of getting hurt. He’s probably just as scared as you are. After all, you’re in this together.
- You have to learn how to trust. Opening up can take time, but the more you learn to trust one another, the more you let him in. Not only do you have to trust him with your secrets, you have to trust him not to hurt you. That doesn’t come easy, especially when you’ve been burned in the past.
- You’re giving up your independence. When you’re in a relationship, the hard truth is that you have to give some things up, one of which is your time. Instead of living separate lives, you’re living one life together. Relationships take work and in the end, it might not pay off, so the codependency can be daunting.
- You’re going to be intimate. You’re inviting someone into every aspect of your private life, both physically and mentally. He’s going to know things about you that even your best friend is blind to, and that amount of intimacy can be intimidating. The more intimate you become, the more loss you’ll feel if he leaves.
- You’ll be reminded of the past. Sadly, getting into something new can remind you of someone old, AKA the boy who broke your heart. Every relationship is different, but it can be hard not to draw comparisons with the looming fear that history might just repeat itself.
- You have to face your inner critic. Your partner is going to get to know the ins and outs of exactly who you are. It’s scary to think that someone else will know every flaw you have and secret you keep. You can try hiding your true self, putting on a front, but just remember if you can’t learn to love yourself, he’ll never be able to fully love you.
- You could be happy. If you find true happiness when you spend time together, you may just fear the loss of that special feeling. You may have been content before, but who wants to know the feeling of ecstasy and color if someday they might have to go back to a world of black and white?