Love Shouldn’t Be Scary, But It Is When You’ve Gone Without It For So Long

Love can be exciting, but when you’ve been single for a long time, it’s also downright terrifying. When you finally meet an amazing guy, you’d love to go all-in and fall for him completely, but there’s something holding you back. Although you’re keen to be with him, there’s also a tiny voice in your head screaming “Abort mission!” What gives?

  1. You worry that you’ve forgotten how to love. Sure, love is like riding a bicycle, but imagine getting onto that bike after years of not riding, when you have arthritis and a busted ankle. That’s what returning to love feels like when you’ve been single for ages. You feel rusty. You feel like you’re not sure how to let someone in, trust them again or have to deal with all the relationship dilemmas that are sure to crop up sometime. Ugh! It’s frustrating.
  2. You’re scared of depending on someone else. You’ve had to depend on yourself for a long time and you managed that just fine. In fact, you preferred it because you didn’t have to worry about disappointing yourself. But now that you’re letting a guy into your life, you’re going to have to depend on him at least a little. It’s scary to think he could hurt you, but remind yourself that whatever happens, you’ll always have your back and that’s all you need.
  3. You fear you’re going to repeat your past. Everyone has some story of pain and heartbreak from their past, and it’s only natural to think that you’re going to relive it with this new guy who’s keen to be with you. But who says he’s going to be like all the others? This could be the kind of love you’ve been looking for all along, but you’ll never know unless you put yourself out there.
  4. Getting out of your comfort zone is scary. You have a comfort zone as a single woman. It’s a fun, safe place from which you can live your life the way you like. Now that love’s come knocking, you fear that you’re going to have to step out of this comfort zone — and you will, because love includes compromise and will challenge you. Of course, if it’s a healthy love it will make you grow.
  5. You worry that you’ll get attached and then lose him. That feeling of being in love is the best ever. You’re practically on a high as you walk through your life. It’s exciting but the prospect of it can be a little intimidating. What if you love the feeling of being in love so much that it makes your previous single days feel boring in comparison? That’s a scary thought, especially if you have to be single again in the future. But remind yourself that you had amazing times as a single woman too and you’re the master of your happiness, no matter what happens with this guy.
  6. You’ve seen the bad relationships your friends have been through. You’ve heard and seen the crappy relationships around you and there were many times when you thought to yourself how lucky you were to be single and not have to deal with all that crap. Stepping into a new relationship can be scary because you worry that you’re going to have to deal with drama. The thing to remember is that you don’t have to. If things take a turn for the worse, you’re not bound to your boyfriend.
  7. You know relationships are hard work. You’re not under the illusion that being in love with someone is going to be a fairytale. Well, not all the time. You have to be willing to compromise, make sacrifices and work hard to make the relationship a success. It can feel daunting but if you make sure that the guy you’re with is also ready to put in the same effort, then it’s an adventure.
  8. You’re scared to lose your independence. You are a strong, independent woman, and you might be afraid that you’ll lose some of that freedom when you’re in a relationship. You might not always have time to do what you want. There might be times when your needs are placed on the back burner, but it’s really up to you to be vigilant and speak up when you need your space. You need to be a priority!
  9. It’s hard to allow yourself to be loved. Loving someone might feel scary but sometimes the real fear is that you have to open yourself up to being loved. This calls for vulnerability, which is terrifying, but it’s also rich in reward because there’s no better feeling than knowing someone loves you madly.
  10. You have to face your past issues and hurts. Getting into a new relationship means you have to deal with old issues that are sure to crop up. But just think: it’s all part of being stronger, tougher and learning about yourself.
  11. You know that happiness and pain are a team. You want happiness with someone, but you’re not keen on feeling pain. Sorry, but the two go together. The cool thing is that if you’re with the right guy, your pain is minimized; you’re happier more often than not.
  12. You fear losing your life balanceLove can be overwhelming but it doesn’t have to take over your whole life. You might need to make a few tweaks, but you can still keep a life balance going nicely. In fact, you have to — you should never make love your one and only priority. It should accommodate you and the fabulous life you’ve already got and will always have, even if it’s not around.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.