I Want To Experience Love But My Anxiety Gets In The Way

I think the idea of finding someone who truly cares for you is a beautiful and powerful thing, but I’ve never been comfortable enough with anyone to allow myself to be in such a vulnerable position. My anxiety is keeping me from experiencing love and it sucks.

  1. I don’t have a close relationship with my family. I wish I was closer to my parents and the rest of my family. Most of my family members live in Haiti and I haven’t seen them since I was five years old, so all of my relatives are strangers to me. I feel like it’s hard to build connections with others when I’m disconnected from the people I should be the closest to.
  2. I’ve had too many bad experiences with people. Growing up, I was bullied for my complexion by other kids. I remember one instance in elementary school when a girl told me I was scary looking because I had darker skin than everyone else in the class. After that, I just felt like people were always going to see me as this monster based off of my skin color alone. I’ve had way worse said to me, but that situation made me see how awful people can be and I never want to experience anything like that again. I constantly feel uneasy around people because of it.
  3. I like who I am, but I can’t imagine others finding me attractiveI’ve built enough confidence to be comfortable in my own skin, but I still have that idea that people find me scary looking engrained in my head. It’s always a surprise to me when I meet people who are attracted to me, so I guess that means that I’m not as confident as I like to believe. I still have a long way to go before I’m completely secure with who I am.
  4. I’m worried that I’ll be more insecure if I get into a relationship. I clam up when I’m around people, sometimes even around my own friends. I haven’t been clinically diagnosed with anxiety but I feel nervous and anxious whenever I’m out in public in front of an audience. It’s something that’s kept me from building strong bonds with people and I’m not sure if I’ll ever overcome it. When I’m alone, that’s when I’m in my element and when I’m the most content. I’m scared that if I choose to be committed to someone, I’ll end up feeling more self-conscious because I’d mainly be focused on being good enough for that person.
  5. Everyone I know seems to be miserable in their relationship. There are very few people in my life that have stable relationships. From friends to colleagues to family members, no one seems to be happy. They only tolerate their toxic relationships because of their own fear of being alone. I really don’t understand this. If you’re in a relationship where you’re constantly being mistreated, aren’t you technically alone? Seeing how sad my friends and family are makes me not want to be with anyone. I know there are good people in this world that won’t mistreat me, but they’re difficult to find.
  6. I don’t want to accidentally allow a monster into my life. One of my biggest fears is allowing the enemy into my private circle. I’m very selective about who I surround myself with because I want to have as much control over my life as possible. I don’t think I’d be able to sleep at night if I had a boyfriend; I’d be too worried about him screwing me over. Relationships are wildcards—you don’t know what the outcome will be and I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready to take that risk.
  7. Relationships can be such a burden. There’s a lot that goes into a relationship. When you’re with someone, you need to work with them and I prefer to work alone—I’ve never been a team player. There are too many boundaries that you can’t cross when you’re dating someone. It’s like you have to tiptoe when you’re around them and that’s annoying.
  8. Romance isn’t meant for everybody and that’s not a bad thing. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to be by yourself. You can still have people around you that care for you —you don’t need to be in a romantic relationship to feel loved. I like to tell myself this because it makes me feel better. It makes me feel like I don’t need to overcome my anxiety.
  9. I’m just focused on being happy with who I am. I still have a lot of work to do on myself. It’s easier to be comfortable when you’re alone, but I need to put myself out there because I can’t hide from the world forever. A part of me wants to be in a relationship, but before I can even make this decision, I need to be the happiest I can be whether I’m alone or in a crowd of people. I don’t want to let my fears and discomfort stop me from living my best life.
I am a writer and an artist from Connecticut.
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