I Want A Relationship But When The Time Comes To Start One, I Freak Out

I’m like a walking, talking paradox when it comes to new relationships. I SAY that I want to be in one, but the second the opportunity presents itself, I instantly start doubting and run top speed in the other direction. Why do I do this?!

  1. A part of me is afraid of getting hurt again. Breaking up is hard, but what’s even harder is getting into another relationship after getting your heart shattered. My head might be thinking it’s a good idea, but my heart is saying no to it. I guess I just don’t want to risk the hurt that comes with relationships ending. I guess that’s why I freak out a bit when a new relationship presents itself to me.
  2. I almost feel like my body has an allergic reaction to it. I literally feel myself cower away when a guy is trying to get me to be his girlfriend. I’ll pretty much just close myself off physically to him. It’s just so obvious that I’m afraid. I mean, it’s written all over my body language.
  3. I start thinking, “What if he’s not ‘The One’?” I tend to have an all or nothing attitude when it comes to relationships, and if I get an inkling that he’s not the absolute perfect guy then I start to get nervous. I just don’t wanna get stuck with someone, you know? Then I’ll have to end it and possibly hurt his feelings. No one likes getting dumped or being the dumper.
  4. I’ve never had a relationship that didn’t end badly. I don’t have a lot of good breakup experiences, so I can only assume that once the endorphins wear off, it’s all going to go up in flames in the most dramatic way possible. I think to myself, do I really want to go through that again? Definitely not. It’s no wonder I’m so apprehensive about every new romantic situation I find myself in.
  5. I have Daddy issues, so it kinda makes sense. I don’t have the best references when it comes to male figures in my life, especially when considering the most important and prominent one: my dad. He was never there for me, so I have this automatic, almost subconscious reaction to men where I assume they’ll let me down. I tend to automatically think the worst of them but it’s not really my fault. It was just the way I was raised.
  6. I think that maybe I’m not good enough for him. When a guy wants me to be his girlfriend, it’s not an easy process. I doubt myself and that pretty much looks like me avoiding him or trying to turn it into a casual thing when we both know it’s going to end up as something more serious. Underneath my aloof exterior is stone-cold low self-esteem. I never think I’m good enough to be someone’s girlfriend and maybe that’s why I’m so afraid of relationships.
  7. I get suspicious that he only wants me for sex. I’ve been duped a few times by guys who acted like they were in love with me but only ended up wanting sex. It’s something that all women have to deal with and is the basis of pretty much every dating complaint coming from the female gender. I just wonder if I can really trust that he’s not going to drop me altogether when the excitement of sex starts to wear off since that seems to be the way so many men function these days.
  8. I try to buy myself as much time as possible before making the commitment. I’m a very indecisive person, so when it comes to a new relationship, you can bet that I’m avoiding “The Talk” for as long as possible just so I can figure out whether or not I want to actually be with this person. I need time to decide, but that often looks like me acting like I don’t need a relationship when I’m really just scared out of my mind of making the wrong decision.
  9. What if I’m making a huge mistake? Think about it—this relationship could be the one that ruins my life forever. I mean, we’ve all heard of those stories where couples get together, fall in love, and then one of them turns abusive or one cheats on the other. I don’t think I could handle something big like that. I’ve dealt with my fair share of drama in relationships, but who knows how bad this one could get?
  10. I never feel like I’m “ready” to be in a relationship. Honestly, no matter how much time I take to think about whether or not I should go for it, I’m never totally 100 percent sure about it. Maybe it’s impossible to be, but I don’t think it’s normal to always feel like you’re sacrificing a huge part of yourself just to get into a relationship. I’ve come to realize that I make a way bigger deal out of it than I should.
  11. I sometimes think it’s too good to be true. The intense feelings of love that come with relationships make me think, wow, is this real life? I’m not used to being this happy and for some reason, that scares me. I start second guessing myself and start assuming that I’m going to screw it up. I guess the main question to ask myself would be, do I even believe that I deserve this? Maybe I don’t and that’s really my problem.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.