The “F” Word (Fear) in Relationships
I don’t cuss. Usually. Not that I never have, but I just choose to find other words to express my anger or disappointment . . . words that I make up like, “Aw friggilish!” or I’ll just growl, “Grrrr” when something gets my goat. My daughter thinks I’m weird. I say she’s weirder. There is one word, though, that can ruin relationships. It’s a curse word of sorts. Its name is Fear. Fear in relationships is the “F” word that has split more marriages, aborted many a relationship before its time and has kept more lovers sleeping back to back than the flu virus.
Fear in Relationships
We all face fear from time to time. It’s a natural reaction to the unknown. The problems happen, though, when we choose to operate in fear instead of courage. You’ve likely heard one of my favorite inspirational quotes, “Courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s choosing to act in spite of it.” This couldn’t be truer in relationships.
We’ve all been hurt in one relationship or another . . . so we tend to protect ourselves from being hurt in the same way ever again. In order to accomplish this goal, we put up walls, make self-fulfilling prophecies and shut others out. This, as you can see, causes major problems in intimate relationships.
I’m not going to give you a 5-step process for getting rid of fear. It’s not that easy, and truth be told, we’ve probably all read those blogs. However, if you want to have healthy relationships, and not struggle all the time with fear in relationships, you have to be willing to take risks. You have to be willing to courageously tackle your fears. What if you get hurt? Well, my friend, that is the risk you take when you choose to love.
Love is risky! It offers no guarantees. Maybe you will be hurt (again). But what if you’re not? “Wouldn’t you have rather have loved and lost than not to have loved at all?” the great British poet Alfred Lord Tennyson asks. The point is that if you want to experience deeper levels of intimacy (the gift of knowing and being known), you are going to have to jump in! Now, I’m not advocating for you to throw away common sense! There are times when you need to be cautious and/or walk away.
Click here for some great tips on recognizing red flags in romantic relationships.
If you don’t see any of these warning signs, the ball is in your court. So what are you going to do? Are you going to continue to allow fear in your relationships or are you going to risk loving for the sake of true intimacy?