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Is Fear Keeping You Single?

Aug 17, 2007
Still single? If your fears, insecurities and defences are getting in the way, here are some common fears, and some alternatives and solutions.

You are afraid to get close.
Do you panic at the thought of someone getting to know the real you? Are you convinced that if you revealed too much about yourself they would run? If you see yourself as flawed and unworthy, personal relationships are virtually impossible.

The No Fear Philosophy:
You don't have to earn your worth, it is yours! You are valuable and trying to earn your worth through appearances, achievements or your job is a waste of time and energy. Accept yourself irrespective of your imperfections. then others will accept you - flaws and all.

You are afraid you will be rejected.
You're interested, but never do anything about it because you might be rejected. It could be your limiting self beliefs which will hold you back from real opportunities to connect with others - 'they wouldn't be interested in someone like me'. Insecurity and lack of confidence can cause you to project a false self, avoiding honest communication.

The No Fear Philosophy:
When you are self confident and feel good about yourself, it is easy to interact with others. Just because someone knocked you back once... doesn't mean you are unlovable - it may not have even been to do with you!

You are afraid you will get hurt.
When you are involved in an intimate relationship you are vulnerable. No one else has the capacity to love or hurt you as much as your partner. So you avoid painful feelings - work long hours, become aloof or start an alternate relationship. Anything to distance yourself from the possibility of being hurt.

The No Fear Philosophy:
Make sure you don't turn off your brain while you get to know someone! How does this person feel about important issues in your life? Do you share similar values? If there is even a hint of strong differences forget it - put your energy into a relationship that has a future.

You are afraid of losing control.
You usually become totally consumed by your love interest to the exclusion of rational thinking, personal boundaries and sense of self. You forget your friends, your work suffers and you start to suffocate your new partner.

The No Fear Philosophy:
Focus on developing a strong sense of self; otherwise you will become absorbed into the life and identity of your partner. Develop and hold on to your own life, values and interests. Stay in touch with the facts. If you find yourself fantasising about the future - take a look at your real world and keep an eye on the state and progress of the relationship.

You are afraid you will be exposed.
When you are truly part of an intimate relationship there is nowhere to hide. You want to get involved but you may be exposed. Your facade of success, achievements etc. which cover up your vulnerable self will be revealed.

The No Fear Philosophy:
Get Real and communicate your thoughts and feelings appropriately, without the need to impress. Be comfortable with yourself, with all your imperfections. Embrace you individuality and project your authentic self - comfortable and loveable where you are right now.

You are afraid of commitment.
You pattern looks something like: You start each new relationship with high but sadly unrealistic expectations. Before long you feel trapped and suffocated by the thought of anything long term, searching for ways out. You are looking for the 'Perfect Partner' who will fill you up emotionally; being bitterly disappointed as each new person fails to meet your expectations.

The No Fear Philosophy:
Time for a reality check - there is no such thing as the Perfect Partner or Perfect Relationship! Develop tolerance and acceptance of other people's attitudes, opinions and imperfections. Define the kind of relationship you want and be prepared to make adjustments. Consider what you may gain from being truly and intimately in a relationship - it might make you slow down as you run out the door!

You are afraid of failing.
Last time you fell in love it was a disaster, you were devastated and only now after all this time you feel like yourself again. Going through that again may not be worth getting close to anyone ever again. I'll just play the game and get out first!

The No Fear Philosophy:
You may be temporarily in the grips of 'learned helplessness'. Past experiences of failure are controlling your attitudes and behaviours - Learn to challenge your negative 'what if this fails and I am devastated' thinking patterns.

As long as you are focusing on the negative worse-case scenarios of life - your fears will dictate your future.

- Precis of a recent article by Psychologist Jennifer Garth in The Sunday Times.
About the Author
Lynley Arnott is the principle of Dinner For Six, a business specialising in bringing singles together for social events and dining. She can be reached at www.dinnerforsixwa.com.au
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