Let’s be honest. Love is absolutely terrifying. My best friend often likes to say that I fall in love like nobody’s business (which is true… I fall in love with approximately every person and every place that I meet.. Sorry about it). In your twenties, falling in love seems to be one of the most important things in your life; I’m not really sure that importance ever goes away, either. So, why are we so unbelievably afraid of it?
1. “Sometimes, we create our own heartbreaks through expectation.” It’s hard not to form expectations in regards to new relationships. We want to believe that something is going to work and that we’re going to live happily ever after. Those expectations can be what kills us, though, because most people probably won’t live up to them.
2. “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” Are you ready for a real relationship? Are they over their ex? One of the most common lines used when avoiding taking the next step in a relationship is, “I’m just not ready.” Obviously, there are certain points when this is a warranted excuse; however, I know too many people who use this as a way to hide from love and commitment. And what’s the point of that?
3. “The root of suffering is attachment.” We are petrified of getting hurt. After all, why would we want to put ourselves in situations in which our hearts could be ripped from our chests and stomped on? Over and over and over again. Instead, we try not to get too attached. We try to distance ourselves, because the thought of giving someone that much power over us is too much to handle.
4. “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world and there’s still going to be somebody out there who hates peaches.” We don’t want to let someone get to know us – the messy, dark parts of our soul are ours alone. We’re afraid that, once someone else knows all there is to know, they’re going to walk away; if you can’t like those parts of yourself, who else will? What we don’t realize is that, just as we want to know every detail of that special person, there will be someone who wants to know every detail of us, too.
5. “If plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 other letters.” We give up too easily. If one relationship doesn’t work out, we assume that every single future relationship will follow the same pattern. Quite a few of my friends are under the impression that, just because one guy was a total douche, every other guy will be, too. So, instead of actually having conversations with people, we just lump everybody into the same category and resign ourselves to being forever alone.
6. “I’m always the one who loves more. That’s my thing.” We don’t want to be the one who loves more. We just don’t. Because, if we’re the one who loves more, then we’re probably the one that’s going to get hurt (see #3).
7. “Sometimes a heartbreak shakes you awake, and helps you see that you are worth more than you were settling for.” As “How I Met Your Mother” taught us, there is a reacher and a settler in every relationship. Granted, HIMYM means this in a joking way; yet, in reality, we often find ourselves settling for less than we deserve. If someone treats us badly, we will probably stay with them just to avoid being alone – and that’s not love. That’s fear.
8. “If it’s both terrifying and amazing, then you should definitely pursue it.” Love is scary. Really, really scary. Commitment is downright terrifying. We don’t want to let people in and we definitely don’t want to get hurt. But there are so many amazing, beautiful people out there that we aren’t meeting because we’re too scared. And that’s a really sad thought.